Holidays to Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s most visited and second largest park is also reputed to have the highest concentration of leopards in the country and, in fact, the world – that’s a pretty impressive stat! Designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, Yala National Park borders the Indian Ocean and is a tropical wilderness covering 979 square kilometres. Yala is flat and mildly undulating, and the landscape is saturated with tall trees, thorny shrubs, quiet lagoons and gentle sand dunes that provide the perfect habitat for wild animals to shelter.

Yala National Park is well-known for its variety of mammals, of which there are some 44 different species. You stand a strong chance of seeing mud-bathing elephants, sloth bear, wild boar, water buffalo and spotted deer, and don’t be surprised to spot a crocodile meandering towards the water’s edge too. It’s the leopards, however, that really steal the show here and leopard lovers can watch these incredible animals in their natural habitat, strolling the sand dunes and dozing on tree branches. The leopard is Sri Lanka’s top predator, and they will proudly saunter across the paths of Yala without a care in the world.

As well as the park’s mammals there is plenty to spot for bird watchers too. Yala is one of the 70 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in the country, providing a home to 90 different species of water bird and more than 215 different bird species in total, including six that are native to Sri Lanka. Flamingos, pelicans and storks all visit the park, as do a number of rare species including the Purple heron and Oriental darter.


  • Take a jeep safari around Sri Lanka’s most visited national park

  • Capture a photo at the home of the highest density of leopards in the world

  • Spot rare birds at one of the country’s Important Bird Area (IBAs)

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There is just something so very special about, not only the incredible beauty of Sri Lanka, but the warmth of its people. Every visit leaves me wanting more, and Sri Lanka’s tea plantations, boutique hotels and stunning beaches are never far from my mind.

Yala National Park trip ideas

Here are some trip ideas that include Yala National Park. All of our trip ideas shown below are examples, and we’ll amend, adapt or start from scratch, until we’ve created the perfect trip for you. See one you like, or have a trip in mind? Call us now to book: 01483 319 333

Map of Yala National Park

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