Yala National Park is Sri Lanka’s second largest, and most visited park. Located on the southeastern tip of the country, it is bordered by the sea. The area was declared a national park in 1939 and it occupies almost 1,000 square kilometers divided into five blocks each with its own vegetation and characteristics. The park’s vegetation features forests, scrubs, grasslands, lagoons and everything in between. Although its 44 mammal species and 215 birds are all protected today, the park was originally a hunting grounds during colonial times. What made Yala famous recently is research that indicated that it may have the highest concentration of leopards in the world (although this does not necessarily correlate with exponentially more frequent sightings).
Yala is also a public, national park and appeals to both local and foreign visitors and offers a different experience to that of a South African private game reserve. Our talented team of rangers manage such parameters using their guiding prowess to track animals, avoid crowded areas and deliver an entertaining and detailed narrative – from the smallest critters, flowers, and birds, to the larger, more celebrated species – to deliver a world-class wilderness experience. The park is home to 215 bird species, including endemic species and 44 mammalian species, which includes the Sri Lankan leopard. The diversity makes great wildlife viewing where no two game drives are ever the same.
Kataragama is one of the few religious sites in Sri Lanka that is venerated by Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and the Veddas (indigenous group of people of Sri Lanka).
Bundala National Park
Bundala National Park’s wetland and saltern habitat is home to a large collection of resident birds, as well as migrants that visit every winter, from waders to raptors.
Sithulpawwa is an ancient Buddhist monastery, believed to date back to 2nd Century BC.
Uda Walawe Elephant Adventure
En route to Wild Coast Tented Lodge from Ceylon Tea Trails, stop midway at the Uda Walawe National Park which cares for orphaned elephants – many of whom are calves.
Things to Do in Yala
A nature lover’s paradise, Yala offers exceptional wilderness experiences, allowing guests to immerse themselves in some of the richest biodiversity in Sri Lanka. Yala is also a site of cultural and religious significance, you can spot ruins of civilisations past and ancient jungle monasteries, archaeological sites and places of worship.