This is leopard country, and they are the Lords of the Jungle! With a leopard density that's higher than anywhere else on this planet, these menacing predators prowl majestically in Yala, while elephants roam in their numbers with cautious deer scampering by their side

News| From the wild

Animal kingdom open to people again:

All gates of Yala National park were re-opened to public since yesterday. The park was closed, as it does annually, from September 1 to October 23, except for Galge and Yala West Gates which were kept open for tourists.

Meanwhile, at the Gates of Palatupana and Katagamuwa entry will be allowed only for 200 safari jeeps per day in batches, in order to provide an ideal setting both, for visitors, as well as, animals. Entry of vehicles, other than safari jeeps, is allowed at all four gates unhindered.

Visitors expecting to book safari jeeps are advised to check with safari operators as their services may be curtailed at present in the aftermath of the new restrictions. It is the hope of everyone that a situation good for all, including animals, the habitat, visitors and safari operators will prevail in preserving the treasure that the Yala National Park is.

Yala Block 1 & 2 closed, 3 & 5 open:

From today September 1 to as it is now decided, end October, parts of Yala National Park will be closed for visitors. Namely Palatupana & Katagamuwa, the mostly visited entrances leading into Block 1 & 2 will be closed. This is largely due to the drought experienced in these areas with water available for animals greatly reduced.

The Galge and Yala West gates in between Buttala and Kataragama will remain open covering Block 3 & 5.

Customary close:

Parts of the Yala National Park are slated for its annual break from the visitors of the human kind. The Park is expected to close on September 1 till approximately October 15. The opening day will be announced based on ground conditions. As you may know, it will be the height of the drought season. Block 1 & 2 (the more popular entrances) will remain closed while Galge & Yala West Entrances will remain open for visitors.

Well-earned rest for the animal kingdom

The time the park closes to the public happens to be the breeding season for leopards; so it helps not just these majestic animals but allows greater time and space for park officials to focus on the animals.

Area 378 sq miles
Location 260km South East of Colombo
Entry points Gate1: Katagamuwa Gate 2: Palatupana
Aver.Temp 26.4 °C (79.5 °F)
Climate Dry most of the year
Nearest city Kataragama
Distance to nearest city 30km - 40 minutes drive
Best time to visit June to September
Open hours 6am to 6pm
Coordinates 6°22'22N 81°31'01E
Made a Park in 1st March 1938
Distance from Kataragama to: Katagamuwa Entrance: 14Km Palatupana Entrance: 41Km Galge Entrance: 30Km
Nearest Hospital: Debarawewa Government Hospital
Head office: Open from 9am to 6pm

First comprehensive tourist map