Was fortunate to visit Sri Lanka in the month before the recent atrocities. Found it a wondrous country with lovely people. Big disappointment though was Yala National Park. Not because it was not beautiful – it was stunning with amazing views. Unfortunately what was not stunning was the crazy behaviour of so called “guides” and drivers! From the moment we reached the park early in the morning to meet up with probably 80 to 100 vehicles all revving their motors to get through the park gates first, to the moment we left around midday their behaviour completely detracted from the purpose of the visit – to view wildlife! They used the park roads as if they were Formula 1 drivers. Drove between a vehicle and the creature they were viewing – overtook crazily and generally acted like hogs (road) that we were trying to watch! I have been to many countries for the wildlife and this has to be the worst! We saw water buffalo and that really was about it apart from some nice birds. As for having the largest concentration of leopard in the world not a pussy cat to be seen! As one who visited Londolozi in South Africa and never saw one of their famed leopards maybe I am severely unlucky! My feelings are that perhaps the afternoon /evening game drive might be better. Sloths are also said to be present in the park but no one I spoke to thereafter had seen one.
Not sure Sri Lanka will get too many tourists in the near future which is a great shame but if you do go to Yala – go with no great expectations of a satisfactory game viewing experience!