Yala National Park - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Yala National Park

Yala National Park

Elephants are the most often-spotted inhabitants of the vast Yala National Park in the southeast of Sri Lanka, east of Matara, but they share the reserve with 130 different species of birds and other creatures like sambhur, spotted deer, sloths, crocodiles, monkeys, wild boar and porcupines. There is also a large concentration of leopards in this, the country's oldest protected area. Most of the reserve is open parkland, but it also contains jungle, beaches, lakes and rivers. Areas of the park were badly damaged by the 2004 tsunami, but most parts are open to the public. The park is somewhat remote, the nearest town being Tissa, and is situated about 190 miles (305km) from Colombo. Yala is also dotted with a number of fascinating archaeological sites, like the Magul Maha Vihara ruins, dating from the 1st century BC.

Information & Facts

Most people speak Sinhala, which is the national and official language. Tamil is also spoken, and English is spoken at most tourist establishments.

The unit of currency is the Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR), which is divided into 100 cents. Major credit cards are widely accepted, and travellers cheques in US Dollars are recommended. ATMs are becoming more common, but outside the main cities they are unlikely to accept international cards. Credit cards should be used with caution due to the potential for fraud. Foreign currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change, banks and hotels, but exchanging cash is more expensive than exchanging travellers cheques. Banks are closed on Sundays.

Local time is GMT +5.30.
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