The subject of this week’s photo of the week is one of Sri Lanka’s resident Grey Langur monkeys taken in Yala National Park, located in the southeast of the country.
Yala National Park is Sri Lanka’s most visited National Park and is famed for its resident Leopard, Sloth Bear and Elephants. Bordering the Indian Ocean, the park is divided into several ‘blocks’ with Block 1 (also known as Ruhuna National Park to add a layer of confusion to proceedings) being by far the most popular for wildlife enthusiasts (in fact, not all of the blocks are actually open to visitors). With over 200 bird species and 44 mammal species the park is also a safari-lovers must-visit location in Sri Lanka; and at 378 square miles of land there’s plenty of it to see!
Outside of Yala’s ‘Big 3’ (leopard, sloth bear and Asian elephant) you stand a decent chance of seeing Wild Water Buffalo, Spotted Deer, Sambur Deer, Ruddy Mongoose, Land Monitor Lizards, Mugger Crocodiles, Wild Boar, Black-Nape Hare, Toque Macaques and Grey Langur monkeys (like the one pictured here). Beyond that, and particularly as you head into the world of nocturnal animals, you’re going to be astonishingly lucky (especially because Yala doesn’t permit night game drives) to see animals like Golden Jackals, Pangolins, Loris, Fishing Cats or Golden Palm Civets; although they are present in the park.
If you’re in Sri Lanka then Yala is a wildlife highlight that you shouldn’t miss. Its unique endemic species are worth the visit alone. Just make sure you go with realistic expectations and be sure to keep watch for Grey Langur ‘s chilling out in the trees!