things to do in yala

The Ultimate Guide on the Best Things to Do in Yala

(Author)By: Sameera Gamage
Sri Lanka Destination Specialist

Yala is one of Sri Lanka's top wildlife parks, providing ideal retreats for honeymooners and families. So, what are the best things to do in Yala? Let's go right into them without any further ado.

things to do in yala

Things to do in Yala: Take a wildlife safari

Your visit to Yala National Park is not complete without an adventurous safari. If you love the prospect of exciting encounters with wildlife, a safari is a perfect option. Yala National Park is the place to go if you want to see the most amazing species of animals. Yala National Park provides up-close encounters with the natural world and is home to a variety of species. While on safari, you get to be close to some of your favorite wild animals.

You can expect to spot fierce leopards, spotted deer, and gentle giants like elephants, roaming around as you go on your safari. The idea of being so close to wild animals might sound scary. However, you do not have to worry at all. When you book the tour, a guide will accompany you to ensure your safety. The guide will also share stories about your favorite animals and even endemic animals in Sri Lanka. If you're lucky, you could get to see some of them, such as the Sri Lankan Sloth Bear, the Golden Palm Civet, and others. Keep in mind that you can only find some of these animals in Sri Lanka. So do not skip the amazing safari adventure during your visit to Yala.

places to visit in yala

Bird watching in Yala

Bird watching is another activity that can get you close to nature. It is the perfect opportunity to study these birds, their subtle but fascinating movements, and how they communicate. Yala is one of the best places in the world to catch a glimpse of your favorite birds. There are lots of waterbirds inhabiting the wetlands of Yala, and most of them are migrants. You will get to spot some of them, including cormorants (Little Cormorant, Indian Cormorant), waterfowl (Lesser Whistling Duck, Garganey), and large waterbirds (Black-headed Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, Asian Openbill, Painted Stork), and small waders (Charadrius spp.).

If you are lucky, you will spot some of the rarest species, like the Black-necked stork and the Lesser Adjutant. Apart from that, resident Spot-billed Pelicans and the migrant Great White Pelican can also be seen at Yala National Park. Around Yala lagoons, you will find water birds like lesser flamingos and pelicans. Plus, some rare birds like night herons, purple herons, egrets, and purple swans can also be spotted. If you visit during the northeast monsoon, you will get to spot lots of waterfowl migrating to the lagoons of Yala Park. Some of them include the White-winged Tern, Northern Pintail, Eurasian Curlew, Godwits, and Whimbrel, among others.

These migrating species have no problem mingling with residing birds like Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Great Stone-curlew, and Red-wattled Lapwing.

Apart from that, birds such as Rock Pigeon, Barred Buttonquail, Indian Peafowl, Black Stork, Black-winged Stilt, and Greater Flamingo find their home in Yala National Park. The raptors of the Yala national park are the Crested Serpent-eagle and the White-bellied Sea Eagle. You will get to encounter forest birds such as Asian Paradise-flycatcher, Old World flycatchers, Orange-breasted Green Pigeons, Orioles, Hornbills, and Asian Barbets as well. All in all, bird watching during your Yala tour will be a fun learning experience for you and your family.

yala tourist attractions

Visit Yala tourist attractions

Yala gets lots of love from tourists worldwide. Your visit to Yala will make you fall in love with the place too. Apart from wildlife safaris, there is lots more to explore in Yala. These are some of the most incredible places to visit during your tour.

things to do in yala national park

Places to visit in Yala

Sithulpawwa rock temple

Make sure to pay a visit to Sithulpawwa during your Yala tour. If you love exploring and discovering historical places, Sithulpawwa will be a treasure for you. Sithulpawwa is an ancient Buddhist monastery constructed in the second century within the Yala national park. Dubbed the hill of the quiet mind, Sithulpawwa is said to have hundreds of caves around the complex, providing shelter to monks for centuries. Even now, the rock temple is a place of worship for devotees. The calming atmosphere surrounding the temple will surely give you peace of mind.

We recommend visiting Sithulpawwa during the evening or early morning when the weather is cooler.

yala tourist attractions

Book your Yala tour with us

There you go! Now you know what to do during your Yala tour. Yala National Park is the perfect spot to be close to nature and encounter wildlife. Plan your day with an exciting wildlife safari adventure. Take some time to observe the fascinating movements of birds, and later, do not skip a visit to Sithulpawwa rock temple to unwind as you explore a piece of ancient Sri Lanka. Contact us today to plan your Yala tour.

Udawalawe Things to Do