Yala National Park is the 2nd largest national park in Sri Lanka.It is situated in the southeast region of the island in the dry zone. The park is situated about 300 km from Colombo which is capital city of Sri Lanka. Yala park belongs to two provinces in Sri Lanka namely Uva Province and Southern Province. The park divided into five blocks and only I and II blocks are opened for the visitors. The reserve covers 979 km², although only the original 141 km² are open to the public. It was established in 1894 as a Game Sanctuary.
The park is situated in dry zone of the country which has long period of drought season in the year. Main source of rainfall is Northeast monsoon and inter monsoon rain during April – May. Mean annual precipitation is 900 – 1300mm and mean annual temperature is around 27°C. During June to October this area has experienced with very drought condition. The day time temperature is normally higher than 30°C which is not uncommon in this region.
Much of the reserve is parkland, but it also contains jungle, beaches, freshwater lakes and rivers and scrubland. The latter zone is punctuated with enormous rocky outcrops. The range of habitats give rise to a good range of wildlife.
Yala has the world’s highest concentration of Leopards, although seeing this largely nocturnal carnivore still requires some luck.