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

Good to know

Time difference:

GMT +6 hours

Currency:

Sri Lankan rupee

Flying time to destination:

10¾ hours

More facts