Yala National Park
Yala National Park is 309 km south of Colombo on the southeast of the island. It is well known for its biggest, extensive the area of 1,259 sq km, and for its best wildlife preservation in Sri Lanka. Yala is one of the best parks in the world to observe and photograph leopards in the wild. With it considerable size, the terrain of the national park is varied from flat plains to rocky outcrops.
The vegetation ranges from open parkland to dense jungle. There are also abundance of water supply for animals and birds ranging from waterhole's, streams, small lakes to lagoons. The national park is divided into Yala West (also called Ruhuna) and Yala East.
Yala West or Ruhuna National Park is now well recognized for the best park in the world to observe and photograph leopards. There are about 35 leopards in the park which probably is the highest density than anywhere in the world. It is possible to take one day jeep-safari trip through the park although it takes you three days to see the entire park.
The park is usually closed relatively late (almost 7.00 pm) therefore the chance to come across one of the leopards is quite high.
It is possible to take full day jeep safaris or to split your day into morning and afternoon drives. The male leopards in Yala are very confident and are often seen walking the tracks during the day.
Young males in particular seem to have no fear of the jeep, which can lead to some excellent photographic opportunities.