Open Daily (except between September 1–October 16)
Price: For Locals: Rs60 (adults), Rs 30 (children)
For Foreigners: USD 14 (adults), USD 7 (children); Rs 250 (vehicle entrance charge); VAT and Service charge
Situated in Sri Lanka’s south-east region and hugging the deep blue Indian Ocean, lies the Yala National Park – wild and yet powerfully majestic in every sense. Boasting of rich, verdant vegetation and teeming with an amazing array of wildlife, Yala one of the best tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. Wildlife enthusiasts will be able to experience the true sense of Sri Lanka beauty in perfect harmony at this magnificent national park.
The Yala National Park was originally a hunting ground for the elite under British colonial rule. In 1900, the park was designated as a wildlife sanctuary and a national park in 1938. Today, this park spans over 900 sq km, making it one of Sri Lanka’s biggest national parks. The Yala National Park is home to some 44 species of mammals and 215 species of birds as well as one of the highest density of leopards in the world and around 350 resident Asian elephants.
Here at Yala National Park, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the perfect Sri Lankan safari with sightings of colourful painted storks perched on the shores of the lagoon alongside dosing crocodiles sunning themselves. You can witness chattering monkeys swinging from tree to tree and see the peacocks parade in all their glory. The lush bush jungle is where hordes of elephants roam and the presence of sheer valour and strength is truly humbling. The thorny, scrub jungle is where the star attraction of the park is – the leopards slink by stealthily in the shadows and catching a glimpse of one is an experience not many can be proud of.
With six national parks and three wildlife sanctuaries within its confines, Yala National Park boasts of a myriad of ecosystems. Visitors to the park will find moist monsoon forest, dry monsoon forests, thorn forests and semi-deciduous forests to grasslands, freshwater and marine wetlands and sandy beaches. The majority of the park is designated a Strict Natural Reserve with the park is divided into five blocks with a protected area of of nearly 130,000 hectares of land. Of these, only two blocks are currently opened to public and it is enough to provide a richly rewarding safari experience. It also entails an exciting day tour, especially if you are based at an accommodation at one of the nearby cities.
The best time to visit the park is between February and July when the water levels of the park reduces, bringing the animals out into the open. The best time to get the most out of your safari is either during dawn or dusk.
This incredible national park is one of the best places to explore the beauty of what the wild and nature has to offer. It’s here in Yala where the call of the wild comes with the truest dose of candour. With promises of unforgettable discoveries and exciting adventures, Yala National Park offers an experience of epic proportions that brings you up-close and personal with the untamed beauty of wildlife.
Need more reasons to visit the Yala National Park? Click here and you’ll find it impossible to ignore the lure of this spectacular destination anymore.