Down in the south of Sri Lanka you have both Yala and Udawalawe National Parks, both of which are home to a vast array of wildlife. Yala is famed for its leopard sighting, whilst Udawalawe is home to the Elephant Transit Home where orphaned elephants are rehabilitated before being released.
Yala National Park is not only the second largest national park in Sri Lanka but also the most visited. Made up of five blocks, of which two are open to the public, as well as a collection of smaller adjoining parks, Yala is a major tourist destination within Sri Lanka. Not only is it home to a plethora of flora and fauna species, it is also blessed with an array of ecosystems, two pilgrim sites and the highest density of leopards in the world. Explore the park on a guided safari and track herds of Sambar deer, watch elephants frolic in the watering holes and if you’re lucky spot an elusive leopard.
Another of Sri Lanka’s larger national park, Udawalawe is known for its Elephant Transfer Home. Established in 1995 it helps rehabilitate orphaned elephants so they can be released back into the wild. At the home you can watch the elephants, but not interact with them as they need to remain as independent and wild as possible, to give them the best chance when released back into the park. The home is also supported by Born Free. The national park itself is home to vast herds of elephant, as well as an amazing amount of other mammals, birds and reptiles.
- Yala has one of the densest populations of leopards in the world, so head out on a game drive and see if you can spot one.
- Visit the elephant orphanage at Udawalawe and learn about how they're rehabilitated before being released back into the wild
- A perfect wildlife accompaniment to a tour or beach break in Sri Lanka
Best time to visit Yala & Udawalawe
• The dry periods in Sri Lanka are split by area with December to March being the best period for the west and south coast and the Hill Country
• The southwest monsoon affects the south and west coasts as well as the hill country between April and September
• Temperatures are relatively consistent year round (26-32°C) all around the island, especially around the coast
• Sri Lanka is busiest from December to March, however travelling during the low and shoulder seasons can be great as prices are lower and the are fewer people.
Recommended Yala & Udawalawe Hotels
Suggested Yala & Udawalawe Tours
14 nights, 13 Nov '19