One-Day Trip to Yala National Park from Weligama


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Boring to lay down in beach? Why not try safari experience in Sri Lanka . When in Sri Lanka, one of the bucket-list experiences is definitely to go on a jeep safari to Yala National Park. Read this article for a complete guide on visiting Yala National Park in from Weligama, Sri Lanka, including safari tips, useful information, and more!


About Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Yala National Park is the largest national park of Sri Lanka and is located at the south east edge of the island. And it is is situated in the dry semi-arid region off the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka. Yala is known for its biodiversity, with over 200 species of birds and over 40 species of mammals. Leopards, Water buffaloes, wild boar, spotted deer, sambar, monkey, crocodile, elephant, peacock and golden jackal are some of the species which can be seen abundantly. If you plan it smoothly travelers can visit Yala National Park from Weligama within a day.


Famous Leopard Paradise πŸ†

Dry, dusty and hot winds from an arid landscape of savannah grasslands, thorn and dry monsoon forests will make you wonder, if you truly are in a tropical country. But the Park is also home to saltwater wetlands, flaunting her biodiversity and membership of an impressive number of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. With a density of least one leopard per square kilometer, and the chances of spotting these formidable big cats enhanced with the trained eye of our guides; these elusive leopards greet the dawn and acknowledge the sun setting.
Leopard in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka


➤ Safari Tour πŸš™

Nearby the Yala National Park and Tissamaharama town area there are plenty of safari jeeps available for visit Yala National Park. You can not enter into the National Park with your own vehicles like cars. But mini SUV's, SUV, Vans can be entered into National park with a forest ranger/tracker. Tailor-made safari expedition that is designed to make you experience the spirit of Yala National Park. Jeep chauffeur guide will pick you up from your location and drive to the deep down south where your safari expedition begins. The park features elephants, leopards, deer, sloth bears, crocodiles and other animals. Take a short break inside the park to relax and enjoy your breakfast and let your senses to listen to the rhythm of nature. Observe the animals in their natural habitat.
Safari Jeeps in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka


πŸ‘‰ Highlights One-Day Trip to Yala National Park

- Opportunity to see the wildlife in their natural habitat.
- Experience the wilderness of Yala.
- Closeup leopard sightings.
- Learn about the facts and stories about Yala National Park.
- See the nearby tourist attractions.
- Safari tour in a jeep
Elephants in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka


πŸ‘‰ Tour Guide of One-Day Trip to Yala National Park

For the morning half-day tour, your Yala Safari commences at 6:00 a.m. while the afternoon run begins at 2.30 p.m. After entering the National Park with your guide in a jeep, keep an eye out for leopards and sloth bears, besides other mammals and several species of birds which have made their homes in this sanctuary. The guide will explain about the Park’s various interesting attributes as you discover, become more aware and enjoy the flora and fauna of Yala. You will be taken through most of the Yala National Park, covering the wetlands, grasslands, forest patches, etc. Safari jeeps will make longer stops at certain watering holes for those quiet photography opportunities. Finishing the Safari, either around 11 a.m. or around 6 p.m., you will be dropped at the park entrance or either you can come to the Tissamaharama junction / Tissamaharama bus station.

Safari sightings in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka


πŸ‘‰ Sample Schedule for One-Day Trip to Yala National Park from Weligama:

8 AM to 10 AM - Pick up / Get into bus from Weligama to Yala : 4 hours drive approximately
3 PM to 6 PM    - Safari game drive in Yala National Park
6.30 PM             - Getting back to Weligama : 4 hours drive approximately
11 PM                - Trip ends in Weligama


πŸ‘‰ Sample Cost break down for One-Day Trip to Yala National Park from Weligama:

- Bus fare/Taxi fare towards Tissamaharama / Yala
- Small snacks for the lunch
- Safari jeep fee for a half day tour
- Entrance tickets
- Tour guide fee, most of the times safari jeep drivers has this license to operate as a tour guide, if you travel with your own vehicle tour guide from forest department has to be accompanied.


πŸ‘‰ Attractions in One-Day Trip to Yala National Park

It is not an uncommon sight to see elephants, buffalo, sloth bears and even leopards crossing the road in front of you, giving you an opportunity to see these big mammals up close. Yala is also home to a multitude of birds, including the Sri Lanka jungle fowl, peacocks, and endemic species such as Sri Lanka grey hornbill, crimson-fronted barbet and Sri Lanka wood pigeon. Watering holes also attract water birds such as herons and storks. Among the smaller species of mammals in Yala are hares, foxes, wild boar, toque macaques, golden palm civets, red slender loris, and fishing cats. Take this Yala leopard safari - you will never forget it.
Safari roads in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka


πŸ‘‰ Important Tips before Visit Yala National Park

- Suitable casual clothing for windy, rainy, warm weather conditions should be considered.
- Insect repellents and sun-protection creams are recommended items to carry.
- All electronic devices should be securely carried.
- Water bottle and small snacks.
- You can not enter into the Yala National Park with your own vehicles like cars.
- Mini SUV's, SUV, Vans can be entered into Yala National park with a forest ranger/tracker.
- Average Safari Jeep price for Yala National Park will be around 30 - 40 USD.
- Entrance ticket also need to be taken before the park entrance, Tickets can be taken from the Wild Life office which is located before the park entry.
- Pregnant woman may not visit via safari jeeps because of the bumpy road rides.


πŸ‘‰ Location of the Yala National Park

Please find the location of the Yala National Park from below Google map. It is located 20 mints drive from Tissamaharama junction.




πŸ‘‰ How to Visit Yala National Park from Weligama?

Coming to Yala National Park from Weligama is a bit time consuming trip. It is a matter of get in to a correct bus or a taxi and it takes 5 - 6 hours long ride. Travelers can have two options to come to this magnificent Weligama beach - Sri Lanka from Yala. This article provide details for, how you visit scenic Yala National Park from Weligama.


➤ Visit Yala National Park from Weligama via Public Bus

Travelers need to go the bus station  in Weligama. It is located near in the main junction which divide road towards Galle and Matara. To reach Weligama bus stand traveler may take tuk tuk (three-wheeler) or slow bus towards Weligama. Then traveler has two options either take direct bus to Tissamaharama (Aka Tissa) or take bus to Matara. This is because direct buses towards Tissamaharama from Weligama are limited. Colombo - Kataragama buses will stop at Weligama and they operate per hour basis. Otherwise Matara bus station has direct buses towards Tissamaharama and then traveler needs to take separate bus towards Yala. Some of the Colombo - Kataragama normal buses from SLTB provide online booking availability and please read this article regarding the bus rides in Sri Lanka.

Option 1: Take Colombo - Kataragama bus from Weligama
Kataragama - Colombo route number 32 operate all the day in a one bus per hour basis. Kataragama - Colombo bus will stop at Weligama bus stand for a short period of time therefore traveler needs be vigilant and take the bus. Bus fare for Weligama from Tissa between 3 - 4 USD. Total duration for Weligama to Tissamaharama would be 3 - 4 hours. You can reach Tissa without any transit and do not forget to get off from Tissa bus station if you miss the bus will travel towards Kataragama. Please refer below 'After you reach Yala' section for heading towards Yala National Park.

Option 2: Take direct bus to Tissamaharama from Matara
All most every buses that going towards Tissa is will stop in front of the Matara bus station relevant docking place. In Matara bus station you need to take 'Matara to Hambanthota' route number 334 or 'Matara to Tissamaharama' route number 334/1 bus. Bus will reach Tissa in 3 - 4 hours time and ticket price will be 2 - 3 USD. Your final destination is Tissa bus stand. Then you need to take a bus to reach Yala. Please refer below 'After you reach Yala' section for heading towards Yala National Park.

πŸ‘‰After you reach Yala
After you reach Tissa bus station you can have small snack for your lunch. There are so many small local restaurants were located nearby town area. Otherwise you can go the hotels like Ekho Tissa, Refresh Seafood Restaurant for an al carte menu or lunch which will cost you about 8 - 10 USD. Then ask your prior-booked safari jeep drivers to come and pick you from Tissamaharama junction. If you did not do the prior bookings for safari jeeps will be available for hire near hotel like Ekho Safari Tissa. Please refer below 'How to find Safari Jeep in Yala' section for book a safari jeep in Yala area.

πŸ‘‰Getting back to Weligama from Yala
After you finish safari in Yala, ask safari driver to drop you from Tissa bus station to catch bus towards Matara/Weligama. This will cost you additional charge 3 - 5 USD. You can negotiate it with the safari driver, use your bargaining skills. After you reach Tissa bus station you need to catch bus towards Matara/Weligama. Please read How to Visit Weligama from Yala article to reach Weligama from Yala. Please wait 1 - 2 hours time, do not adhere to the taxi offers unless you mandatory to be in Weligama on same day. If you unable to find any bus towards Weligama do not panic, stay one night in the Tissa area, there are so many tourists attractions nearby Tissa town area. They are Tissahamarama Raja Maha Temple, Yatala Tissa Temple, Tissa Lake boat safari. Hotels like Ekho Tissa, Lake View Hotel, Serene Park Hotel, Lake Side Tourist Inn would offer accommodations at low price.

πŸ”Ί We highly recommend to use public transport like buses. Mostly Colombo - Kataragama buses operate all the day and all time. But after 20:00, operate frequency of buses decrease. It is advisable avoid stay public places like bus stations after 20:00. And it is also advisable to plan your journey within day time (avoid night traveling). This is because after 17:00 frequency of buses decrease.
Tissamaharama bus stand
Tissamaharama bus stand
Kataragama to Colombo bus
Kataragama to Colombo bus

➤ Visit Yala National Park from Weligama via Taxi

Some of the taxi services located near W15 and Marriott hotels. Travelers can easily contact their lodge/hotel manager to arrange a taxi for visit Yala National Park. Their rates can be change accordingly therefore you need to talk with them and negotiate prices for the taxi. We highly recommend to use public transport instead, if the taxi prices are high for your budget. Sometimes people may ask for share a taxi with them, Those offers may be good option. And before confirm ask taxi driver about whether the vehicle can enter into the Yala National Park.

Travelers can have another option where several social media groups have share taxi rides with each other. You can just join those groups and try to share rides among backpackers. Please join social media below groups:
- Journey to Sri Lanka (Backpacking / Tourism / Information Hub)
- South Sri Lanka Surf Community
- Sri Lanka Taxi Share & Service
- Backpacking Sri Lanka / Taxi Service / Hotel Bookings


Additionally above options travelers can join several Telegram/WhatsApp group among Sri Lankan taxi service providers where they share / update their details, especially drivers who has got empty ride way back to different locations. Join below groups:
- Tourist Help Line Sri Lanka - Telegram group
- Sri Lanka Taxi - WhatsApp group

Minimum cost for Weligama to Yala (Pick up and Drop) would be around 100 USD. This amount will be change according to the route, vehicle type, passengers.

You can book a taxi to Yala from the Weligama via this form.


➤ Visit Yala National Park from Weligama via Train

Unfortunately, in current setup [2019/08] there are no trains available from Weligama / Matara to Yala. But currently new railway track is building towards Kataragama therefore in future there will be trains available to Matara from Kataragama.


πŸ‘‰ How to find Safari Jeep in Yala?

There are many safari jeep operators in both Yala and Tissamaharama areas. Yala safari jeep operators located nearby Yala - Kirinda road and Tissamaharama safari jeep operators located nearby the Tissa-Akurugoda bus stop area (which is located near Tissa lake). Before visit Yala it is advisable to contact safari jeep provider and do a prior booking. But do not worry you can always find a safari jeep Tissa-Akurugoda bus stop area (which is located near Tissa lake / EKHO Tissa hotel). Use your bargaining skills to make a offer on safari, most probably safari fee may be around 30-50 USD.

Safari jeep operators in Tissamaharama:
- Yala Safaris Private tours
- Daya Safari Jeep Service
- Ajith Safari Jeep Tours
- Bigcat Safari Jeep Service
- Sena Jeep safari
- Manu Yala Safari tours
- Yala National Park Jeep Service
- Ceylon safari
You can find more from here.

Safari jeep operators near Yala:
- Leopard Safari Jeep Service
- BIG 3 Safari
- Yala National Park Safari Jeep Tours Sri Lanka
- YALA Tusker Safari


πŸ‘‰ In Google Maps

Below map include the different ways come to Yala National Park from Weligama including bus routes and taxi routes.




πŸ‘‰ Where to stay around Tissamaharama

Cheap accommodation facilities in its quiet atmosphere allows you to relax away from the crowd. Search hotels and villa using below map.

Book Hotels with Booking.com


Explore more on Weligama:

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