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Yala National Park

Yala National Park, located in the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka, is a popular destination for tourists and wildlife enthusiasts alike. The park is known for its diverse wildlife, including elephants, leopards, and a range of bird species. It is considered one of the best places in the world to see wild elephants and leopards in their natural habitat.


Yala National Park is located in the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka, approximately 300 km from Colombo. The nearest city is Tissamaharama, which is about 5 km away. The park is easily accessible by car or jeep, and there are several tour operators offering jeep safaris into the park.

Hours of Operation:

Yala National Park is open to visitors from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm every day of the week.

Admission Fees:

The admission fee for Yala National Park is $15 for foreigners and 2000 LKR for Sri Lankan citizens. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free of charge.

Best time to visit:

The best time to visit Yala National Park is from February to July, during the dry season, when wildlife sightings are more common. This is also the peak tourist season, so visitors should expect larger crowds.


There are several accommodation options available near Yala National Park, including hotels, resorts, and camping sites. Visitors can choose from budget-friendly options or more luxurious accommodations, depending on their preferences.

Tips for Visitors:

When visiting Yala National Park, visitors should bring plenty of water, wear comfortable clothing and footwear, and bring a hat and sunscreen. Visitors should also be prepared for long walks and be respectful of the wildlife in the park.

Sustainable Tourism:

Sustainable tourism is a priority in Yala National Park, and the park and local communities are working together to preserve the natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Visitors are encouraged to minimize their impact on the environment and follow park guidelines for viewing wildlife.

Tours and Activities:

There are several tours and activities available in Yala National Park, including jeep safaris, birdwatching tours, and nature walks. Visitors can choose from a variety of tours, depending on their interests and time constraints.


Yala National Park is accessible by car or jeep, and there are several tour operators offering jeep safaris into the park. Visitors with disabilities should be aware that some areas of the park may be difficult to access.

Respect for Wildlife:

Visitors to Yala National Park are reminded to respect the wildlife in the park, including guidelines for viewing wildlife, avoiding disturbance, and minimizing impact on the environment. Visitors should follow park rules and regulations and be mindful of the animals and their habitats.


Yala National Park has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from visitors. Many people have praised the diversity of wildlife and the stunning scenery, as well as the knowledgeable and friendly park rangers. Visitors have also noted that the park can be quite crowded, especially during peak tourist season.

Things to Do and See:

There are many things to do and see while visiting Yala National Park. Here are some of the top recommendations:

1. Jeep Safari: A jeep safari is the best way to see the wildlife of Yala National Park. Visitors can book a jeep tour with a park ranger, who will take them on a journey through the park in search of wildlife.

2. Wildlife Watching: Yala National Park is one of the best places in the world to see wild elephants and leopards in their natural habitat. Visitors can also see a range of other wildlife, including birds, reptiles, and mammals.

3. Nature Walks: Visitors can take a leisurely walk through the park and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. There are several trails to choose from, ranging from easy walks to more challenging hikes.

4. Bird Watching: Yala National Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with a range of bird species to see, including eagles, owls, and parakeets.

5. Photography: Yala National Park is a stunning destination for photographers, with its diverse wildlife and breathtaking scenery. Visitors can bring their cameras and capture the beauty of the park.


Yala National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Sri Lanka. With its diverse wildlife and stunning scenery, it is a perfect place for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Visitors should plan to spend a full day in the park, as there is so much to see and do. Whether you are interested in wildlife watching, nature walks, or photography, Yala National Park has something to offer.



Google Reviews

2,098 reviews
  • S Halangoda
    S Halangoda
    a week ago

    Beautiful park and very diverse wildlife. Expect to see wild boar, birds, elephants, deer and much more. If you’re lucky, perhaps leopards, sloth bears and maybe even a pangolin! The only downside in the awful dirt roads with potholes and the mafia of jeep drivers whizzing around to get you the best view, for a bigger tip. The roads I understand, but the army of jeeps when a leopard is spotted ruins the atmosphere. A must visit if you are in the area, afternoon safari tends to be more successful for spotting animals.

  • Spencer Russell
    Spencer Russell
    a month ago

    Wonderful safaris (morning and afternoon). Many wading birds, lots of crocodiles, mongoose, water buffalo. An afternoon leopard sightseeing. Several elephants seen. Jeeps must leave park by 6pm.

  • Catriona Cutajar
    Catriona Cutajar
    2 months ago

    Quite a good experience, considering this is a park and one needs to realize that it is only luck to view animals! This is not a zoo - so to all those reviewing stating they did not see any animals..this is the point of a park! Animals are not there for your entertainment. We were lucky enough to see quite a few as we had a very good guide!

  • Vlad Pagu
    Vlad Pagu
    a month ago

    I understand the bad reviews here, but some are exagerating. We were lucky to see the leopard and a bear but no elephants. We were one of the first trucks so we could see good, the trucks behind us had less luck. Don’t get tour hopes too high for the rare animals, it’s a fun activity and a nice park to ride around anyway!

  • Chandana Peiris
    Chandana Peiris
    3 months ago

    Visit the park in morning hours to see maximum number of animals. Enter time of the park is 06:00 AM. Sri Lankan Leopard is the main attractive and we have seen several Leopard. Must visit the park and got new experiences.

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