Searching for Leopards in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Searching for Leopards in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

The Yala National Park in #SriLanka is the perfect place for an #active #safari. The main appeal is the opportunity for a wild leopard sighting, because the park is well known for having the highest concentration of leopards in the wild. Not only leopards, but several other kinds of #animals populate the park, and all are worth seeing. The park also boasts a variety of ecosystems including monsoon forests, grasslands, marine wetlands and sandy beaches.


It was still dark out when we set off on our Jeep Safari through Yala National Park, the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. 

Yala National Park, the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka

The elusive appeal, an opportunity to spot a leopard in the wild, was enough to draw us to the town of Tissamaharama, a gateway to Yala National Park, during our trip in Sri Lanka in December 2013.

from  $92

Jeep Safari in Yala National Park

Active
 Udawalawe National Park, Moneragala, Uva Province, Sri Lanka
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Yala National Park is known to have the highest concentration of leopards in the world and one of the best places for wild life enthusiasts to spot these beautiful creatures in the wild, but there is so much more to Yala than that!

Yala National Park is known to have the highest concentration of leopards in the world

It took us about 30 mins to reach the park entrance. Tired and groggy, we bounced around the back of the jeep half asleep. I’m really not the early mornings type, but the incredible beauty of a sun raising up from the horizon quickly jolted me out of sleep. Excited by nature’s incredible show, I grabbed my camera and didn’t let go of it for the rest of morning.

Sunrise at Yala National Park

“Life goes on here like this every day,” I heard David Attenborough narrating in my head. “The animals awaken and head to the nearest water source to quench their thirst.”

The sun peeks out over the morning clouds
A water buffalo gets up early to seek water

Within minutes it was day light and the water buffaloes were joined by dozens of other animals. All happily co-existing together.

It was wildlife at its best. Uninterrupted. Free.

It was wildlife at its best. Uninterrupted. Free
The water buffalo are joined by other animals
Deer gather near the lake in Yala National Park
Water buffalo bathing in the morning sun

Yala National Park boasts a variety of ecosystems including monsoon forests, grasslands, marine wetlands, and sandy beaches. 

Additionally it is home to over 2oo bird species, 44 mammal species, and 46 reptiles. 

There is no shortage of animals to observe and admire.

The vast flora of the park
Swamp near Lunuganwehera Reservoir
A wild boar checks us out
This peacock never opened his stunning tail for us
A monitor lizard sits in the sunshine
One of 215 birds in Yala National Park
Mugger crocodiles cooling off
Family of elephants, just a few of over 300 that live here
How cute are these baby elephants?

We spent hours upon hours roaming around the park in search for a leopard. Luck wasn’t on our side that day, but it didn’t even matter! Of course, it would’ve been amazing to catch a glimpse of this rare animal, but it wasn’t the only reason why we choose to visit Yala National Park. We enjoyed out safari with Ajith Jeep Safari and especially our guide Anushka whose expert wildlife knowledge helped us get the most out of Yala.

Luck wasn’t on our side that day, but it didn’t even matter!

It was my first wildlife safari, but I know it won't be my last.

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