With the world's largest concentration of leopards, Yala National Park would be on any bucket list. Throw in its more than 300 elephants and 42 other species of mammals and it becomes a must-visit. Factor in the 215 bird varieties and you realise that a safari here is one of those experiences that come to define a holiday in Sri Lanka.
It's a fairly long journey to Yala so there's a break en route and a stop for lunch in Tissamaharama. On arrival at Yala, you'll set out on a safari in search of Sri Lanka's ‘big four' – leopards, elephants, sloth bears and buffalo. Touring in a 4x4, there are pit stops to observe storks and crocodiles sharing lagoon-space or monkeys hanging from treetops.
And with a bit of luck, you might catch a glimpse of the rare Sri Lankan leopard. There are about 35 of them but despite its high concentration of them, spotting them is still an elusive sight. So, fancy spotting some leopards and snapping pics of elephants?