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Vehicle traffic in Yala

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Los Angeles
posts: 306
reviews: 19
Vehicle traffic in Yala

I was shocked to hear tha during December, there were well over 500 vehicles inside Yala on certain days, causing massive traffic jams inside the park.

Traffic has never reached this peak for the last 35 years or as far as I can remember, and a few years back even 50 vehicles were considered gross overcrowding. Needless to say, the massive crowds scared away the leopards (which everyone wants to see!) during this period, and drove them more into the brush. Unfortunately, the leopards who had no fear of the vehicles until this mad rush started, start getting fearful of the revving engines, loud talking and shouting, and ruckus it creates. They could well move permanantly into an area away from the roads where they could not be observed.

Also during this period, visitors could be seen climbing on the sides of jeeps, overtaking slow vehicles by going off road, and even standing on top of vehicles to see over the big crowd. All these are violations that need to stop.

So, my advise to you is to avoid Yala during school vacation time and the weekends, as you will see nothing.

As I have predicted before, the end to Yala being a destination to see animals is drawing closer, unless the governement (greedy for money this mass influx provides) restricts the number of vehicles into the park. I know that several Sri Lankan wild life lovers share the same concern that I do, with many avoiding even visiting Yala.


posts: 23
reviews: 7
1. Re: Vehicle traffic in Yala

I agree. We were at Yala on Sunday and got caught up in a traffic jam as the drivers were all egging each other on about where they saw a leapord and therefore there was a mad dash to get to the "supposed" spot. We did not see much wildlife at all and I think it is because there are to many vehicles. I would not go back again. In fact we saw more wild life in Chaaya Wild where we stayed for 2 nights (I would highly recommend this place)

London, United...
posts: 158
reviews: 19
2. Re: Vehicle traffic in Yala

This indeed is shocking news. Yala is beautiful and needs protecting, as do the animals within it. We were in Yala end of November/beginning of December 2011 and is was fairly quiet. Indeed the 'day safari' we did felt like we had the park to ourselves and we had the most wonderful sighting of a leopard. I would appeal to anyone going to Yala to respect the 'home' of the animals. If you feel that your driver is behaving inappropriately then make it clear you are not happy (our guide for our nine day tour came with us on safari and was so unhappy with our driver on day one that he made sure we had a different driver thereafter). It is only with the visitors voicing their opinions that we can try to ensure Yala doesn't become like certain national parks in Kenya.

posts: 134
reviews: 31
3. Re: Vehicle traffic in Yala

THANK YOU Robbie, Gemma and KK for bringing this out.

I full endorse what KK has said..."If you feel that your driver is behaving inappropriately then make it clear you are not happy"

Many of us Sri Lankans who love the natural resources and beauty of our island have been trying desperately to bring about some sanity in Yala but unfortunately Yala has become a tremendous money spinner to the authorities - enforcing responsible safari practices and a respect for animals seems to be the least of their concerns.

Wildlife lovers in Sri Lanka are hugely indebted to visitors like yourselves for speaking up! Thank you.

Bristol, United...
posts: 40
reviews: 49
4. Re: Vehicle traffic in Yala

Agree completely that there needs to be greater vehicle control - and also some way of ensuring that courtesy is shown. Was there last week and enjoyed times when our vehicle was on its own but felt that mad dashes and long queues when a leopard or bear was sighted detracted from the experience. Roads were bad - flooded in places - so trips were bumpy, to put it mildly.

Great to see so many birds, spotted deer, monkeys and crocodiles. Saw three leopards. Probably see more elephants in other parks. If you are after maximum animal numbers, in greater comfort, try Longleat! But Yala is more magical, when away from the crowds.

Morning safaris seemed much more productive than the evening ones, in terms of seeing animals.

5. Re: Vehicle traffic in Yala

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