Yala National Park is Sri Lanka’s oldest wildlife reserve, which is famous for having one of the highest densities of leopards in the world. The terrain varies from open parkland to dense jungle, and contains everything from streams to small lakes and lagoons.
Along the coast there are sand dunes and beaches; in places huge rocky outcrops known as ‘inselbergs’ rise out of the landscape. The area supports a remarkable range of wildlife including elephant, which are easily spotted between January and May when water is scarce and they frequent the water sources. Otherwise you’re likely to see a few different types of monkey, sloth bear, sambar and spotted deer, wild boar, buffalo and the marsh mugger crocodile.
The park is also blessed with extremely rich birdlife – over 130 species in all – and many visitors come for that alone! There are morning and afternoon safaris, in four wheel drive vehicles (there’s no walking once inside) and follow rough tracks that give the best chance of seeing game and magnificent birds.
Explore the highlights of Sri Lanka on this stylish two-week family holiday, staying in superior accommodation and encountering an intoxicating mix of wildlife and culture.