Welcome to Yala
Located at the southern tip of the island, the total protected area covers 98,000 hectares. The park contains elephants, wild boars, peacocks and other birds. Certain areas are strict natural reserves. Yala west with its scrub jungle, rock out crops, tanks and lagoons is open to visitors.
Yala is located in the south eastern region of Sri Lanka and extends over two provinces of Hambantota district of southern province and Monaragala district in Uva province. The entrance to the park is at Palatupana, 12km from Kirinda. The distance from Colombo to the entry point of Palatupana is 305 km.
The gateway to Yala National Park is Tissamaharama. A 20 km drive via Kirinda takes the visitors to the Palatupana. At Palatupana, the well-designed visitor center provides the information to the tourists and assign a tracker to all incoming vehicles. The park provides jeeps with soft–tops which gives the opportunitiy to view wild life. Dawn and dusk bring about the best timing for safari tours in the Yala National Park.Being located in one of the arid regions of Sri Lanka, the Climate of Ruhuna National Park is usually hot and dry. The mean annual temperature is 27 Celsius, although in the dry season the temperature could go as high as 37 Celsius.
Yala National Park that consists of five blocks is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. Though Yala spreads over an area of 1260 square kilometers, only one fifth of the area is open to the visitors. Four-fifths of the park is a strictly designated Natural Reserve. Adjoining the eastern border of the park is Kumana.
YALA is among the oldest and best known of Sri Lanka ‘s National Parks. Yala covers about 1297 sqkm or 129,700 ha. And it is the largest agglomeration of protected areas in the country. The multifarious ecosystems ranging from Moist Monsoon Forest, to Dry Monsoon Forests, Semi Deciduous Forests, Thorn forests, Grasslands, fresh water & marine wetlands, and sandy beaches, possesses a large number of important plant species and smaller animals.
Kumbukkan Oya in the North East and Menik Ganga and tributaries on the West, flow through the Park providing a source of water to the animals even during the driest months of the year.
Yala plays a very significant role in conservation of a large number of flora and fauna in the country. Historical and religious sites such as Kataragama, Sithulpahuwa and Magul Maha Vihara and many archaeologically important places add additional significance to the area.
Yala West (Ruhuna) National Park is well recognized as one of the best parks in the world to observe and photograph leopards. The park covers an area of over 100,000 hectares and is divided into five blocks.