The Yala National park, one of the most popular animal sanctuaries in Sri Lanka as well as the second largest one after the Wilpattu National Park, is located in the south east regions and spans across the Uva province as well as the Southern province. This gloriously wild national park, to most people who visit looks like ‘’The Jungle Book’’ coming to life, because of its exuberant wilderness. Encompassing a land of 979 square kilometers, this park is divided into 5 blocks, out of which only two are open to public viewing while the rest of the park remains a strict nature reserve.
The main point of access to the park is from Tissamaharama. From here you take a drive for about 20km to arrive at the Palatupana where the visitor center will assign you with a guide as well soft topped jeeps with trackers on them. It is said that dawn and dusk is the best time for the safari rides, because animal viewing becomes all the more livelier at these times.
During your ride you will come across many terrains ranging from dense forests, open savannahs, riverine woodland, fresh water lakes as well as a part of the southern coastline. The diversity in the availability of natural habitats adds to the considerable species that are nurtured in this park. The highlight of the wildlife that you will be able to witness here is definitely the Sri Lankan leopard, with block one having recorded the highest density of these wild beasts. But they have now gotten accustomed to the sight of humans approaching their habitat in jeeps. The vast variety in wildlife that you can view during your ride ranges from colorful troops of storks to crocs lazing away in the lagoons and rambling elephants. All of this and much more is the reason you won’t find a better place to absorb the wilderness of Sri Lanka.