With one of the highest densities of leopards in the world and perhaps the most famous national wildlife nature reserve in the Uva Province, Sri Lanka, is the Yala National Park. Known for its leopard sightings, sloth bears and wild elephants or the “big three” as they are affectionately known by safari guides; the Yala National Park consists of five blocks of which two are open to the public, namely Block 1 and Block 5.
Yala National Park has a variety of ecosystems including moist monsoon forests, dry monsoon forests, grasslands and marine wetlands. The best time to visit Yala is in the dry season from February to June. With the water levels lower, it's easier to spot animals coming out to the lagoons to drink water. The park normally closes each year for the month of September for maintenance, although Block 5 will remain open. Yala is approximately 90 km away from Tangalle and an hour and a 45 minute drive from Golden Pearl Tangalle Beach.