Yalafor Solo Travelers
Sri Lanka’s eastern coast possesses a number of attractions that embody the country’s unique personality. From its natural wonders to fascinating cultural edifices, the solo traveller will certainly have many things to do in and around the region of Yala.
Embark on exhilarating wildlife excursions to the Yala National Park and neighbouring wildlife reserves, such as the Kumana National Park and Bundala National Park. Witness the luscious jungle landscapes of the island, while catching glimpses of rare and endemic wildlife, such as the Sri Lankan leopard and the jungle fowl. Moreover, you could witness the moving sight of sentient elephants herding around the watering holes of the park. This national park provides you with untarnished images of Sri Lanka’s exotic natural beauty.
A town surrounded by many a mythic tale, Kataragama is an embodiment of Sri Lanka’s melting pot of culture. The best time to visit is between June and August when Kataragama comes alive with vivid rituals and colourful pageantry, namely the ‘Padayatra’ (foot pilgrimage) and the Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya Esala Perahera. See how the country’s diverse cultures converge in unison and practice their faiths in harmony at Kataragama.
Sithulpawwa Raja Maha Viharaya
Another fascinating cultural edifice – the Sithulpawwa Raja Maha Viharaya – lies hidden deep within the Yala National Park. Believed to have housed 12,000 Buddhist arahants (monks of the highest rank) during the 2 nd Century BC, this isolated rock temple is still venerated by monks and devotees from around the country. The temple also allows you catch a glimpse of the ancient Ruhuna Kingdom that flourished in the days of old.
The Great Basses Reef, just off the eastern most part of the Yala National Park is an idyllic location to partake in some exhilarating diving. Head out to the reef and witness a vibrant ecosystem of fish and corals, along with remnants of historic shipwrecks and intriguing structures linked to the mythical tale of the ‘Ramayana’. Do keep in mind though that venturing out into the deep blue requires you to be PADI certified.
Experience the peaceful and simple lives of the locals during your stay in Yala, with an insightful village walk. The trails boast of lush greenery, which allow you to not only explore the diverse flora and fauna, but also the culture and lifestyle of the friendly village folk. Experience the warm hospitality Sri Lanka is so famous for, when you are invited to share a meal with a local family. Speak to your tour operator or to the manager of the property you are staying at, and they will be able to assist with organizing this experience.