Yala Safari Game Drives

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Yala Safari Game Drives, we offer total solution for travelers who want to go on a Yala Safari Game Drives in Yala National Park. Our services include bundled Hotel + Jeep Safaris, Tented Safari Camping in Yala National Park and Safari Game Drives in Yala National Park

Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Yala National Park is the 2nd largest National Park in Sri Lanka situated in the deep down south province bordering the eastern province of Sri Lanka. Drive from Colombo will take approximately 5 to 6 hours and can vary depending on the traffic and the number of stops you make on the way. So when visiting Yala National Park you need at least 1 night and 2 days to explore it.

Yala National Park is open from 6 AM to 6 PM for visitors. The mode of safari is only in soft top Jeeps. No walking safaris allowed.

When travelling to Yala National Park either you can take Sothern Highway from Colombo to Matara which joins Matara – Tissamharama road or Colombo – Tissamharama via Ratnapura which is an interior road. First option is much convenient and comfortable though it is little lengthier than the latter. Privately hired car or van is the best recommended travelling mode.

Tissamaharama is the main closest town to Yala National Park which is approximately 20 kms away from Yala National Park’s main gate, Palaptupana entrance. Early years all most all hotels serving Yala National Park were situated in Tissamaharama but since last 5 years many hotels have opened in Kirinda area where it is more closer to Yala Natioal Park making it closer as 10 kms. Now there are many hotels, guest houses and tented camps are operating in Tissamaharama and Kirinda areas. The 2nd entrance to Yala National Park is Katagamuwa entrance located about 30 kms from Tissamaharama town but more closer to Kataragama town. Travellers who stay in Kataragama use Katagamuwa entrance as it is only 15 kms to Katagamuwa entrance. Palatupana entrance is the main gate for Yala safari goers as it is easy to access the game viewing areas from this entrance.

Best time to visit Yala is from May to August as it is the peak of the drought season , Leopards and Elephants are easily seen during this time as they roam all over the park in search of water. From November to January is the raining season in Yala but despite of the rains this period attracts the most number of visitors because this is the time most travellers visit Sri Lanka for holidays (Christmas and New Year)

Yala National Park consists of five blocks but only block 1 and 2 are opened for visitors and the other blocks are strict natural reserves. Yala block 1 is the most popular game viewing area .

Climate in Yala National Park is dry and arid so you need to expect hot humid, dusty and bumpy ride when going safari in Yala National Park.

Yala is an ideal place to spot the “big four” of Sri Lankan wildlife, the elephants, the sloth bear, the illusive leopard and the wild buffalo , the unsung denizen of the park, if nothing else dangerous to the extreme. The roaming elephant herds can be easily seen during dry spells at the small scale reservoirs like Buthawa and Mahaseelawa while Uraniya is best known for its aquatic avifauna, wild buffalo, mugger or mash crocodile & salt water crocodiles. The black sloth bear is more difficult to spot as it’s more of a solitary animal of nocturnal habits and sightings tend to be a seasonal occurrence.

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Mammals in Yala National Park Birds in Yala National Park
Elephant Sri Lanka grey hornbill Godwits White-bellied Sea Eagle Black-headed Ibis
Sloth bear Sri Lanka Junglefowl Black Necked Storkl Rock Pigeon Great Stone Curlew
Leopard Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon Great Stone Curlew Black Stork Painted Stork
wild water buffalo Crimson-fronted Barbet white-winged Tern Purple Swamphen Eurasian Spoonbill
Feral Brown-capped Babbler Night Herons Crested Serpent Eagle Purple Swamphen
Golden Palm Civet Garganey Little Cormorant Black-capped Bulbul Night Herons
Domestic Stock Grey Heron Lesser Whistling Duck Egrets Asian Openbill
Toque Macaque Greater Flamingo Purple Heron Asian Paradise-flycatcher Hornbills

The Best Guide to Visiting Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Where is Yala National Park?

Yala lies about 260km south east of Colombo (6 hours by car) and 190km east along the coast from Galle (4 hours 30 by car).It is the second largest national park in Sri Lanka. Yala National park boasts of largest density of leopards in Sri Lanka and is the most preferred national park by the foreign and local visitors both. There are 44 specials of mammal, including an estimated 25 leopards, 350 elephants and many species of bird. The habitats found in the park are wide-ranging, from freshwater lakes to beaches, rocky outcrops to green plains and jungle. Yala National Park covers around 979 square kilometers and located about 300 Kilometers from Colombo.

Yala Safari Game Drives

When is the best time to visit Yala National Park?

The best time to visit Yala national park will be during the dry season which comes in between February and June. Because of the dry season the park is less in foliage and you can easily spot wildlife. The best time to spot wildlife in your visit to yala national park is from 6.00 am to 10.00 am and 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm. If you are willing to get the best out of your Yala safari game drive it’s recommended that you visit Yala national park in off peak days because the park is mostly crowded in weekends and public holidays. The overcrowded situation makes wild animals to hide in their burrows and lairs. During January to February the monsoon rains are getting cleared and park is filled with chill climate.

Yala Safari Game Drives
Yala Safari Game Drives

Where to stay in Yala National Park?

If you are going to experience a safari in Yala national park it is recommended that you stay somewhere near Yala. When you are visiting Yala National Park there are plenty of accommodations dotted around edge of Yala and Tissamaharama to suit your every budget. Inside the park there are options like Jungle Chalet and Glamping prices vary of these according to the luxury you need.

Yala Safari Game Drives
What are the main entry points of Yala National Park?

There are four entry points to Yala National Park and main ones are Palatupana and Katagamuwa. The other two are Galge entrance and Yala west gate. The Palatupana and Katagamuwa are the entrances that leads to Yala Block 01 and Yala Block 02 that are the most visited parts of the Yala National park. The Galge and Yala west gate leads to blocks where less crowded and the Leopard sightings are much higher in this area.

Yala Safari Game Drives
Yala Safari Game Drives
What is the Yala National Park opening time?

The opening time of Yala National Park is from 6.00 am in the morning to 6.00 pm in the evening. You can enjoy your safari rides between this times.

Book a morning safari game drive in Yala National Park ..

Book a afternoon safari game drive in Yala National Park ..

Book a full day safari game drive in Yala National Park ..

Yala Safari Game Drives
What kind of animals to see in Yala National Park?

Yala national park is an amazing place to observe wildlife, birdlife and flora and fauna. Yala national park is the best place to witness four out of big five in Sri Lanka. Those are the Leopard, the elephant, the sloth bear and the wild buffalo. There are herds of elephants, deer, monkeys, buffaloes, large variants of birds within the park. There are crocodile species such as mugger crocodile and saltwater crocodile. There are small scale reservoirs like Butuwe and Mahaseelawa while Uraniya is best known for its aquatic Aquafina.

Yala Safari Game Drives
Yala Safari Game Drives
Can you see Leopards in Yala National Park?

Yala national park is famous for its high density of Leopards and it’s believed to be the highest in the world. Leopards in Yala national park are in the highest level of the food chain and is the “apex predator”. It is a common view to see leopards strolling under the thicket of Yala national park. . They are less nocturnal because they are in the top of the food chain and can be seen on top of trees and near waterholes during the day.

Yala Safari Game Drives
Yala Safari Game Drives
Is Yala National Park a good bird watching site?

Yala national park is a good place to witness birdlife for a keen birdwatcher. Yala national park is filled with birds in their natural habitat. There are around 215 bird species inside Yala national park and six of them are endemic to Sri Lanka. This birds consist birds such as Sri Lanka jungle fowl, Sri Lanka Gray Hornbill, Sri Lanka wood pigeon, Crimson fronted barbet, Black capped bul bul and Brown capped babbler. There are lots of migrant birds which comes to Sri Lanka in winter.

Below mentioned is the Full list of Birds that can be seen in Yala National Park

Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill | Sri Lanka Junglefowl | Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon | Crimson fronted Barbet | Brown Capped Babbler | Garganey | Grey Heron | Tringa | Charadrius | Spot billed Pelican | Lesser Flamingo | Pelicans | Eurasian Curlew | Whimbrel | Yellow wattled Lapwing | Red wattled Lapwing | Barred Buttonquail | Indian Peafowl | Black winged Stilt | Orange breasted Green Pigeon | Old world Oriole | Megalaimidae | Old World Flycatcher | Northern Pintail | Ruddy Turnstone | Great White Pelican | Eurasian Spoonbill | Painted Stork | Black headed Ibis | Asian Paradise Flycatcher | Godwit | Hornbill | Asian Openbill | Purple Heron | Black crested Bulbul | Lesser Whistling Duck | Little Cormorant | Indian Cormorant | Lesser Adjutant | Nycticorax | Egret | Purple Swamphen | Oriental Darter | Black necked Stork | Great Stone Curlew | Rock Pigeon | Black Stork | Greater Flamingo | Crested Serpent Eagle | White bellied Sea Eagle | White winged Tern

Yala Safari Game Drives
Yala Safari Game Drives
How to book a safari in Yala National Park?

The Safari Jeep service in Yala is provided by private service providers and it is recommended that you book your safari jeep previously to avoid any disappointment. This helps you to be picked up directly from your hotel.

If you are looking to book a safari in Yala National Park it is always better to pre book your Yala Safari jeep and the Safari Jeep service is provided by private service provided. April, August & December are the months where the local crowd mostly gather in the Yala National Park so it is recommended that you pre book your safari jeep in Yala National Park. This helps you to be picked up directly from your Hotel and the drop off also will be at your hotel.

When you book a safari in Yala National Park you have an opportunity of selecting your safari ride time which is as Morning Safari ride, Afternoon Safari Ride and Full day safari ride. The morning safari spans from 6.00 am to 10.00 am . The afternoon safari spans from 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm and the full day safari spans from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm.

Our service providers provides you with tailormade Yala Safaris in Yala National Park and offers half a day safari and full day safari. These safaris are designed to make your experience the real spirit of Yala National Park. These service providers have Knowledgeable and disciplined drivers that will arrange everything from the moment they pick you up with no additional charge. They will purchase tickets behalf of you and you will get a tracker from Wildlife Department and your meals also. You will have a hassle free safari in Yala National Park. This is one among the many reasons to pre book your safari with us.

Yala Safari Game Drives