At a glance

Yala is Sri Lanka’s most popular and the most biodiversity-rich national park. It extends to the southeast coast and thus forms the perfect mixture of wetland, jungle, and coastal wildlife. The main feature of Yala National Park is its high-density leopard population, one of the highest in the world. You can easily catch sights of the elephant, water buffalo, sambar deer, peacock, and crocodile on a Yala safari. Yala and its satellite parks extend to some of the most significant historical and archeological sites in southern Sri Lanka. Evidence of past civilizations is found here, including 5th Century irrigation reservoirs and 2nd Century stupas.

Hidden Gems

  • Kebiliththa is a sacred area in Yala Block 4, known to be God Kataragama’s residing place.
  • The Great and Little Basses Reefs in Kirinda beach host some of the best snorkelling.
  • Kumana National Park has large flocks of migratory waterfowl and wading birds.
  • Tissa Wewa in Tissamaharama is an artificial reservoir built in the 3rd Century BC.
  • Kirinda Temple is a hilltop Buddhist shrine dedicated to Queen Viharamahadevi.
  • Tissa Maha Dagoba was built in the 2nd Century BC by King Kavan Tissa.

Where to Shop in Yala

Yala is primarily a wilderness area, and most shopping is limited to in-hotel shops. You can buy handicrafts and traditional items in the surrounding towns.

Where to Eat in Yala

Yala hotels, which also provide luxury accommodation, offer a range of dining experiences. The Restaurant, The Chill, The Orchid, and Chef Lady Restaurant are places to dine out.

The Route

Climate

Best Times to Visit

February to June is Yala’s dry season and has the most reliable wildlife sightings.