Yala is the most popular national park in Sri Lanka, and rightfully so. It has one of the largest concentration of leopards in the world, so it’s your best chance for seeing the elusive animals. You still may need luck to catch a glimpse of them, though, they’re quite shy. The leopards share a home with elephants, crocodiles, and sloth bears among other mammals, birds, and reptiles.
Local tip: Closed during September and October for maintenance. You can still visit Lunugamvehera National Park – otherwise known as Block 5 of Yala National Park – and Kumana National Park, which is also known as ‘Yala East’.
A safari to Yala National Park is a quick day trip from Tangalle, Hambantota, and Tissamaharama. You can speak to your hotel to arrange for a safari tour to pick you up from your hotel.