Leopard In Yala National Park

Sri Lanka’s National Parks

Leopard in Yala National Park

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The best places for safaris in Sri Lanka

At times it feels like Sri Lanka is one big nature reserve – driving around rural areas you'll spot monitor lizards, kingfishers and giant squirrels without even trying.

And every now and then you will see a wild elephant by the roadside. But if you want to get much closer to Sri Lanka’s rich diversity of wildlife try a trip to one of Sri Lanka’s national parks. Safaris mostly last a couple of hours in open top jeeps and take place in the early morning and late evening when sightings are more common.

Yala National Park in the south is one of the more popular options, largely thanks to its dense population of leopards – and its open spaces mean there are quite good chances of spotting them.

Other national parks like Wilpattu and Gal Oya might be home to more elusive creatures, but away from the crowds of other safari jeeps you are likely to have a more peaceful and enjoyable safari experience.

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a pristine rainforest with some of the most diverse wildlife in Sri Lanka. Unlike other national parks with their wide-open spaces only accessible by jeep, Sinharaja is all forest cover so you can walk around and experience the life of the jungle up close. Just make sure you wear leech socks - these will be available at your hotel.

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