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Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Southern Province, Sri Lanka Nature & Adventure

Yala National Park: Private Safari at Golden Hours

1. Yala National Park: Private Safari at Golden Hours

After being picked up from your hotel in the local area or Park Entrance you will enter Yala National Park to explore the light forests, scrubs, grasslands, lagoons, and magnificent range of animals. With your private 4WD Jeep and expert guide, the ‘Golden Hours’ of the day will be used to focus on leopard spotting, either the first 2 hours or the last 2 hours of the day. Throughout this safari, you will search for the world’s most concentrated number of leopards, sloth bears, and elephants, as your knowledgable guide and driver expertly navigates the vast area and roads. The morning tour will begin at 5am from your hotel, to take in sunrise as the park opens at 6am. Whilst the afternoon option allows you to explore from 2pm until sunset when the park closes at 6pm. Situated on Sri Lanka’s south-east, hugging the panoramic Indian Ocean, Yala is a wildlife sanctuary and home to 44 varieties of mammals and 215 bird species. Leopards, elephants, water buffalo, sloth bears, sambars, jackals, spotted deer, peacocks, and crocodiles can all be found in this rich environment.

Yala National Park All-Inclusive 2-Day Safari

2. Yala National Park All-Inclusive 2-Day Safari

Spend the night in a treehouse at the 2nd largest national park in Sri Lanka and look for wildlife on an evening and early morning nature trek. Benefit from the expertise of a game ranger as your personal guide. Day 1: Following pick-up at your hotel, journey towards Yala National Park in southeast Sri Lanka. Upon arrival at Tissamarama, head to the luxurious Leopard Nest campsite and check in to one of the treehouses. Enjoy lunch at the campsite's main restaurant or at one of the many outdoor locations before some time to relax. Get back to nature with an evening game drive and look for wildlife, such as leopards in their natural environment. Return to the campsite to freshen up before drinks and appetizers around the campfire. Dinner will be served at one of many locations throughout the camp. Day 2: Enjoy breakfast at a private location by a lake whilst listening to the singing of birds and feeling the fresh breeze. Start to trek through thick bushes with a pathway access to a wonderful lake which offers breath-taking views and bird watching opportunities.

Galle/Unawatuna/Weligama/Mirissa: Yala National Park Safari

3. Galle/Unawatuna/Weligama/Mirissa: Yala National Park Safari

Your experience begins with a pickup from your hotel in either the Galle, Unawatuna, Weligama or Mirissa areas. From there, relax on your drive to Yala National Park. Upon arrival you'll go for a safari drive by Jeep, keeping an eye out for local leopards and elephants in their natural habitat. Other indigenous wildlife which are able to be spotted in this park includes sloth bears, jackals, mongoose, spotted deers, buffalo, wild boars, sambhur, and hare. Now the most-visited park in Sri Lanka, Yala is also an important nature reserve for 50 species of butterflies and many species of birds. After the safari, journey back to your point of origin to be dropped off back to your accommodation.

From Ella: Shuttle to Mirissa/Galle with Udawalawe Safari

4. From Ella: Shuttle to Mirissa/Galle with Udawalawe Safari

After 5:00 AM pick-up from your hotel in Ella, Haputale or Bandarawela, head for Udawalawe National Park, where you'll switch to an open concept safari jeep in order to have the best views. An early morning start ensures you'll see the animals during one of their most active times of day. See herds of elephants for sure and have fun watching for crocodiles, monkeys, water buffaloes, various endemic birds species and much more. Along the way, you'll learn about and observe the natural habitats of the local wildlife while you snap some amazing photos. In the Morning/Afternoon, enjoy a packed meal. Then, at the end of your 3-hour safari adventure, switch back to the comfortable, air-conditioned car for the ride on to Mirissa/Weligama/Unawatuna or Galle where you'll be dropped off at your hotel.

Colombo: Bentota Beach and River Mangroves and Wildlife Tour

5. Colombo: Bentota Beach and River Mangroves and Wildlife Tour

Take a safari adventure on the Bentota river with this tour from Bentota beach in Colombo. Explore the lush habitats of the river in a powerboat. Learn about your surroundings from a local guide.  Meet your guide at the beach and hop aboard a powerboat. Capture stunning pictures of Bentota beach as you leave the shore. Follow the river through mangroves that provide a rich natural habitat for local wildlife and which help smaller fishing communities to thrive.  Keep an eye out for giant crocodiles, sea eagles, monkeys, snakes, monitor lizards, and graceful egret herons. Relax and connect with this natural setting and immerse yourself in the biodiversity of this unique eco-system. Return to Bentota beach.

From Ella: Full-Day Yala National Park Safari Tour

6. From Ella: Full-Day Yala National Park Safari Tour

Visit Ruhunu National Park and explore its 126,786 hectares including the Strict Natural Reserve (Block II). The most familiar is Block I, established in 1938. Yala is famous for its big herds and large number of elephants, leopards, spotted deer, sambhur, crocodiles, mongoose, wild boar, wild buffalo, and many other animals. More than 130 bird species are recorded, including the resident and winter visitors. Head to the National Park to take an afternoon safari around 1:00 PM, as the time of day when you can see leopards and sloth bears emerge out of the shady jungle and roam around. Head to great spots for birdwatchers. The water holes and tanks are a birdwatcher's paradise, offering the chance to see the famous peacock dance. For wildlife lovers, Yala is a must see site in Sri Lanka. Once you've finished your tour, return back to your hotel in Ella.

From Colombo-Negombo-Bentota-Kalutara: Sinharaja Hike

7. From Colombo-Negombo-Bentota-Kalutara: Sinharaja Hike

Explore Sri Lanka's last remaining virgin rainforest with this private tour with pick up from cities in the Western province such at Colombo, Negombo, Bentota and Kalutara. Benefit from the flexibility of having a personal guide throughout the day that can provide your with facinating cultural information. Relax with a convenient pickup and drop-off service in a climate-controlled vehicle. Get a taste of the land with a local lunch. Spend 4 hours in the rainforest while visiting spectacular waterfalls, summiting Sinharaja's tallest peak, and hiking through the lush rainforest. Admire the jungle trees, orchids, and a large array of bird species.

Sri Lanka: Yala National Park Private Safari

8. Sri Lanka: Yala National Park Private Safari

Enjoy the unspoiled natural beauty and amazing wildlife of Sri Lanka on a private safari through Yala National Park. Discover leopards, elephants, water buffalo, and more among tall trees, scenic lagoons and golden sand dunes. With the highest concentration of leopards of any national park in Sri Lanka, Yala National Park is a great place for wildlife enthusiasts to get their fill. Catch a glimpse, and maybe some great photos, of these elusive predators. Watch elephants playfully bathing in the mud, and encounter other fascinating animals, including sloth bears, wild boars, spotted deer, and golden jackals. Check out the vast array of interesting birds. Keep your camera ready as you roam through these animals' natural habitat on this wonderful private safari through Yala National Park.

All-Inclusive Afternoon Yala Safari with Beach BBQ Dinner

9. All-Inclusive Afternoon Yala Safari with Beach BBQ Dinner

Get picked up from your Tissamaharama, Yala, Kataragama or Hambantota hotel. Hop into the Safari Jeep and travel to Yala National Park for an exciting game drive. Yala Park is situated in Sri Lanka's dry zone, made up of scrub jungles, water reservoirs, brackish lagoons, and riverine habitats. It has the highest population density of leopards in the world, and is also home to a herd of 300-350 elephants. As well as leopards and elephants, keep an eye out for animals including sloth bears, black-naped hares, spotted deer, sambar, hanuman langurs, toque monkeys, stripe-necked and ruddy mongooses, wild boar, and golden jackal. You may also see the enormous land and water monitors and, of course, marsh crocodiles. You will be taken to a private beach where you have a couple of hours to explore, dip your toes in the cool water, and enjoy a 4-course barbeque dinner with a glass or two of wine. The beach is located in an exclusively private area and dinner is set up only for your group. The Jeep will take you back to your hotel.

Luxury Camping and Safari Experience in Yala Park

10. Luxury Camping and Safari Experience in Yala Park

Embark on a glamping adventure at the 2nd largest national park in Sri Lanka, Yala. Upon arrival at Tissamarama, check into your luxurious campsite and get acquainted with the onsite amenities. Spend some free time relaxing and enjoy a delicious lunch at the campsite’s main restaurant or at one of the many outdoor locations. After your lunch it’s time to head out into the wilderness and immerse yourself in the fascinating natural landscape of Sri Lanka. On the game drive, look out for leopards and elephants in their natural environment and learn about these animals from your experienced guide. After your safari, head back to the campsite to freshen up before drinks and appetizers around the campfire. Dine on a BBQ dinner and mingle with the other guests as you talk about the wonders of the safari. Wake up early on the second day to freshly brewed local tea or coffee, then head out for another game drive to search for animals at their most active part of the day. After the drive, enjoy a tasty breakfast of freshly squeezed juices and seasonal fruit before check out at 11am and the return journey back.

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What people are saying about Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 7 reviews

I highly recommend using apple vacations agency when you visit Sri Lanka! They offer a wide range of tours and packages to fit a variety of budgets. Our guide Niraveen and driver were on time and accommodating. This full day tour was lovely and enjoyable! Loved visiting the turtle hatchery center, the boat ride through the mangrove, and the place they took us for lunch was superb! Really trustworthy company!

We liked it very much. Our guide showed us other activities before we went stilt fishing, although they weren't included, it was really great and made us very happy. Now to the guide he was very friendly and nice and it was a great atmosphere fulfilled every wish of ours. Really to recommend. Keep it up

The guide showed up on time in the morning and he was very polite and informing. They took us to a very nice restaurant for lunch near the ocean and the food was delicious. Whole tour was satisfying with very nice views, herbal garden visit and boat tour on Madu River.

Great tour, guides and service. Everything was on time and smooth. The national park was beautiful. The only complaint we have is that it's more expensive than if we'd have just arranged with local tour operators.

We had a very nice guide who went to a lot of trouble so that we could see all the animals once. But he always switched off the engine so that the animals would not be disturbed. I highly recommend the tour