Did you know the Yala National Park in Sri Lanka has the highest density of leopards anywhere in the world? What this means is that you have a great chance of spotting these majestic creatures on a safari here!
Introducing Panthera Pardus Kotiya
The endemic Sri Lankan Leopard or “Panthera pardus kotiya” has a rusty yellow coloured coat with characteristic dark spots. Generally a solitary hunter, it is the island’s apex predator and has been listed as endangered.
Planning Your Excursion
Leopard spotting is best done early in the morning or later in the afternoon. It’s best to stay at a Yala hotel right near the park itself. Such hotels generally provide their own guided safaris which add to the convenience.
For a truly unique experience look to undertake a safari at night! One such experience you can try is the Infrared Night Drive offered at Cinnamon Wild Yala that features night vision goggles to spot leopards and other creatures of the night without disturbing them.
Best Times to Visit
Leopards may be spotted at Yala all year round, though the park is generally closed in September. May to August is usually the rainy season and you have a better chance of seeing leopards early morning. December to March marks the dry season and an afternoon leopard safari is ideal. Of course, the king of Sri Lanka’s jungle doesn’t follow a particular schedule so you never know when you may spot it!