The cream of the crop is Yala National Park, home to the highest
concentration of leopards in the world (nearly 60 in 380 square
miles at last count), with sightings all but guaranteed since the
Yala leopards are also known for being less elusive than in other
parts of the world. Unfortunately this means the inevitable
presence of other vehicles, but we think this is a small price to
pay for the chance to see one of the most magnificent of all the
big cats. Other common sightings on a Sri Lanka safari holiday are
elephants, deer, langur monkeys, wild boar and - in June and July
during the palu tree fruit season - sloth bears. Twitchers will
also be in their element surrounded by some 220 species of birds,
including hornbills, painted storks, peacocks and kingfishers.
Further north, and perfect in combination with the Cultural
Triangle, is Wilpattu National Park. As the park was out of action
for much of the civil war the animals are less used to humans so
often prove more elusive, but with far fewer visitors than in Yala,
the feeling of communing with Sri Lankan nature is arguably
The Gal Oya National Park is a vast protected park in South East
Sri Lanka, with both evergreen forest and Savannah. The park is
home to 32 mammal species, including elephant, leopard and sloth,
and 30% of bird species found within Sri Lanka.
In terms of accommodation in each, we work with wonderfully
characterful safari camp set-ups and lodges located within touching
distance of the national parks, complete with expert guides.