Encounters with Sri Lankan Leopards – The Island’s King of the Jungle

Did you know that Yala National Park has the highest density of leopards in a national park in the world? That makes it the ideal location to spot the Sri Lankan Leopard while on a safari.


Leopards | Image Credit : © Mahoora Tented Safari Camps (https://www.mahoora.com/) / CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons, Leopard in Yala National Park, CC BY-SA 4.0

Yala National Park

The 950 square kilometre Yala National Park can be found on the south-eastern coast and is the preferred location for a leopard safari in Sri Lanka. You can visit this reserve on an eco-friendly adventure tour offered by the likes of Nature Odyssey. If you’re lucky, you will also spot jackals, elephants, deer, monkeys, sloth bears, water buffalos, land and water monitors and over 200 species of birds.

Sri Lankan Leopards

The Sri Lankan Leopard is a dapper russet yellow big cat with dark spots and is the largest subspecies of leopard in the world. At roughly 78 kgs, the males are 30% larger than females and are found throughout the country in various habitats. While leopards are considered nocturnal, it is common to spot them in the early mornings or late evenings.

An Endangered Beauty

However, the leopard count in Sri Lanka has fallen to 250 animals due to poaching and fragmentation of habitat. The Sri Lankan Leopard has been listed by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as endangered.

Big Cat Conservation

The Wilderness and Wildlife Conservation Trust (WWCT) is working together with the Government of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation to study the leopard and aid in its conservation. It is hoped that with a concerted effort the leopard population will once again thrive in Sri Lanka

Intrigued by history, art and food, Lavinia Woolf is a writer who is passionate about the extraordinary and writes of the exhilarating and enchanting. Google+

Best Leopard Spotting At Yala National Park – Be A Responsible Tourist!

Yala has become Sri Lanka’s most visited national park mainly due to the number of leopards that can be spotted during a jungle safari.

Image Credit - jetwingeco

Image Credit – jetwingeco

Important things to remember

As you will be stepping in to wild life territory, do keep in mind that you are the guests here and refrain from polluting or feeding any animals.

Why choose Yala

If you’re planning a leopard safari in Sri Lanka, then Yala National Park is definitely the place to go, as there it is one of the only parks on the island with a large number of leopards.

Safe and Responsible tourism

For those looking for a reputable service, tour agencies such as Jetwing Eco Holidays will be able to provide you with a safe and responsible safari tour, as some of the safari jeeps are known to create havoc inside the park, putting the animals’ lives at risk simply for a picture.

Other animals

While you may be keen to see leopards, these wild animals may not always be around when and where you want them to. Appreciate the chance of seeing other animals of the park like deer, sloth bears, elephants, crocodiles, birds and so much more!

Things to remember

You are not permitted to get off the vehicle at any point during the safari. The park will provide a tracker for every safari jeep. The park opens at 6am and closes at 6pm.

Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world.