Complex but doable:
1] Bus down the gap to Wellawaya
2] Catch a bus there towards Ratnapura-Colombo. There are e.g. 2-3 morning buses Monaragala-Colombo.
3] Exit at Udu Walawe junction, where the bus will head north; catch one of the frequent buses going south to Embilipitiya there.
Net travel time maybe 3 hours but overall time at least 4-5 hours due to waiting (esp. at Wellawaya).
All the best,
<Erik> & [Sandya]
Hi. We just did this today and was very easy. Locals are super helpful! We caught the bus from Ella to Tanamawila (leaves from main bus stop in Ella in the morning every half hour (110rupee). Then changed bus in Tanamawila to Embilipitya for 84rupee. Took about 3 hours in total. Again the locals seem to so concerned that you are on the right track and will look after you. If in doubt ask the bus assistant. Have fun pronouncing Embiliptiya. I mucked it up so badly it sent the bus into hysterical laughter! We then stayed at Pavana Resort before our trip to the park tomorrow morning. They organize everything so you have time to dip in their pool. It's an easy 5 min walk from bus station.
Great advice everyone. We are doing this journey tomorrow and staying at pavana also.
I did this journey yesterday and it was really easy to do. People are so helpful wanting to make sure you are in the right bus.
The curd and honey shop in Ella keep a track of the bus schedules so it's worth asking them for details and the bus stop is the bench outside Ella gap hotel. It cost 120r for to Thamanwila Junction and 90r to Em.