Yala National Park, located in the south east of Sri Lanka and hugging the panoramic Indian Ocean, is one of the largest and most famous national parks in the country. The park is divided into five sectors, of which two are currently open to visitors on guided 4x4 jeep safaris which give the opportunity to view wildlife.
Yala's terrain is very diverse ranging from dense jungle to grasslands, lakes, wetlands, flat plains, rocky outcrops and sandy beaches (although these are not recommended for swimming). This varied environment supports one of the richest and most varied collections of wildlife in the country, with 44 varieties of mammal and 215 bird species, including storks, kingfishers, flamingos and peacocks.
Among its more famous residents are a substantial elephant population, elusive sloth bears, sambars, jackals, spotted deer and, a significant leopard population – the densest concentration of these cats anywhere in the world. As you drive through the park you may also see a number of crocodiles in both the rivers and pools.
Yala National Park closes for around six weeks each year during September and October, exact dates are decided by the Department of Wildlife and will only be advised nearer the time.
GMT + 5.5 hours
Sri Lankan rupee. Travellers cheques are not accepted.
The driving time to Yala s around 4 hours 30 minutes from Nuwara Eliya or Galle and 5 hours from Colombo.
February-July when the water levels are low, bringing animals into the open. The park also closes for around six weeks each year during September & October. Exact dates are decided by the Department of Wildlife and will only be advised nearer the time. Weekends are very busy so you may wish to avoid. Temperatures hover around 29ºC throughout the year with most rainfall from September-December.
A visa may be required. Please ask for details.Find out more