Southern Province, Sri Lanka
Viewing Points

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Our most recommended Southern Province, Sri Lanka Viewing Points

Yala National Park: Private Safari at Golden Hours

1. Yala National Park: Private Safari at Golden Hours

After being picked up from your hotel in the local area, you will enter Yala National Park to explore the light forests, scrubs, grasslands, lagoons, and magnificent range of animals. With your private 4WD Jeep and expert guide, the ‘Golden Hours’ of the day will be used to focus on leopard spotting, either the first 2 hours or the last 2 hours of the day. Throughout this safari, you will search for the world’s most concentrated number of leopards, sloth bears, and elephants, as your knowledgable guide and driver expertly navigates the vast area and roads. The morning tour will begin at 5am from your hotel, to take in sunrise as the park opens at 6am. Whilst the afternoon option allows you to explore from 2pm until sunset when the park closes at 6pm. Situated on Sri Lanka’s south-east, hugging the panoramic Indian Ocean, Yala is a wildlife sanctuary and home to 44 varieties of mammals and 215 bird species. Leopards, elephants, water buffalo, sloth bears, sambars, jackals, spotted deer, peacocks, and crocodiles can all be found in this rich environment.

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Mirissa: Morning Whale Watching Tour

2. Mirissa: Morning Whale Watching Tour

Set sail from Mirissa to witness the breathtaking sight of the planet’s largest mammal, the blue whale, in its natural habitat. Sri Lanka’s southern waters are rich in aquatic life. As well as blue whales, you might see fin whales, sperm whales and pilot whales, as well as many species of dolphins. Depart at 6:30 AM, ahead of the other boats. A complimentary breakfast of sandwiches and fruits will be served on board, along with water and tea or coffee. Knowledgeable guides are on board to answer any questions you may have and help you spot these wonderful creatures. The boat is fitted with a GPS tracking systems, to guide you to the best location to see these extraordinary animals. With over 90% probability of seeing whales and dolphins, you are promised a morning to remember.

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Galle/Unawatuna/Mirissa: Full-Day Yala National Park Safari

3. Galle/Unawatuna/Mirissa: Full-Day Yala National Park Safari

Your experience begins with a pickup from your hotel in either the Galle, Unawatuna or Mirissa areas. From there, relax on your drive to Yala National Park. Upon arrival you'll go for a safari drive by Jeep, keeping an eye out for local leopards and elephants in their natural habitat. Other indigenous wildlife which are able to be spotted in this park includes sloth bears, jackals, mongoose, spotted deers, buffalo, wild boars, sambhur, and hare. Now the most-visited park in Sri Lanka, Yala is also an important nature reserve for 50 species of butterflies and many species of birds. After the safari, journey back to your point of origin to be dropped off back to your accommodation.

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All-Inclusive Afternoon Yala Safari with Beach BBQ Dinner

4. All-Inclusive Afternoon Yala Safari with Beach BBQ Dinner

Get picked up from your Tissamaharama, Yala, Kataragama or Hambantota hotel. Hop into the Safari Jeep and travel to Yala National Park for an exciting game drive. Yala Park is situated in Sri Lanka's dry zone, made up of scrub jungles, water reservoirs, brackish lagoons, and riverine habitats. It has the highest population density of leopards in the world, and is also home to a herd of 300-350 elephants. As well as leopards and elephants, keep an eye out for animals including sloth bears, black-naped hares, spotted deer, sambar, hanuman langurs, toque monkeys, stripe-necked and ruddy mongooses, wild boar, and golden jackal. You may also see the enormous land and water monitors and, of course, marsh crocodiles. You will be taken to a private beach where you have a couple of hours to explore, dip your toes in the cool water, and enjoy a 4-course barbeque dinner with a glass or two of wine. The beach is located in an exclusively private area and dinner is set up only for your group. The Jeep will take you back to your hotel.

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Yala National Park: Leopard Safari Full day tour with Lunch

5. Yala National Park: Leopard Safari Full day tour with Lunch

After being picked up from your hotel in the local area at around 5:00 AM, you will enter Yala National Park to explore the light forests, scrubs, grasslands, lagoons, and magnificent range of animals. Over nearly 400 square miles, the park consistently wows visitors, with its range of lagoons, riparian zones, monsoon jungles, and more, supporting a veritable arc of fauna. As you traverse the park, get the best view of it all from a modified game viewing safari Jeep. After exploring the vast park for a few hours at the helm of your knowledgeable guide, you’ll stop for a picnic lunch at a beautiful viewing spot. Unwind for a while after lunch and get ready to enjoy your second round of the game drive.  As you criss-cross through the stunning landscape, you have the opportunity to see elephants, sloth bears, toque monkeys, wild boar, water monitors, marsh crocodiles, and perhaps the crown jewel of Yala National Park, the spotted leopard—of which the park has one of the highest densities in the world. After your full day of safari exploration, you’ll be transported back to your accommodation, thrilled at the preserved piece of nature that you have experienced.

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Tangalle: Yala National Park Wildlife Safari

6. Tangalle: Yala National Park Wildlife Safari

The tour starts with pickup from your accommodation in Tangalle, then the adventure begins as you head out to Ruhunu Yala National Park to explore its 126,786 hectares. Yala is famous for its big herds and large number of elephants, leopards, spotted deer, sambhur, crocodiles, mongoose, wild boar, wild buffalo, along with many other animals. In addition, more than 130 bird species are recorded to live here, including the resident and winter visitors. Throughout the safari, search for the world’s most concentrated number of leopards, sloth bears, and elephants, as your knowledgeable guide and driver expertly navigates the vast area and roads. Learn about the animals that live here and the work that is done to preserve this natural habitat. Admire the stunning scenery of the park, which sits alongside the Indian Ocean and is a rich haven for over 250 varieties of animals and birds. This is an unforgettable adventure that will leave you with a lifetime of memories.

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From Ella: Shuttle to Mirissa/Galle with Udawalawe Safari

7. From Ella: Shuttle to Mirissa/Galle with Udawalawe Safari

After 5:00 AM pick-up from your hotel in Ella, Haputale or Bandarawela, head for Udawalawe National Park, where you'll switch to an open concept safari jeep in order to have the best views. An early morning start ensures you'll see the animals during one of their most active times of day. See herds of elephants for sure and have fun watching for crocodiles, monkeys, water buffaloes, various endemic birds species and much more. Along the way, you'll learn about and observe the natural habitats of the local wildlife while you snap some amazing photos. Later in the morning, enjoy a picnic breakfast. Then, at the end of your 3-hour safari adventure, switch back to the comfortable, air-conditioned car for the ride on to Mirissa where you'll be dropped off at your hotel.

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Luxury Camping and Safari Experience in Yala Park

8. Luxury Camping and Safari Experience in Yala Park

Embark on a glamping adventure at the 2nd largest national park in Sri Lanka, Yala. Upon arrival at Tissamarama, check into your luxurious campsite and get acquainted with the onsite amenities. Spend some free time relaxing and enjoy a delicious lunch at the campsite’s main restaurant or at one of the many outdoor locations. After your lunch it’s time to head out into the wilderness and immerse yourself in the fascinating natural landscape of Sri Lanka. On the game drive, look out for leopards and elephants in their natural environment and learn about these animals from your experienced guide. After your safari, head back to the campsite to freshen up before drinks and appetizers around the campfire. Dine on a BBQ dinner and mingle with the other guests as you talk about the wonders of the safari. Wake up early on the second day to freshly brewed local tea or coffee, then head out for another game drive to search for animals at their most active part of the day. After the drive, enjoy a tasty breakfast of freshly squeezed juices and seasonal fruit before check out at 11am and the return journey back.

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Galle Fort and Fish Massage from Colombo

9. Galle Fort and Fish Massage from Colombo

Begin your day at 8:00 AM at Madu River in Balapitiya for a boat safari. For one-hour, journey through the primitive depths of the mangrove marshes. Traverse the dark and dangerous caverns, formed by the thick mangrove forests, interspersed with stretches of bright open water.  The next destination is an outdoor fish massage parlor. Dangle your feet into a fenced section of the river to get treated to a massage by the fish. After, visit Galle Fort in Sri Lanka, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Galle Fort, or Dutch Fort as it is also known, is a fortification built by the Portuguese on the Southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. The final destination is the Ahangama fishing village for a stilt fishing photo shoot. 

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From Ella: Full-Day Yala National Park Safari Tour

10. From Ella: Full-Day Yala National Park Safari Tour

Visit Ruhunu National Park and explore its 126,786 hectares including the Strict Natural Reserve (Block II). The most familiar is Block I, established in 1938. Yala is famous for its big herds and large number of elephants, leopards, spotted deer, sambhur, crocodiles, mongoose, wild boar, wild buffalo, and many other animals. More than 130 bird species are recorded, including the resident and winter visitors. Head to the National Park to take an afternoon safari around 1:00 PM, as the time of day when you can see leopards and sloth bears emerge out of the shady jungle and roam around. Head to great spots for birdwatchers. The water holes and tanks are a birdwatcher's paradise, offering the chance to see the famous peacock dance. For wildlife lovers, Yala is a must see site in Sri Lanka. Once you've finished your tour, return back to your hotel in Ella.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Southern Province, Sri Lanka

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What people are saying about Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 6 reviews

We start at dawn and experience the awakening of nature. In the morning we saw single animals, apart from the elephants who were in a group, with two cubs. The landscape is very beautiful, all the various types of birds are fascinating. The courses have holes, but the cars used are suitable, the experienced and capable drivers warn each other as soon as one of them spots some animals or groups. Very difficult to see the leopard. Nice experience, also valid for those who want to take pictures. Excellent lunch, typical and genuine.

Sasangan was an excellent driver and guide through our safari in Yala National Park. He perfectly navigated some flooded and bumpy roads allowing us the smoothest ride possible. He was also excellent at spotting the animals, pointing them out to us, and telling us about them a bit. He even spotted a leopard for us and we were the first jeep that day to spot it! It was very exciting!

Amazing trip! Brilliant English speaking guide that ensured I saw all the animals and easy transfers picked up directly from your hotel. Would definitely recommend to anyone wanting a brilliant day out.

The experience was great our driver was helpful and worked hard to show us the animals there. We were able to spot black bear, elephants, leopards, and lots of birds.

Everything went great, including picking up from another location. I can only recommend..