This is my favourite wild life park in Sri Lanka. I have visited the park over 10 times. Whenever, my friends visit Sri Lanka and I recommend them to visit this beautiful park situated in the South East cost of the island.
Yala National Park is the most visited national park in Sri Lanka. It consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public. The park covers 979 square kilometres and is located about 300 kilometres from Colombo. Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and, along with Wilpattu it was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, having been designated in 1938. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals.
The western part of Yala (block one) is named as the area with the highest leopard concentration in the world. With only 35 leopards in the entire park the chances of actually seeing a single leopard are still relatively slim.
Yala National Park is one of the best places for sightings of wild Elephants. The park is home to many animals including Buffaloes, Leopards, Monkeys, Circles, Crocodiles, Wild boars and Bears. Feb-Jun/Jul is the optimum time to visit when water tables are low. Leopard, elephant and many smaller animals are competing for the same drinking source. You are likely also to see sloth bears, deer, wild boar, buffaloes, crocodiles and monkeys. Birds are abundant – up to 130 species.
To get to the National Park you can take a tour and most of them leave around 5:00 am or 14:30 pm, but it depends on if you are going for half/full day or overnight. The entrance to the park is 3,700 rupees. The tours should cost about 4,000 to 6,000 on top of the admission ticket.