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Southern Province, Sri Lanka

National parks

Our most recommended Southern Province, Sri Lanka National Parks

Yala National Park: Private Safari at Golden Hours

1. Yala National Park: Private Safari at Golden Hours

After being picked up from your hotel in the local area or Park Entrance you will enter Yala National Park to explore the light forests, scrubs, grasslands, lagoons, and magnificent range of animals. With your private 4WD Jeep and expert guide, the ‘Golden Hours’ of the day will be used to focus on leopard spotting, either the first 2 hours or the last 2 hours of the day. Throughout this safari, you will search for the world’s most concentrated number of leopards, sloth bears, and elephants, as your knowledgable guide and driver expertly navigates the vast area and roads. The morning tour will begin at 5am from your hotel, to take in sunrise as the park opens at 6am. Whilst the afternoon option allows you to explore from 2pm until sunset when the park closes at 6pm. Situated on Sri Lanka’s south-east, hugging the panoramic Indian Ocean, Yala is a wildlife sanctuary and home to 44 varieties of mammals and 215 bird species. Leopards, elephants, water buffalo, sloth bears, sambars, jackals, spotted deer, peacocks, and crocodiles can all be found in this rich environment.

Yala National Park All-Inclusive 2-Day Safari

2. Yala National Park All-Inclusive 2-Day Safari

Spend the night in a treehouse at the 2nd largest national park in Sri Lanka and look for wildlife on an evening and early morning nature trek. Benefit from the expertise of a game ranger as your personal guide. Day 1: Following pick-up at your hotel, journey towards Yala National Park in southeast Sri Lanka. Upon arrival at Tissamarama, head to the luxurious Leopard Nest campsite and check in to one of the treehouses. Enjoy lunch at the campsite's main restaurant or at one of the many outdoor locations before some time to relax. Get back to nature with an evening game drive and look for wildlife, such as leopards in their natural environment. Return to the campsite to freshen up before drinks and appetizers around the campfire. Dinner will be served at one of many locations throughout the camp. Day 2: Enjoy breakfast at a private location by a lake whilst listening to the singing of birds and feeling the fresh breeze. Start to trek through thick bushes with a pathway access to a wonderful lake which offers breath-taking views and bird watching opportunities.

From Ella: Shuttle to Mirissa/Galle with Udawalawe Safari

3. From Ella: Shuttle to Mirissa/Galle with Udawalawe Safari

After pick-up from your hotel in Ella, Haputale or Bandarawela, head for Udawalawe National Park, where you'll switch to an open concept safari jeep in order to have the best views. An early morning start ensures you'll see the animals during one of their most active times of day. See herds of elephants for sure and have fun watching for crocodiles, monkeys, water buffaloes, various endemic birds species and much more. Along the way, you'll learn about and observe the natural habitats of the local wildlife while you snap some amazing photos. Then, at the end of your 3-hour safari adventure, switch back to the comfortable, air-conditioned car for the ride on to Mirissa/Weligama/Unawatuna or Galle where you'll be dropped off at your hotel.

From Ella: Full-Day Yala National Park Safari Tour

4. From Ella: Full-Day Yala National Park Safari Tour

Visit Ruhunu National Park and explore its 126,786 hectares including the Strict Natural Reserve (Block II). The most familiar is Block I, established in 1938. Yala is famous for its big herds and large number of elephants, leopards, spotted deer, sambhur, crocodiles, mongoose, wild boar, wild buffalo, and many other animals. More than 130 bird species are recorded, including the resident and winter visitors. Head to the National Park to take an afternoon safari around 1:00 PM, as the time of day when you can see leopards and sloth bears emerge out of the shady jungle and roam around. Head to great spots for birdwatchers. The water holes and tanks are a birdwatcher's paradise, offering the chance to see the famous peacock dance. For wildlife lovers, Yala is a must see site in Sri Lanka. Once you've finished your tour, return back to your hotel in Ella.

Sri Lanka: Yala National Park Private Safari

5. Sri Lanka: Yala National Park Private Safari

Enjoy the unspoiled natural beauty and amazing wildlife of Sri Lanka on a private safari through Yala National Park. Discover leopards, elephants, water buffalo, and more among tall trees, scenic lagoons and golden sand dunes. With the highest concentration of leopards of any national park in Sri Lanka, Yala National Park is a great place for wildlife enthusiasts to get their fill. Catch a glimpse, and maybe some great photos, of these elusive predators. Watch elephants playfully bathing in the mud, and encounter other fascinating animals, including sloth bears, wild boars, spotted deer, and golden jackals. Check out the vast array of interesting birds. Keep your camera ready as you roam through these animals' natural habitat on this wonderful private safari through Yala National Park.

Mirissa, Weligama, or Galle: Transfer to Ella & Yala Safari

6. Mirissa, Weligama, or Galle: Transfer to Ella & Yala Safari

Combine a transfer from Mirissa, Weligama, or Galle to the town of Ella with the adventure of a Sri Lankan animal safari day trip. Experience the immense biodiversity in Yala National Park and stop for a delectable packed meal. Be picked up from your accommodation in Mirissa, Weligama, or Galle. Relax and take in the local scenery on the drive to Yala National Park. Board an an open-topped safari jeep to get the best views and photo angles. See the animals during the day when they are the most active. Watch for leopards, sloth bears, elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, water buffalos, and a large variety of bird species. Get some great shots of these magnificent creatures. Hear about about the wildlife and get photography tips from your local guide. Let your guide show you the spots where the animals are likely to congregate. Have a nice packed meal before heading back to your air-conditioned car for the ride to your accommodation in Ella.

Hikkaduwa: Yala National Park Jeep Safari Private Day Tour

7. Hikkaduwa: Yala National Park Jeep Safari Private Day Tour

Discover Yala National Park, the second-largest wildlife park in Sri Lanka on a Private Jeep Safari Tour from Hikkaduwa. Experience unspoiled natural beauty and amazing wildlife. Begin with a pickup from your hotel in Hikkaduwa. From there, relax on your drive to Yala National Park. Upon arrival, embark on a safari drive by Jeep, keeping an eye out for local leopards and elephants in their natural habitat. Encounter other indigenous animals such as sloth bears, jackals, mongoose, spotted deers, buffalo, wild boars, sambhur, and hare. Have your camera at the ready as you roam through these animals' natural habitat. You'll also get to see a variety of butterflies and species of birds. After the safari, journey back to your accommodation in Hikkaduwa.

Galle/Unawatuna/Weligama/Mirissa: Yala National Park Safari

8. Galle/Unawatuna/Weligama/Mirissa: Yala National Park Safari

Your experience begins with a pickup from your hotel in either the Galle, Unawatuna, Weligama or Mirissa areas. From there, relax on your drive to Yala National Park. Upon arrival you'll go for a safari drive by Jeep, keeping an eye out for local leopards and elephants in their natural habitat. Other indigenous wildlife which are able to be spotted in this park includes sloth bears, jackals, mongoose, spotted deers, buffalo, wild boars, sambhur, and hare. Now the most-visited park in Sri Lanka, Yala is also an important nature reserve for 50 species of butterflies and many species of birds. After the safari, journey back to your point of origin to be dropped off back to your accommodation.

From Galle or Mirissa: Yala Safari with Lunch at Campsite

9. From Galle or Mirissa: Yala Safari with Lunch at Campsite

Get a great start to your day, with this tour collecting you from your hotel at 5:00 AM. Where you will then drive to the Yala National Park. Once at the park, hop into a Safari Jeep, for your exciting game drive.  Yala Park is situated in Sri Lanka's dry zone, made up of scrub jungles, water reservoirs, brackish lagoons, and riverine habitats. This diversity of landscapes makes it an ideal place for so many animals to live. This park has the highest population of leopards in one place in the world. No doubt you will see some elephants, with a herd of 300-350 wondering about the lands.  Enjoy at 12:00 PM, a 4 course lunch at Leopard Nest Campsite. Relax and compliment lunch with a beer. The tour will conclude after lunch, and begin heading back to your hotel, where you will arrive back at approximately 6:30 PM. 

Full-Day Leopard Safari at Yala With Picnic Lunch

10. Full-Day Leopard Safari at Yala With Picnic Lunch

You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to Yala National Park by a modified game viewing safari Jeep, then start your game drive at the National Park. Yala Park is situated in the Dry Zone in Sri Lanka, comprising of a range of habitats including scrub jungles, water reservoirs, brackish lagoons, and riverine habitats. Yala has one of the highest leopard densities in the world. Its elephant heard is of about 300-350. Your guide will deliver the picnic lunch to the location where you will enjoy your lunch. Unwind for a while after lunch and get ready to enjoy your second round of the game drive. Hop in to the Jeep and start the afternoon game drive by searching for leopards. If you are really lucky, you may be able to witness a few of them during this game drive. In addition to leopards, elephants, as well as mammals such as Sloth Bears, Black-naped Hare, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Hanuman Langur, Toque Monkeys, Stripe-necked and Ruddy Mongooses, Wild Boar, and Golden Jackal can be found in Yala National Park. You can also see reptiles like the Water Monitor and Marsh Crocodile.

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Frequently asked questions about Southern Province, Sri Lanka National Parks

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What people are saying about Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 10 reviews

Great tour, guides and service. Everything was on time and smooth. The national park was beautiful. The only complaint we have is that it's more expensive than if we'd have just arranged with local tour operators.

We had a very nice guide who went to a lot of trouble so that we could see all the animals once. But he always switched off the engine so that the animals would not be disturbed. I highly recommend the tour

Very quiet pleasant and punctual transfer. The safari was great, we were said to be really lucky and saw all the wild animals and, above all, a lot of different elephants.

Fantastic tour! Our driver tried very hard, we saw leopards, sloth bears and elephants despite the rainy season! 100% recommendation for this tour! :-)

Everything was great Picked up from the hotel Brought to the yala Ride along the yala Saw a leopard Arrived at the hotel in Galle