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Best Time to Visit Yala?

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Sri Lanka
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Best Time to Visit Yala?

Hey guys,

Me and three of my friends (all Americans) are thinking about making a trip to Yala. When is the best time to go? We've heard many people say that February is the best time to see leapords. Is that true?

Also, is there a way to get from Kandy to Yala by train or bus? Or is it easier to take a train/bus to Yala from Colombo?

How many days would you recommend we stay at Yala? Would 2 days be enough?

Lastly, what is the fee for Yala for foreigners with residence visas?

THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!!!!

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
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50,449 posts
174 reviews
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1. Re: Best Time to Visit Yala?

Hi there,

No real 'best time' except to avoid September to November; to dry and sometimes even closed to avoid agressive animal behaviour.

Kandy-Yala: train to Ella and next day (!) bus, or simply AC express bus to Tissa; a transfer at Eliya might be needed. Colombo to Yala is easier, use the direct express buses to Kataragama and you're closeby already.

For 2 safaris, 2 days is indeed enough; one afternoon drive (3:30 PM start) and one morning drive starting 6 AM.

Expat should pay the local price; can't remember exactly, something like Rs 300-400. Sandya and family also paid that. But the jeep plus tracker cost remains the same and is a huge factor in the overall amount.

Regards,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Sri Lanka
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2. Re: Best Time to Visit Yala?

Thanks Eric!

Colombo
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1,062 posts
23 reviews
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3. Re: Best Time to Visit Yala?

Just to add Erik's re[ly I went to Yala park twice in this month and both times i was able to spot the leopard.

Nishantha

London, United...
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97 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: Best Time to Visit Yala?

much to see in mid-august?

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
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50,449 posts
174 reviews
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5. Re: Best Time to Visit Yala?

Depends on how dry that summer has been, or better: how intense the East monsoon was that winter and how long the water supply lasts. It could be almost finished September (leading to closure of the park, or last year a water bowser and pipeline alternative) or already August. If no water supply not much to see for tourists.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Rome, Italy
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka, Maldives
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11,102 posts
80 reviews
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6. Re: Best Time to Visit Yala?

all the times we have been to Yala, i have to say, June was the best for us. we saw so much and the weather was perfect!

7. Re: Best Time to Visit Yala?

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