Plan your itinerary

Make a well thought-out schedule. If you are a local planning your first trip to Yala, plan you route and make sure you have proper transport. While a 4-WD vehicle is recommended a van with high ground clearance would do. If you don’t have one, you can hire a safari jeep at the entrance. If you are an overseas visitor, Yala would be among many other local destinations you plan to visit. So, it is important to slot it in well and remember to check more details on the Yala Sri Lanka website and on social media. Talk to your tour operator about travel time from your previous destination and where you need to be after Yala. It’ll give you a good idea if your agent has prepared you a good itinerary or not. The chances are you’d first visit the ancient kingdoms first and travel next to hill country before arriving in Yala, with plans to move on to the southern coast and then ending back in Colombo. Or you’ll do it the other way round. Look at the distance and travel time that will get you to Yala. Keep In mind that the best time to enter the park is when the park opens just after 6:00am or after 4:00pm when animals resurface after taking cover from the sun. You may also opt for a full day tour. Leave adequate time to arrive at the park at the planned entry time.

A memorable safari

Right, now that you just can’t wait to get to this amazing animal kingdom, you need to do your homework before you actually get there. Proper preparation is the key to making the most of your safari to Yala.

Travel tip

You might want to get into the general area the previous evening, so that you’ll be nice and relax entering the park. If you are travelling by car, you’ll need to hire a safari jeep at the gate. Your park ticket includes a trekker but remember, there is a shortage of trekkers as more and more visitors flock to Yala. You might want to pre-book your safari jeep, ticket and trekker. You can purchase your ticket on-line here and you can pre-book your jeep with trekker here. Trekkers give of their best when they know that you will tip them generously. Rs.500 would be par for the course.


There are interesting places to visit in and around Yala. There are the pilgrim sites inside Yala you may want to visit. Then there’s the famous Kataragama temple, Kirinda beach and several historic sites in nearby Buttala. There’s also an interesting spread of accommodation from eco-lodges to beach resorts and camp sites from very basic to temptingly luxurious. Pick your accommodation wisely. This is the eco-tourism hot-spot of Sri Lanka and if it’s your kind of thing, make it part of your whole experience. The world-famous KumbukRiver eco-lodge is a breezy drive away in Buttala and if you want to check it out, it’s best that you plan an afternoon safari, leaving the lodge after breakfast. Most often, visitors depend on itineraries prepared by agents but we recommend you tell them what you want and plan it accordingly. This website will prepare you for your safari. A sound knowledge of the park and its animals, what to expect and how you should conduct yourself will help you make the most of your safari.

How to get to Yala

Top routes from 7 famous locations
Colombo (Capital City)

Colombo 01 - Fort >> Bandaragama >> Horana >> Ratnapura >> Palmadulla >> Kahawatta >> Madampe >> Udawalawe >> Thanamalwila >> Tissemaharamaya >> Yala Block 1 {243km}

Kandy To Yala through Nuwara Eliya

Kandy >> Pilimathalawa >> Gampola >> Nuwara Eliya >> Walimada >> Bandarawela >> Diyathalawa >> Haputhale >> Wallawaya >> Tissemaharamaya >> Yala Block 1 {245km}

Galle to Yala

Galle > >Matara >> Hambantota >>Tissa >> Yala Block 1 {169km}

Arugam Bay to Yala

Arugam Bay >> Buttala >> Kataragama >> Yala

Need Help to plan your trip? Rely on us.

We can help you plan your trip to Yala through block 1 or block 2. Whether you are travelling from Colombo, or wish to be a part of a special eco-trip, just drop us an e-mail on info@yalasrilanka.lk or call us on +94 770 466 794 and we will tailor-make your trip.