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Sri Lanka safari at Yala National Park

5 days from £1210*

Sri Lanka safari Yala national park leopard walking in the open

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Sri Lanka safari

Yala West (Ruhuna) National Park is well recognised as one of the best parks in the world to observe and photograph leopards. Your best chance to see a leopard is generally early in the morning and then again as dusk approaches. The male leopards in Yala are very confident and are often seen walking the tracks during the day. Young males in particular seem to have no fear of the jeep, which can lead to some excellent photographic opportunities. There are similarities between Yala and the best National Parks in India for photographing tigers, in both cases the big cats have become habituated to the jeeps. There is also a substantial Asiatic elephant population along with spotted deer, sambar, wild buffalo, sloth bear, jackal, mongoose and crocodiles. The bird life comprises over 120 species, and ranges from lesser flamingos to Paradise Flycatchers, Crested Hawk Eagles, and Black Bitterns.  The coastline forms a major nesting ground for marine turtles.

Yala will hopefully provide your wildlife highlights, with a good chance of multiple leopard sightings given a reasonable length of stay.  Generally we recommend spending a minimum of three to four days on safari here to maximise your chances; it always remains a matter of luck.  In addition to leopards (hopefully!), you will see a good number of elephant, also spotted deer and sambar, wild boar, buffalo, jackal, crocodiles, the odd sloth bear (more common during May/ June when the trees are fruiting) and a huge variety of resident and migratory birds.  Yala in particular can get very busy at weekends with visitors coming from Colombo (Fri-Sun), so it is worth starting your days earlier and timing your visit to avoid any crowds as much as possible. 

In Sri Lanka virtually all safari jeeps are land-rover type vehicles with hard tops for protection from showers but with open sides for ease of viewing and photography.  For your stay in Yala we can also provide an upgrade cost for the more deluxe safari jeeps; these have better sprung individual seats and a more elevated forward facing viewing position with greater space for you to move around with your cameras (based around Tata or Toyota pickup bodies). 

This Sri Lanka safari is an ideal add-on if you have already booked a bargain beach holiday or city stay close to Sri Lanka's south west coast, but fancy getting out and seeing and experiencing a whole lot more than your sun lounger!


This is a Private Tour

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    Your Sri Lanka safari starts with an early morning private pick-up from your beach resort near Colombo, from where you will be transferred to the ‘Jetwing Yala’, close to the park, private afternoon safari inside Yala

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    Early morning and late afternoon private jeep safaris inside Yala National Park

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    Full day private jeep safari inside Yala National Park (with packed lunch)

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    Early morning and late afternoon private jeep safaris inside Yala National Park

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    Leisurely morning start before your private transfer back to your beach resort


Cost: from £1210 per person based on two sharing or from £975 per person based on four travelling, (excludes international flights and beach stay​)

Accommodation: a private tour throughout, good quality tried and tested lodges, with upgrade/ cost saving options on request. Breakfast and dinner included at the 'Jetwing Yala'.

AC car and driver for round trip transfers from Bentota (can originate from Colombo).  Private standard safari jeep with local park guide.  It is possible to upgrade to a deluxe jeep at Yala, and/ or to be accompanied throughout by a specialist naturalist for an additional cost.

For a full tour description email Wildlife Trails and include the trip title, or for a different combination we are happy to help design your ideal tour.

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* Based on 2 persons and not including flights

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