Best Times to Visit Yala

When is the Best time to visit Sri Lanka?

Though our tours operate throughout the year with no less in the service, the best times to visit depend on your requirements and expectations.

Generally, Tourism in Sri Lanka has a High Season from December to April and is relatively low during the other months.

If your tour focuses on the South Beaches of Sri Lanka mainly, November to May is the Best Time, and the Eastern Beach sides are best from June-October.

When it comes to seasonal closures of  Yala, only Block 1 of Yala National Park could go under an annual closure of 30-60 days during the month of September/October depending on the severity of the seasonal drought on certain years.

What is the Best Time to Visit Yala?

If you visit Yala National Park our personal recommended period to get the best experience (considering weather, crowds, and terrestrial big 5 sightings) is from Mid April till the end of August (with May/June being the best months) and the month of November.

To visit Kumana, we would say year-round is highly recommended considering the low number of tourists comping due to lack of publicity and information of this MOST BEAUTIFUL NATIONAL PARK of the Country.


Know when to visit? Let’s Get Started Planning Your Tour Or Contact Us to get more info

Annual Weather, Visitors and Animal Sightings Calendar for Greater Yala Complex

Climate ☁/☼ ☁/☼ ☼/☁ ☼/☁
H: High / M: Medium / L: Low
It is always recommended to avoid Weekends and Holidays when visiting Block 1 of Yala
Block 1&2 of Yala may undergo 30-60 days closure due to severity of seasonal droughts during the months of Sept/Oct
Yala Block 1-5 H H H M L L M M L* L* M H
Yala East Kumana M L L L L L M M L L L M
Animal Sightings
Leopards ++ ++ ++ ++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ ++ ++ ++
Bears + + + + ++ ++ ++ ++ + + + +
Elephants +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++
Crocodiles +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++
Wild Water Buffalo +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++
Bird Watching ++++ ++++ ++++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ ++++ ++++

Based on Weather in Yala

Contrary to popular belief, May and June are NOT the rainy months as the greater Yala complex gets its rains only from the northeast monsoon and inter-monsoon during the months of Oct-Dec

Crowded times in Yala

However, when it comes to crowds in the Yala National Park particularly, from Mid December to Mid January Tend to be highest with foreign tourists, and any long weekend or normal weekends during Local School Vacation Months (usually December/April/August) can be attracting local tourists.

How we Avoid Crowds

Nevertheless, our tours are planned to different sectors and gates and even routes away from the crowds to ensure you have an amazing experience throughout the tour.

With our location advantage, We use the northern less crowded Katagamuwa gate to the most popular Block 1 of Yala and our favorite secluded block 3-4-5 & 6 (Lunugamvehera) thru Weheragala, Galge and Dambakote Gates

If you really want to avoid crowds completely and have a real undisturbed safari experience we always recommend our Yala East – Kumana Mobile Tented Safari over any other tour.

Bird watching

If you are really into birdlife November thru April are the best months to visit any sector of the Greater Yala Complex. We also do morning drives from our base camp in Yala to Bundala National Park which is the a birders paradise especially during the winter months in the northern hemisphere with migrant birds. 

When to See Bears in Yala

To see the most elusive big game animal of Yala are the Bears. (yes, bears are more elusive in our jungles than the leopards). To see Bears, Best time to visit any national park in the complex is during the months of May/June/July when the wild berries grow that bears love to feed on.

Leopards, Crocodiles, and Elephants

Leopard, Crocodiles, and Elephant sightings are common throughout the year, yet again the dry season from May thru September makes it relatively easier to spot these animals attracted to remaining water holes.

Explore Yala – Safari Glamping

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