Yala National Park is located 305 km south of Colombo. The gateway to Yala National Park is Tissamaharama 264km south of Colombo in the Hambantota district of Southern province of Sri Lanka. The entrance to Yala National Park is located at Palatupana, 27km from Tissamaharama. Birdwatching is done year round. During the period of October to March thousands of migrant birds arrive to escape the winter in the northern hemisphere. Wild elephants are seen the year round at Yala National Park. During the dry season of May to August elephants are seen in herds around the waterholes. Among the resident mammals of Yala National Park are wild boar, sloth bears, wild buffaloes, macaque and langur monkeys, jackals, mongooses, pangolins, porcupines, rabbits and wild cats. Yala National Park is usually closed annually during the period of 1st September to 15th October. A private Yala Safari is a must do if you are visitng the city of Yala.
Hambantota is a rural town in southeastern coastal area of Sri Lanka. It is also the capital of the Hambantota District in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. Approximately 240 kms from Colombo, Hambantota is in the midst of transformation into a strategic port and commercial centre, undergoing extensive infrastructure development. Flanked by sweeping sandy beaches, Hambantota is a convenient location from which to visit nearby sights.
The Bundala National Park lays 20 km east of Hambantota and the Wirawila Sanctuary a little further off. The Ruhuna National Park and the Kataragama Temple are other attractions that can be accessed easily from this city.
The Southern Province of Sri Lanka is a small geographic area consisting of the districts of Galle, Matara and Hambantota. Subsistence farming and fishing is the main source of income for the vast majority of the people of this region.
Important landmarks of the Southern Province include the wildlife sanctuaries of the Yala and Udawalawe National Parks, the holy city of Kataragama, and the ancient cities of Tissamaharama, Kirinda and Galle. (Although Galle is an ancient city, almost nothing survives from before the Portuguese invasion.) During the Portuguese period there were two famous Sinhalese poets called Andare who was from Dickwella and Gajaman Nona who was from Denipitiya in Matara District, composing poems on common man.