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Yala (Ruhuna) National Park is situated in the Arid Zone of Sri Lanka’s South East region.  Comprising of five blocks, this National Park covers an area of 151,778 hectares. Currently only Block I, covering 14,100 hectares, is open to the public. Yala’s historical significance dates back to 500 B.C and evidence shows that the park was inhabited in the past.  The area remained a free hunting area for sport until the 1900s, when it was declared a Game Reserve. In 1938 a section of the park was declared a National Park.

Being in the Arid Zone Yala receives an annual rainfall of less than 1,000 mm from the North East monsoon from about November to January. The rest of the year remains dry with the period from July to September showing severe drought conditions.  Mean temperature is around 27 c.  Yala National Park comprises of several major habitat types including dunes, scrub forest, riverine forests, rocky out-crops, secondary forests and coastal lagoons with mangrove forests.  This diverse collection of vegetation has resulted in many species of animals and birds being recorded in Yala National Park.


The dry months from May to September is
the best time for viewing big game including Leopards and Sloth Bear. From October to April during the Northern Hemisphere
winters, Yala becomes home to many species of migratory birds and is a hot spot for bird watching. The first few months of the year are also good for observing Leopard cubs.

With ove