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Sri Lanka’s largest national park home to the enigmatic leopard

Yala National Park is Sri Lanka’s most popular national park due to it’s incredible array of wildlife and diverse habitats.

Located in the southeast of the island, the park stretches over 1260 square kilometres, although most of it is classified as a Strict Natural Reserve and closed to visitors. There are two blocks, Ruhuna and Kumana, which can be explored on guided game drives and these cover an area of 979 square kilometres.

The vast region stretches to the Indian Ocean and is blanketed in sweeping grasslands, dry forest and salt lakes. Rocky outcrops pepper the landscape, offering excellent vantage points for wildlife spotting.

Hundreds of elephants rumble through the forest, with playful monkeys swinging in the treetops. Eagles soar overhead while fan-tailed peacocks preen in the dust.

The rare water buffalo grazes at the edge of lagoons, with one eye watching for one eye gliding crocodiles. There are wild boar, bush rabbits, herds of white-spotted deer and over 200 bird species to be found.

The luckiest visitors may even spot a leopard. They are found at Yala in one of the highest concentrations of the world, with few better places to spot these secretive cats.

Take a game drive in the morning or evening with a skilled guide, and you may just spot a leopard slinking through the undergrowth.

After an unforgettable day spent exploring the parklands, you’ll unwind at an eco-friendly mobile campsite, where you can enjoy a beautiful safari experience without impacting the habitat of the wildlife.

The luxury tents include king sized beds, hot water showers and private chill-out areas, so you can enjoy the natural beauty of the park in comfort. Gaze up at the stars as you enjoy dinner and wine by candlelight. It’s a truly memorable experience.

Yala National Park is very popular, drawing large crowds year round. However, with the sheer size of the park and the knowledge of skilled guides, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to find peaceful corners with only wildlife for company.

With an incredible range of wildlife populations and fantastic luxury camping facilities, Yala National Park is the perfect destination for families, honeymooners and animal lovers.

Call us on +44 117 313 3300 to start planning your holiday, we’re looking forward to hearing from you


Best times to visit Yala National Park

You can visit the park year-round as wildlife sightings happen throughout the year. For those wishing to spot big game, the dry season from May to October is best. The grassy plains die down and animals gather around water holes. This is the best time to see elephants, buffalo, spotted deer, wild boar, kingfishers, eagles and the elusive leopard.

The dry season is hot and dusty, while the wet season from November to April brings short, intense downpours. The vegetation comes to life, with wildflowers blooming across the plains. This is the best time for bird watchers as many migratory species congregate at Yala during these months. It’s also a great time to spot elephants.


Month to month weather chart for Sri Lanka

Featured Holidays

Yala National Park is featured on most of our luxury Sri Lanka tours. All trips to Yala feature a 2 night stay in an eco-friendly campsite, complete with luxury tents and delicious meals. Enjoy guided game drives each morning and evening with local wildlife specialists. You’ll learn about the wildlife and nature conservation, while keeping your eyes peeled for big game. You may be lucky enough to spot a leopard!

Call us on +44 117 313 3300 to start planning your holiday, we’re looking forward to hearing from you



At Yala National Park, we work with Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris, a luxury and eco-friendly mobile campsite, run by a local wildlife specialist, eager to educate visitors about nature conservation. They place great value on sustainable practices so you can enjoy a luxury camping experience without impacting the environment. The customised tents are decked out with king-sized beds, hot water showers and private chill out areas, and you’ll enjoy a delicious candlelit dinner under the stars.

Talk to the team

Find out more and tailor your perfect trip with the help of
our specialist team on +44 117 313 3300