Yala Strict Nature Reserve
One of the true delights of Yala is its position, hugging the Indian Ocean in the south-east corner of the country. The beach is delicious and the only official place you can alight the vehicle to stretch one's legs. The bee-eaters are among 215 species of bird plus many other reptiles, amphibians and mammals in this national park, just shy of 1,000 square kilometres in size. The park came into existence as a protected wildlife sanctuary the beginning of last century, although gained national park status a year before WW2. It constitutes five blocks, two of which are open to the public, with Yala East being one such area. My first and last encounter of the park only allowed me glimpse of a leopard from a quarter of of a kilometre away. It lay surreptitiously in a tree from afar, inert, watchful and proud. The experience left me agog as to how Yala contained the largest leopard densities in the world when I'd barely seen a whisker! The parks rich vegetation and climatic factors could easily account for my serendipitous encounter of the cat, over the probability of coming almost face to face with the feline. #photography #park #familyfriendly
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