I’ve booked a trip to Unawatuna, Sri Lanka, staying at the Fort Rock Hotel and Spa. I’d like to go on a day trip to Yala National Park. What’s the best way to go about this?
Answered by our Expert
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Yala National Park is a popular day trip from Unawatuna, although it’s 162km away. Realistically, the journey would take 3-5 hours, depending on traffic. A day trip travelling this far is not possible on public transport, but there are plenty of other options:
If you can stretch your budget for the trip of a lifetime, a private tour is an excellent option. You’ll be picked up straight from your hotel and begin the long journey without multiple pickup stops along the way. You’ll also have a private driver or/and guide on hand to answer any questions.
By Guided Group Tour
To visit Yala National Park as a day trip, the best option would be to book a guided tour. This way, you’ve picked up straight from your hotel (or a very nearby collection point), you can see all of the key sights in a day, and your return transfers are sorted.
Hiring a car is another good option if you can navigate Sri Lanka’s roads. However, the journey is long, and it would be a very long day! If you choose this option, I would recommend staying overnight in Yala. You could even consider driving up the day before and book a safari trip that picks you up from your accommodation. The best time to do a safari in Yala national park is the early morning, so this would be a great option.