We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Yala in September

Which Yala National Park hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
London
Level Contributor
26 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Yala in September

Hi,

We were planning to visit Yala National Park at some point during the 6 - 20th September and really disappointed to read that it will be closed at this time of year. Does anyone know where I can find this out for definite.

If the park will be closed does anyone have any other suggestions of where to go. We wanted to see elephants, leopards etc in the wild as opposed to Pinnewala. We're only going for 2 weeks so the route we were planning on doing was Kandy, Ella, (Yala) then down to Unawatuna.

Any help appreciated.

St Austell
Level Contributor
3,497 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Yala in September

Hi

Bearing in mind the route you're taking, Udawalawe National Park is the best place for you to head to. It's well known for its huge numbers of wild elephants and there is also the small chance of seeing leopards, but less so than at Yala (tho' I didn't see them here either!!) Udawalawe contains most of the other animals that you would see at Yala also, such as buffalo, crocodiles, mongooses, jackal, plus a huge number of birds.

I think the reason that Yala closes at this time every year is because it is an important breeding time for some of the animals/birds. I am sure that it will be closed during your time in Sri Lanka.

Sue

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
49,737 posts
174 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Yala in September

Just to correct: the closure has nothing to do with a breeding season, but with the climate. Generally the dry season on the East coast ends by early November or end October, and has been more or less dry since March. This means that the lakes and drinking pools in an forest area like Yala slowly get smaller and smaller. Somewhere between end-Aug and mid-Sep on the average they've reached their 'critical low' which continues until the start of the rains. And then animals must make longer walks to find enough to drink and might even have to fight for the best places next to the pool, making them a bit agressive even towards jeeps with tourists. That's the reason...

Tnx,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

St Austell
Level Contributor
3,497 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Yala in September

I've asked a friend in Sri Lanka who used to work at Yala and he said that the reason it is closed is because it is the elephants' mating season!!!

This article seems to back that up :

yalainlanka.blogspot.com/2008/12/yala.html

St Austell
Level Contributor
3,497 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Yala in September

... but that begs the question .. why does Udawalawe not close at the same time???

Ahungalla, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka, Kalutara, Ahungalla
Level Contributor
5,448 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Yala in September

Hi Sue...

Was your friend thinking of "pink elephants" , only kidding of course, but Erik is correct about the real reason for closure, it is because of the dry season around that time and a lack of drinking water for the animals, not just elephants..

Regards

Dave

Colombo
Level Contributor
1,062 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Yala in September

Hi,

I think Erik is correct and my last visit to Yala was last week 28th of July. It was baked actually. Animals are struggling to find water. Also in the mean time they use this closure time to repair the roads as well.

Nishantha

kandy
Level Contributor
123 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Yala in September

yala closes that time around because of the dry season .but there are other options available most of the big guy at yala migrate to udawalawa or lahugala,

both those placas will be open season. and then there's minneriya in the cultural triangle wich is fantastic for close ups of jumbos. there's a nearby wasgamuwa reserve which is wet and full of wild life in september.there's a possibility of a leopard encounter there

sev
Tangalle, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
49 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Yala in September

Hi!

I heard by travel agency that Yala was open last year in September because they need tourists... And it should be the same this year. Better to ask your travel agency, your driver or if you travel by your own, call a guesthouse in Tissa.

Uda Walawa doesn't close because this park is still in the wet area and it get enough rain during the summer.

Have a nice safari,

Severine

9. Re: Yala in September

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 06 February 2010, 06:18
Get answers to your questions about Yala National Park