Sri Lanka is a wonderful place for people who love animals and nature. It has many different kinds of animals like leopards, elephants, monkeys, crocodiles, and more. There are also some really good national parks where these animals can live happily.
Out of all the national parks in Sri Lanka, Yala is the most famous. This is because it has a lot of leopards, and it’s also very close to the beach resorts in the southern part of the country. Yala National Park is really big, about 979 square kilometers. It’s full of animals, so it’s almost certain that you’ll see something exciting if you go on a safari there.
In this article, we’ll talk about the different animals you can see in the park and help you plan a great safari adventure in Yala.
Which Animals did you meet at Yala?
Yala National Park has a lot of different animals: 45 kinds of mammals, 220 types of birds, and 55 kinds of reptiles. it’s almost impossible that to not see any animals during your safari.
Although you might not see every single animal that lives in Yala, you’ll probably see water buffalos, wild boars, spotted deer, monkeys, and peacocks up close. Look out for big mugger crocodiles in the water and different kinds of turtles, lizards, snakes, and frogs.
You might even get lucky and see rare animals like leopards, elephants, black sloth bears, fishing cats, and red slender lorises.
When is the best time to visit Yala national park?
You can visit the park any time of the year, except for about six weeks in September and the first part of October when it’s closed. The best time to go is from February to July because the park’s water levels are low during the dry season.
From November to February, there’s rain because of the NE Monsoon, and the sky gets colorful as birds from central Asia and the Himalayas come here.
How Can You Plan a Yala Safari?
The closest town to Yala National Park is Tissamaharama, often called Tissa. There are many safari companies there, and most places where you can stay can help you set up your Yala safari. For a nice place to stay in Tissa that goes well with your safari, you might like Flameback Eco Lodge or Richards Cabanas.
Another option is Cinnamon Wild, a unique place right by the edge of Yala itself. You’ll stay in a special chalet surrounded by 10 acres of green jungle. It’s a great starting point for your safari!
Whether you book your safari with where you’re staying or directly with a company, they’ll usually pick you up and drop you off. Most jeeps can fit 6 people.
You can pick a morning, afternoon, or full-day safari. Morning and afternoon ones last 3 to 4 hours, while a full-day safari goes on for 10 to 12 hours
Yala Safari Operator
What is the Yala safari price?
Tourists need to pay about LKR 4,000 (around $13) for adults and LKR 2,000 (around $7) for kids to go into the park. If you’re taking a Jeep, there’s an extra fee of LKR 2,500 (around $8).
It’s a good idea to get a driver/guide for your Yala safari. For a half-day trip, it’s around LKR 8,000 to 12,000 (about $25-38), and for a full day, it’s about LKR 15,000 to 20,000 (about $47-$63).
So, overall, it’s about 65 USD per person for a safari in Yala. This covers the ticket to get in, plus the cost of the jeep and guide. It’s a bit more expensive than other parks in Sri Lanka, but you’ll see really cool animals, which makes it worth it
Is Yala national park worth visiting?
If you’re eager to see elephants and leopards in their own habitat, without making a long trip to Africa, then Yala National Park in Sri Lanka is a must-see spot (just like Udawalawe National Park).
It’s incredibly stunning over there. Picture rich green forests alongside untamed oceans, glistening lakes, and flowing rivers – it’s like a treat for your eyes. Plus, there’s a variety of animals to discover, including leopards (this is the best place to catch them in the wild!), elephants, crocodiles, and a whole array of bird species.
It’s like stepping into a real-life version of The Jungle Book. One cool thing about Yala National Park is that it’s right by the coast, making it different from other places. Imagine dozing off under the stars and waking up to the sounds of nature as the sun rises over the park.
Sounds incredible, doesn’t it? Well, at Yala National Park, that’s exactly what you can experience! The accommodations are really nice, blending nature with modern comforts and a touch of luxury.
You can go for comfy tents or snug bungalows and enjoy an awesome stay in the park. And reaching the park is quite convenient – various transportation options can get you there from different parts of Sri Lanka.
My Adventure Exploring Yala National Park on Safari
My Trip to Sri Lanka was all about cycling. Mornings were spent biking around Tissa’s countryside, a fantastic experience with exotic birds, water buffalo, flying foxes, and monkeys.
After lunch at the hotel, we headed to Yala National Park for an afternoon safari, starting around 3 pm.
Despite Yala’s popularity for safaris, the number of jeeps was surprisingly manageable. Other vehicles didn’t bother me much. It might be busier during your visit, though.
Coming from a recent Minneriya safari, I was thrilled by Yala’s unique landscape and vibe. A fresh experience began with wild boars, then elephants, water buffalo, monkeys, and peacocks.
Sadly, I missed spotting a leopard in Yala. I’d set realistic expectations to avoid disappointment, and I recommend you do the same. Even without leopards, the wildlife variety was stunning. We had exciting encounters with crocodiles, monkeys, wild boars, monitor lizards, and more. And don’t forget, there were plenty of elephants, including adorable babies.
Yala National Park in Sri Lanka offers an unforgettable adventure for nature and animal enthusiasts alike. With diverse wildlife, captivating landscapes, and the opportunity to witness creatures like leopards and elephants in their natural habitat, Yala stands as a must-visit destination.
The chance to experience an authentic safari, surrounded by lush forests and coastal beauty, along with the comfortable accommodation options, makes it a worthwhile and enriching journey.
Despite missing a leopard sighting, the abundance of other remarkable encounters, from wild boars to playful monkeys and majestic elephants, ensures a remarkable and fulfilling experience at Yala National Park.