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Insider Tips for Safari Adventures in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Here are some travel tips for Yala National Park Sri Lanka Safari guide so you can properly prepare.

Updated September 2020: We update this article regularly so you have the information fresh and up to date so you can better plan your trip.

In our tour across Sri-Lanka we tried to include more than one Sri Lanka safari.

Each safari is unique and each encounter with a wild animal in its natural environment is an unforgettable moment.

The most famous Sri Lanka safari place is in Yala Park. You should go there if you want to see leopards with your own eyes.

Sri Lanka Yala National Park

There are two parks where you can do a safari when you visit Sri Lanka :

  • Yala national safari park
  • Udawalawe national safari park
Travel tips for Yala National Park Sri Lanka Safari

Travel tips for Yala National Safari Park in Sri Lanka

The place is pretty crowded, full of noisy jeeps and loud drivers. When a leopard is spotted the jeep drivers’ race for the best place to spot the leopard begins. If you ignore all these… logistic details, the safari in Yala National park is a great opportunity to see animals in their natural habitat.

We were lucky enough and spotted 3 wild leopards in the same safari ride inside Yala Sri Lanka! It was something we could not even think of! The fact that we did a sunrise safari might have helped a lot.

Travel tips: Plan to do a safari at sunrise if you wish to have a higher chance to spot a leopard and many other wildlife. You have higher chance to spot wildlife early in the morning.

As we are wildlife lovers we could not leave Srilanka without having another encounter with a Sri Lankan elephant.

Pinnawala elephant orphanage

The most famous elephant orphanage is Pinnawala orphanage.

To be honest, when we planned our trip to Sri Lanka National Park we first thought about an encounter with a Sri Lankan elephant, not with a leopard. We could choose between seeing an elephant in a National park or in an elephant orphanage.

We could choose between seeing a sri lankan elephant in a Sri Lanka national park or in an elephant orphanage.

When you read and see how things actually happened in Pinnawala elephant orphanage you will soon understand that is more a money factory not an orphanage: elephants are in chains all the time, there are people with electric sticks around the elephants and each day at the same  hour the villagers took the elephants to the river for touristic purposes.

travel tips for Yala National Park Sri Lanka Pinnawala elephant orphanage

travel tips for Yala Park SriLanka

As we do not want to encourage such practices we decided that it would be better to visit another National Park Sri Lanka like Yala National Park Sri Lanka and not the Pinnawala elephant orphanage.

For our next Sri Lanka safari, we choose Minneriya National Park. It is not that crowded and you have that feeling of freedom!

As soon as we enter the park we spotted the first elephant! We were sooooo thrilled!

We do not want to move on from that view! But sooner, a herd of elephants appeared, after that, another one and so on!

We even had the opportunity to see baby elephants! They are so cute, curious and clumsy!

We would like to have the opportunity to meet them again! We forgot about how tired and hungry we were when we saw those wonderful creatures!

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Pro tip for safari in Yala Park Sri Lanka

Oh, we want to give you a piece of advice when setting your expectations about a safari in Yala National Park Sri Lanka or any other Sri Lanka safari!

Travel tips : Do not compare a Safari in Yala Park Srilanka or in any other national park sri lanka with an african safari! Set your correct expectations and you won’t be disappointed!

Also, make sure you have your camera with your telephoto lens mounted and ready to shot the beautiful wildlife you will encounter in the Sri Lanka safari.

Regarding the accommodation, there are plenty of resorts close to Yala National Park. We chose to stay at Laya Safari because it is close to the park, right on the beach and it has good reviews and the rooms are clean and big. It was one of the best accommodations from Sri Lanka.

Travel tips for Yala SRI LANKA Park

PRO TIP: Also consider having a phone with a good camera to shot animals that are close to the safari jeep, because sometimes the animals get very close and you really don’t want to miss that opportunity.