Yala National Park in Sri Lanka

Yala National Park

Simply the best national park in Sri Lanka, Visit the famous Yala national park in Sri Lanka which houses leopards, elephants, sloth bears, and 250 species of birds.

Here is the no of leopards in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has been a top choice for most travelers, especially nature lovers and beach fans. Lovers of nature will get in touch with luxurious vegetation and wildlife rarity there. Apropos of wildlife, Yala National Park is a renowned dream place for all kinds of people including kids, young men, and women. It proffers a many-sided adventure for visitors of all kinds.

Yala National Park will draw to a thrilling expedition in the middle of the rich and luxurious wilderness, soiled paths, and grungy swamps. It offers travellers a shot of enchanting escapade they will not forget. Yala is not just another national park! It gives an opportunity to espy some of the uncommon and exceptional animal species in the world.

Jump into the most electrifying fling as you walk into the rich milieu of Yala with a feeling of excitement at the speed of these subtle leopards hiding in the bushes. A land of a wide range of flora and fauna, Yala will not let you down! Our detailed article is aimed at feeding you with all the necessary information about Yala National Park in Sri Lanka. If looking for an exceptional experience, this article is then for you!

About Yala National Park

The total area of Yala National Park is 978.8 km square. It is located in Southern Sri Lanka. The altitude is between 28 and 410 feet above sea level. With a latitude of 6° 22 ’22N and a longitude of  81° 31 ’01E, Yala park is half dry territory; level and somewhat wavy plain stretching out to the seashore.

For the most part, it is made out of transformative rocks from the Precambrian time; transcendence of the low rosy earthy colored and humic dim soil among others; prevailing sources of water, repositories, water focuses, rock bowls, and tidal ponds.

Although Sri Lanka is not as big as other island nations around the world, but it has plenty of beautiful spots in store for travellers

How to reach Yala National Park

There are various ways to reach Yala National Park in Sri Lanka, three of which are as per the following:

Via plane: Yala National Park is found 176 kilometres from Bandaranaike International Airport of Colombo. Hence, you can lease a vehicle and go to Yala by means of Kandy or Galle.

Via train: You can likewise reach Yala by means of the Sri Lankan rail arrange. You can catch a train in Peradeniya and get off at Bandarawela close Yala. Then, you can opt for another means, like taxi, to reach Yala.

The best travel bundles in Sri Lanka offer private cooled means of transportation that will take you to Yala from various starting points in Sri Lanka.

Via land: With a fabulous and very much kept up street arrange dissipated all through Sri Lanka, it is not hard to get to Yala.

One can either lease a vehicle for a self-sufficient circuit or order a bundle that gives them an agreeable vehicle to go on the streets without the ill-temper of Lanka.

  • The distance between Yala National Park and Colombo city is 300 kilometers, and it takes about six hours to get there.
  • The distance between Yala National Park and Kandy city is 386 kilometers, and it takes about nine hours to get there.
  • Between Yala National Park and Galle is 312 kilometers, and it takes about six hours and a half to get there

Yala National Park – Open Hours

The park is available to vacationers consistently, from 6 AM to 6 PM.

Safari times in Yala National Park

There are distinctive schedule openings for safaris at various times in Yala. You can pick the cut that suits you best. The morning excursion at Yala Park takes place between 5am and 9:30 am.

The evening excursion at Yala is from 2:30 pm to 7 pm. All day excursion is between 5 am and 6 pm. To opt for the leopard of the twelve special expeditions, you can go from 4:30 am to 11: 30 am. For kids between age of six and eleven, they can choose the special bird expedition, which takes place between 5:30 am and 11 am.  

Entrance Fees to Yala National Park

There are various kinds of expenses that you need to consider when attempting to visit Yala National Park. The first is the regular entrance charge which is 1260 rupees per individual.

As for vehicle prices, they go from 62 to 325 rupees, depending on what vehicle you choose. Be careful because sometimes the price may get higher, especially when the value added tax is applied.

For children, the charge is usually 10 rupees per individual. Other than that, there are various Yala safari costs contingent upon various safari openings.

The morning safari costs about 2270 rupees. The evening expedition costs 2600 rupees. A full day expedition costs only 3700 rupees. For kids, unique leopard expedition is only for 2336 rupees. The special bird expedition for them costs 3250 rupees. *The leopard expedition is the one that begins early and drives tourists through the park before some other jeep.

This circuit gives you a larger number of chances than others to see panthers in the outside since promptly in the first part of the day (the dawn, generally) is the point at which these glorious animals can be appreciated. Another explanation behind this is the nearness of less jeeps and less human obstruction in the park right now, which permits panthers to move uninhibitedly.

Best Time to Visit Yala National Park

Overnight stay is perfect for an excursion to Yala National Park in Sri Lanka. In this milieu, a term of around three days is sufficient to investigate the park, enjoy all the fundamental exercises, for example, safari, natural life seeing, investigate the sea shore and visit all the principle attractions of the park.

Natural life fans and picture takers can invest more energy inside the park whenever the timing is ideal (and with the exceptional authorization of the woods specialists) to watch the wide scope of creatures and fowls housed in the park. Book your outing to Sri Lanka from: Hotels, touring, moves and dinners notwithstanding. Best cost ensured. Get a free, adjustable guide from goal specialists. Book now!

Since we are talking about the best time to visit, it is advisable to head to the national park at 6 AM in the morning. That’s the opening time of the park. If not 6 AM, you can try anytime after 4 PM. During a sunny day, the animals avoid coming out of their self-built shelters.

Note – Do not throw garbage or litter at the national park. It is the habitat of wild animals! Remember that plastic bottles, glass bottles, plastic packets, and other disposable items can cause harm to the wild animals. There is no way to find out if an animal ingested a plastic glass or pieces of glass. Hence, keep the national park free from plastic and avoid littering.

Yala National Park Flora and Fauna

Yala National Park3 Yala National Park in Sri Lanka

The park is home to a wide assortment of plants, creatures and flying creature species. Most are probably going to be seen on a morning or night safari in the park.


Yala has an assortment of biological systems, including moist rainstorm timberlands, dry storm woods, semi-deciduous backwoods, prickly woodlands, meadows, bogs, marsh areas and fine sand sea shores.

The predominant plant species that can be seen inside the park incorporate Vitex Pinnata, Indian blackberry, Carissa Spinarum, Asparagus Racemos and Gmelina Asiatica. The park is home to a wide variety of plants, animals and bird species. Most are likely to be seen on a morning or night safari in the park


About forty distinctive warm blooded creature species present in this park, among which is the Sri Lankan panther. Different species incorporate the wild bison, Sri Lankan sloth, turtles, ocean crocodile, Indian cobra and Russell viper.

Creatures of land and water inside the park are numerous, and some of them are unique to the area. Fish species incorporate dark spotted bass, olive bass, orange chromide, and crabs and shrimp. Types of butterflies incorporate the blue fly, the purple rose and the normal Mormon.


There are several species of about two hundred and ten winged creatures in Yala, six of which are viewed as indigenous to the nation. Yala winged animals, or birds, incorporate the Sri Lankan Wood-pigeon, Crimson-colored Beard, and the Brown-headed Bulletin Board.  Water flying creatures incorporate the Asian Beak, Indian Cormorant, and Painted Stork.

Uncommon flying creatures incorporate the dark necked stork and the minor warrant official. Transient water birds incorporate Butternut, Ghost, Madman, Northern Pintail, White-winged Tern, and Red Turnstile. Different flying creatures incorporate the extraordinary Asian barbets, the spotted rucksack, green pigeon with orange bosoms, and Indian Paradise gnat.

Average Budget per Person for Visiting Yala NP

We have referenced the normal evaluated cost per individual for an excursion to the Yala Reserve, which incorporates significant perspectives, for example, travel, food, lodgings and jeep.

For normal flight rate, the cost is only about 15,510 rupees per individual.

As for lodging, the average charge is usually about 5000 rupees per individual.

For food, average cost meals at Yala are about 1000 rupees per individual.

Flight rates may change in accordance with your goal and time of booking.

The previously mentioned rates are the normal expenses for full circle departures from regular Indian urban areas, such as Colombo and Kandy. On the off chance that you are going from another nation, the flight expenses might be high/low contingent upon the carrier/area.

What are the things you can do in Yala?

There are different activities and exercises to enjoy at the Yala Reserve. From exploratory safaris to tranquil religious communities to passionate sea shore strolls, Yala offers various exciting tours for a wide range of explorers.

Go on an adventurous safari

No visit to Yala in Sri Lanka is finished without a safari inside the park. The safaris in Yala National Park will make you live a life-changing encounter. That is the reason Yala Park is perhaps the best spot in Sri Lanka!

The delight of watching creatures meander uninhibitedly in their regular living space is exceptional. Watching the crowds of elephants play in the bogs, the deer dealing with their young and the panthers stowing away in the bushes, holding on to caracole on their prey, you won’t have the option to see such a fascinating see a bazaar or a zoo.

The sentiment of “what you may experience straightaway” and the uneasiness related with watching a panther will give you an interesting adrenaline surge.

To get the wilderness tenants, you should be in the ideal spot at the perfect time. That is the reason Yala offers guided safaris with specialists going with you in your safari vehicle and illuminating you regarding each part of the wilderness during the outing. Look up at Yala safari costs and timetables.

Go for an invigorating stroll on the sea shore

Yala National Park offers the better of the two universes: the fervour of a wilderness safari and an invigorating sea shore visit. Truly, Yala is one of only a handful scarcely any creature parks on the planet with a sea shore!

Albeit the majority of the long seaside strip that covers the park isn’t open to people, there is as yet a significant lot of flawless shoreline where you can go for a comfortable stroll, stretch your legs, come back to the sun and watch inborn fishing close by.

Look for sanction at the Sithulpawwa Rock Monastery

Sithulpawwa is an old stone of the religious community in Yala that would have housed a sum of 12,000 priests.

It is a mainstream spot of love for the steadfast and travellers from the regions of Yala, and an exceptional symbol of the design. The term “ithulpawwa” is gotten from “Chittalapabbata” which signifies “the slope of the tranquil soul”.

A visit to this religious community is an absolute necessity for the individuals who come to Yala.

Visit the brilliant site of Magul Maha Viharaya

Settled in the southern district of Sithulpawwa, Magul Maha Viharaya would have been the location of King Kavan Tissa’s union with Vihara Maha Devi.

One can without much of a stretch visit Magul Maha Viharaya during a visit to the antiquated Sithulpawwa Rock Temple, these two attractions being near one another and exceptional as far as magnificence and engineering.

Pay tribute to the Tsunami Memorial on Yala Beach

In Yala, on the primary sea shore open to people in general, are the cabins demolished by the 2004 Asian tidal wave and its inhabitants.

The square currently houses the remaining parts of the annihilation, just as a commemoration worked out of appreciation for the individuals who kicked the bucket there. A visit to this haven will offer you a profound snapshot of quiet and isolation.

Wild Animals To Spot At Yala National Park

Gear up for the most adventurous trip of your life! The island nation gives you access to the clear blue ocean. Hold that thought! Yala National Park is ideal for a jeep safari.

Did you know that there are 250 species of birds and 44 different varieties of mammals at Yala? Sighting the magnificent leopard is easier at this specific national park. They walk in suave manner and often come out of the bushes for  a quick swig of water.

 Please remember that wildlife is all about uncertainty. The animals are not waiting for you at the door. They might come out of the bushes, and others will be too afraid to step out in front of human beings.

Plus, the national park is not a circus – it is a habitat for the animals. You are the guest here and the land belongs to the wild animals. Hence, tourists should respect the privacy of these wild animals. If you follow certain rules and maintain silence, the animals will be happy to appear in front of human beings.

Some of the most common wild animals you will find at Yala

1. Deer – You will find them in abundance! Yala houses a number of deer and you will spot them every now and then. This specific animal species is not afraid of human beings and you would spot them crossing the path and prancing around in the jungle.

You might even spot them inside the water body. They are extremely compassionate and can be found with a group of monkeys as well.

2. Elephants – Elephants love bathing in the water. Yala is home to approximately three hundred elephants. That’s a huge number! Elephants stay in groups, but you will rarely find them at touristy spots. They like to keep away from human settlement. But, a good guide would show you the best spots where one can find elephants. You might even see some adorable baby elephants.

Here is a list of other place where you can see elephant in Sri Lanka

Here’s a video of an elephant relaxing in the water body. You can spot a herd of deer in the video! It shows that most of the animals are living in a harmonious setting. For a nature lover, it is pleasing to watch all the animals together.

3. Wild Pig – The wild pigs are not as pleasant to watch and one should not even interact with them. They are known as ‘wild pigs’ for a reason.

4. Buffalo – When you head to Yala, keep a close watch. You might just find buffalos in the water bodies. They like to relax inside water and can be found in groups. Once again, do not get friendly with the wild animals. The horns can be quite dangerous.

5. Crocodile – Crocodiles are deadly creatures. Even though dinosaurs do not exist, but the crocodile looks like a close relative. They have sharp teeth and lives in swamps. We have read scary crocodile attack cases. Never jump out of your jeep unless the tour guide asks you to. Your safety is the topmost priority! The guide can only protect you from the wild animals, but you have to be wiser and stay with your group. Watch the crocodiles from a distance, click pictures, and do not go too near.

6. Leopard – Well, most of the tourists visit Yala to spot the leopards. They are magnificent animals and are quite sharp too. Professional guides are aware of all the spots where the leopards relax and come out to drink water. As per reports, there are twenty five leopards in Yala. But, the figures keep changing from time to time. Sadly, they are getting extinct and that’s precisely why the Government is trying everything to protect the wild animal. It depends on what time you are choosing and which spot you are heading to. Some get lucky and some are happy to spot elephants and deer.

Wish to spot a leopard in the digital world? Here’s a leopard spotting video for those who missed seeing a leopard at the park. You will find that the leopard is hunting a rabbit. There is plenty of food within the national park. The leopard hunt for their food and that’s the perfect time to catch them live. Leopards are quite patient when they are out for hunting.

Let’s not forget – leopards are really swift! You will find that out in this video.

7. Sloth Bear – These black furry bears are far from cute. Movies and TV shows showcase a different side of bears. They are shown as cuddly and cute, but some bears are highly temperamental. Please remember that sloth bears are not Kuala Bears. You must maintain distance and not get too friendly with them. They are most commonly found in dry zones. You might spot a sloth bear hiding behind the bushes. Although they will not harm you, but it is best to keep a safe distance. Don’t get fooled by all the fur on his body! Sloth bears are dangerous animals and they have sharp claws.

Here’s a quick video of a sloth bear taking a bath at Yala National Park

Interesting fact: The coastline of the national park is an interesting place to see. So you will find little turtles here. Most of them are endangered species such as Olive Ridley Turtle and Hawksbill Turtle. But Like we mentioned-before, do not commit the mistake of jumping out of your jeep. You might even find an Indian Cobra waiting to bite someone. Russell is another poisonous snake that you will find at Yala National Park.

There is a huge variety of birds that you can find in this area. These include hornbill, wood pigeon, painted stork, and egrets. The chirpy birds sing songs all through the day! It is a nature lover’s delight because one gets to see colourful birds from all over the world. Perhaps they enjoy the lush greenery of Sri Lanka, and there is plenty of water too.

Concluding Thoughts

Yala National Park is a wonderful place to be! As soon as you reach the entry point, you have so much to look forward to. Even if you do not spot a leopard, Yala has so many other animals and a variety of birds to spot. If you are a bird or animal lover, carry a camera with you.

Remember to carry a camera that has no flash! Carrying flash cameras is not allowed simply because it disturbs the animals. Flashing light can be damaging for the animals, plus they might get scared. Sometimes, the animals attack human beings just for defense purposes.

Hence, never carry a flash camera or eatables in your jeep. These could tempt the animals and they might attack the jeep. Speaking of food, you must NEVER take your pets along for a safari. There are wild animals outside who are waiting for fresh meat! Ideally, you should not even carry non-vegetarian items in your jeep. Once you keep these pointers in your mind, your jeep safari will be a huge success.

What are you waiting for? Sri Lanka has so much to offer! Why are you still contemplating? Stay at one of the luxurious properties at Yala or any nearby destination. After a jeep safari, you can explore the beaches, eat fresh seafood, take a dip into the ocean, or even go surfing and snorkeling. There are plenty of water-based adventure activities that you can indulge in.

But, never miss the opportunity of exploring Yala National Park. It is certainly the most beautiful and exciting destination in Sri Lanka! You never you know you might just spot a leopard in all its glory.


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Hi, I am Richard, I moved to Sri Lanka with my family in 2016. We launched the website so we can share what we experience, learn with anyone interested in visiting Sri Lanka. The country is such an amazing island. I invite all of you to be here at least once in your lifetime.