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“Leopards at Yala National Park”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Yala National Park

Yala National Park
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$38.25*
and up
Private Safari at Yala National Park
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Owner description: stard time morning 5.00 am. come back time 12.3.( 7 hours tour). stard time morning 5.00am come back time 6.00pm. (full day safari)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Leopards at Yala National Park”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2014

I have visited Yala NP more than 20 times since 2012 and stayed inside the park for most of the time (Mahaseelawa, Old Butuwa, Thalgasmankada and number of stays at Warahana Bungalow).
Leopards are one of the main attractions of the park and rated as one of the highest leopard densities in the world. As per experience trackers there are around 60 Leopards in the area of 140 square kilometers, Yala Block 1 (Wikipedia estimates 25 leopards). I have seen more than 25 including cubs.
Tracking Leopards is an art I have learnt from experience trackers. Leave bungalows early morning before other safari traffic and listen to the sounds of the forest, dear baking, panicked monkeys and unusual sounds of birds and animals are the essence for tracking.
Staying near usual water tanks (where no buffalos in it) specially during dry season etc;
However the sad part of the story is whenever a leopard is seen, safari drivers send sms and calls from mobile phones, and minutes, convoys of speeding safari jeeps are rushing to the scene.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Sanjaya A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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durham
Level Contributor
152 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“A dusty experience but we saw three leopards”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2014

We were driven around the vast park in a very uncomfortable jeep with a not so talkative tracker. we manages to spot three leopards, one in a tree, one briefly coming out of the scrub and one taking a drink from the lake. I was disappointed with the whole experience as it seemed to end up like a trip around Disneyland as we were queuing up to get a glimpse of these elusive creatures with telescopic lenses fighting to get the best pic. In the end it got a bit tedious and although we enjoyed what we saw it ended up a touristic experience. We were not told how much to tip the tracker and driver and they obviously expected more than we gave. It was evident when he showed the driver and our tour guide what he was given that he wasnt pleased, It spoilt our experience as we had paid for the trip in our tour package and we dont know what the rate is to pay these people. I am sure the entrance rate to the park and the hire of the vehicle must pay them some recompense.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank the_clerk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warrnambool, Australia
Level Contributor
163 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Lots of animals and jeeps!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2014

We visited 2 National Parks in Sri Lanka, here and Wilpattu and they were very different! We saw more animals here but in return there was also a LOT more people. At the beginning of the safari there was talk of a leopard sighting at a particular location... when we joined the other 20-30 jeeps all vying for best position it was absolute CHAOS! All those jeeps struggling to get past each other and the road is not built for it, so we did not enjoy that part at all. After no leopard and about 20 minutes we moved on and the enjoyment level picked up... we saw lots of animals with the highlight being a mother and baby that came really close to our jeep. We also had our 2 kids with us, aged 2 and 4, the roads were rough in parts but they were fine and had a great time.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Marg95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“No sign of leopards”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2014

We had a great driver for the safari drive, Dennis. He tried his best until darkness fell, but we unable to spot a leopard, although others did succeed. The highlight was - We did get very close to a huge tusked elephant, who was quite content to stand by us for a good 20 minutes, munching on leaves, when we had to leave due to the park closing. I was not aware there was a beautiful beach within the park also, was great to see some Kandy school children on a school trip to the beach - was a wonderful sight with such amazed faces to see the waves and for them to be able to paddle in the sea

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Jackie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“wondderful”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2014

Wonderful day and lots of animals.
But be aware of the lack of toilet facilities.
Bring sweater - morning can be cold and day is very warm so bring water.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Marlene S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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