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Yala National Park Safari

Eastern Province, Sri Lanka
ui, duration, time, clock, watch Less than 1 day to 3 days
Effortless to Beginner
best Best time to go: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, October, November, December
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Browse Other Options

Choose from hand-picked local businesses. Price may depend on group size.
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JOIN-IN TRIP

Half Day Safari **Experienced Naturalist Guide

Less than 1 day
YWS

Yala Wild Safaris

4.9 (30)
From 40 USD / person
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JOIN-IN TRIP

Half Day Safari **Family Run Safari Operator

1 day Max: 12 guests
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Daya Safari

4.9 (30)
20 years experience
From 43 USD / person
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JOIN-IN TRIP

1 Day Safari

1 day Max: 12 guests
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Shehan Safari

4.8 (60)
11 years experience
From 60 USD / person
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JOIN-IN TRIP

1 Day Safari **Experienced Naturalist Guide

1 day
YWS

Yala Wild Safaris

4.9 (30)
From 60 USD / person
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PRIVATE TRIP

Half-day Private Safari

Less than 1 day Max: 6 guests
ES

Eagle Safaris

4.2 (5)
41 years experience
From 74 USD / group
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PRIVATE TRIP

1 day Safari **Experienced Independent Local Guide

1 day Max: 6 guests
D

Dilan

No reviews
7 years experience
From 79.80 USD / group
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PRIVATE TRIP

1 Day Safari - Great for Groups & Families

1 day Max: 6 guests
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Noel Rodrigo's Leopard Safaris

4.6 (30)
13 years experience
From 100 USD / person
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PRIVATE TRIP

1 Day Safari

1 day Max: 6 guests
ES

Eagle Safaris

4.2 (5)
41 years experience
From 128 USD / group
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PRIVATE TRIP

1 Day Safari

Less than 1 day Max: 6 guests
BNP

Bundala National Park Safari With Srimal

4.4 (30)
11 years experience
From 142.50 USD / group
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PRIVATE TRIP

1 Day Private Safari

1 day Max: 12 guests
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Ajith Safari Jeep Tours

4.8 (30)
32 years experience
From 150 USD / group
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PRIVATE TRIP

3D2N Safari - Glamping

3 days 2 nights Max: 12 guests
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Camp Leopard

4.9 (30)
3 years experience
From 287 USD / person
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PRIVATE TRIP

2D1N Safari & Stay

2 days 1 night
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Ajith Safari Jeep Tours

4.8 (30)
32 years experience
From 340 USD / person
Showing 12 out of 17 options

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What you should know

The best way to get to Yala is by private transport as it is the fastest and most direct way. You can head to either Kataragama or Tissamaharama which are the two largest towns near the park that offer accommodation and safari jeep hires. The journey from Colombo by car is about 5 hours. Tissamaharama is slightly closer (by about 15-20 minutes) than Kataragama, but further away from the park, so it will mean an earlier wake up time (by about half hour - 45 minutes) for your morning safari.

If you prefer to take public transport, you can also catch a bus from Colombo to Kataragama, which will take about 8 and a half hours.

Only park-registered jeeps are allowed to do game drives within Yala National Park, so no private self-drives are allowed. All the options here will provide you with a park-registered jeep, and a great safari tracker who will spot all the wildlife hiding among the shrubs, and tell you fascinating stories!

No walking necessary, just sit back and enjoy wildlife spotting!

The best months to visit are January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, October, November, December

We recommend the above period because you would have:

  • Better chance to spot animals
  • Good weather
  • Yala National Park is closed in September for maintenance

Depending on with option you pick, you'll need 4-5 hours (for a single game drive), or overnight :)

It depends on whether you would like game drives & accommodation (in which case, choose between Coconut Garden, Leopard Trails and Kulu Safaris), or just a game drive (in which case, choose between Eagle Safaris and Dilan).

Wildlife is very unpredictable, so if you want more time to spot all the big game at Yala, do opt for the 2 game drives option!

The towns of Kataragama and Tissamaharama don't offer a lot by the way of sightseeing and are mostly just a quick stopping point or overnight for people heading to Yala.

If you prefer not to eat at your hotel, here are a few suggestions for food:

Kataragama:


  • The Chill Restaurant - head here for homemade Sri Lankan dishes. It's not fancy here, but the food is yummy

  • Coconut Garden - this serves yummy fresh food, in addition to providing well-priced, good quality accommodation

Tissamaharama:


  • The Flavours - this has very friendly staff that serve up great local dishes like fish curry. Lunch buffet is also a geat deal! Come here to try a bit of the regional dessert (curd with honey)

  • New Cabana Restaurant - this is known for fresh seafood curries, as well as Chinese food

  • The Muthu Restaurant - the friendly and accommodating staff here serve up a good mix of local and western food

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