Buttala Area - Landscape and Nature
The Southeast Corner of Sri lanka and yala national park
Our camp property and local area in many ways shares flora and fauna with the 1000 square kilometer Yala National Park that covers the south eastern ‘corner’ of Sri Lanka.
The Yala National Park is an agglomeration of blocks and protected areas and consists of a variety of different ecosystems, essential for the diverse wildlife that inhabits this jungle. A vast area of wild nature that stretches from Tree Tops Jungle Lodge to the south- and to the east-coast.
Talking about Yala National Park we want to stress that that there is no direct entrance into the national park from this side. Actually, in the lodge area there there is no road access into Yala.
The wilderness and forest south of Tree Tops Jungle Lodge, towards Yala, is just a wild area or buffer zone region with forest, jungles and a small area of paddy fields as well as seasonal slash and burn cultivation.
The protected forest next to Tree Tops Jungle Lodge consists of dense dry zone, primary tall canopy, tropical evergreen forest as well as thorny scrub jungle outside the tall forest. Rare tropical trees and trees such as the protected ebony tree is found here.
The nature around us has many plants of great medicinal value, for example neeramulliya (Hygrophilla spinosa), polpala (Aerva lantana), nilaveriya (Indigofera tinctoria), vishnukranthi (Evolvulus alsinoides) and many more; all used by natives who know the art of traditional ayurvedic plant medicine.
Our Location Itself is not a National Park
The jungle and ecosystem outside the Yala National Park towards Tree Tops Jungle Lodge is partly :
The local nature is not a completely undisturbed environment. Even national parks are not necessarily undisturbed. To some extent – where wild nature starts and ends is blurred. Traditionally people living in remote areas were using nature, its resources, and they still do.
There is no sharp line or boundary between wild nature and non-wild-nature … Even though it may look like it. However, boundaries are not for flora and fauna, only administrative. The reality is blurred and mixed – and people are using the forest. But wild animals – also use the cultivated landscape ( mostly at night ).
Apart from wild elephants, the local area and forest is a natural environment for many species of wild animals. Wildlife species include Sambhar deer, Spotted deer, Barking deer, Mouse deer, Mugger (freshwater) Crocodile, Porcupine, Giant squirrel, Wild Boar, and many more.
Sloth Bear and Leopard also live in the forest and in the hills nearby but hardly ever seen. We do regularly see their footprints. Also, in the camp it happens that we hear the sounds of these animals. Or, it can happen that we hear alarm calls from spotted deer, indicating a leopard is on a hunt.
Nearby water-hole and a leopard pawmark