Yala National Park
Yala National Park in the south-eastern part of Sri Lanka is a must-see for every nature lover visiting the island. It is famous because of many impressed visitors and TV-documentaries about its Leopard population. It’s a vast area of dry scrub and woodlands as well as moist monsoon rain forest, with lots of rock bolders, open grassland and small freshwater lakes and marine wetlands. Yala harbours 44 mammal species, 46 reptile species and 215 bird species including 6 that are endemic. Common birds are Brahmini Kites, Bee-eaters, Painted Storks, Asian Open bills, Black-headed Ibises and Sri Lankan Jungle fowl, the national bird. Chances to observe wild elephants and salt water crocodiles are high. The density of leopards is, besides Wilpattu, the highest in the world, but leopards will not be spotted on each safari.
Sinharaja rain forest
Kanneliya small rain forest
Pinnawela elephant orphanage
Dry zone south
Yala NP camping-safari
Bundala NP bird watching
Kumana NP birds and wildlife
Okanda village life and beach
Rufus Kulam remote lake
Lahugala NP with heritage site
Gal Oya NP lakeside wildlife
Udawalawe NP wild elephants
Ussangoda serpentine rock
Dry zone north
Minneriya NP elephant gathering
Kaudulla NP elephant gathering
Habarana oxcart excursions
Nelumpure authentic village life
Mihintale ancient sanctuary
Namal Uyana ironwood sanctuary
Rasvehera monastery and wildlife
Tabbowe lake near Wilpattu NP
Horton Plains trekking hotspot
Bambarakanda 240 m waterfall
Adam's Peak pilgrim mountain
Hakgala Botanical Garden
Kitulgala white water and birds
Peradeniya Botanical Garden
Meemure village life and trekking
Knuckles Range trekking highlight
Randenigala NP alternative camp
You can find a similar linklist with images just below:
Most visitors book a tour of three hours in the morning or in the late afternoon. Full day safaris are easily managable, too. Overnight stays are possible in bungalows, but since 2013, after some public debate, only very few tour operators are allowed and still able to organize camping tours, Team Sightseeinglanka is one of them.
Yala block 1 standard safaris
Most tourists visit block 1, which indeed is the most scenic and ecologically rich part of Yala National Park with two dozens of leopards roaming or often relaxing on trees or rock bolders. Don’t expect to have block 1 only to yourself. The mammal species you will watch most frequently are human beings, as in Block 1 you will probably share the sandy paths with dozens of other jeep sometimes driving in columns and assembling wherever a leopard is spotted. But it’s really worth it, particularly for those who cannot spend more time or money for a wildlife experience. Only very few guests of block 1 are disappointed because of the tourist hurly-burly. Most guests are amazed by the beauty of the landscape and the variety and density of wildlife. But do not expect large herds, Sri Lanka is not Africa.
real safaris in Yala
Team Sightseeinglanka is able to organize real safaris in other blocks, too. Indeed, we know a tranquil area with even good or higher chances to observe leopards than in block 1. Our classic is the offroad journey from block 1 crossing block 2, which is situated between the rivers Menik Ganga and Kumbukkan Oya, to the neighbouring Kumana National Park in the east, where excellent camping grounds for nighttime observations are provided. But be aware, this real safari is not possible after heavy rainfall, because there are no bridges to cross the river.
Beyond doubt, real Yala safaris including Kumana are the best highlight Sri Lanka has to offer for wildlife enthusiasts. But they are expensive due to the charges of the Wildlife Department. For those travelling on a smaller budget we can arrange an alternative in the Yala area with overnight stays in Lunugamwehera National Park.
Sightseeinglanka is a tour operator based in Sri Lanka and 100% owned by Sri Lankans, specialized on organizing eco-friendly and extraordinary safari and authentic Sri Lanka village-life experiences - truly no tourism industry fake! Kapila, founder and leader of Team Sightseeinglanka, is a biologist. Please read more...
Enjoy Sri Lanka's charming cultural and natural heritage with Team Sightseeinglanka!
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