Yala (Ruhuna) National Park
It is possible to hire jeeps at the entrance to the park. The best time to see these animals (including leopards) are early morning and at dusk. The park of is mostly known for its dense population of leopards. They are quite used to human presence and generally will not run away when a vehicle is encountered. Elephants are the most common sight in the park
Yala West is closed in September and usually part of August and October too. But when it's open the best way to get there is to catch a bus to the coastal town of Tissamaharama, and then hire a jeep and a driver. If you have your own four wheel drive you can just drive up to the front gate and pay the entrance, insurance and tracker fees.
The park is also covers a number of archeological sites including the famous “Magul Maha Viharaya” dating back to 1st Centaury BC.
Yala has 8 park bungalows with the sanctuary, which will roughly accommodate 12-14 people. All these bungalows are situated in block I. You need to book these bungalows from Colombo and getting a free day is quite difficult.
Many hotels around the sanctuary (but outside of it) will be happy to provide accommodation
The park can be reached through Matata - Tissamaharama Road. It is 305 kilometers away from Colombo.
April 12, 2007