Yala National Park is located in the south eastern region of Sri Lanka and extends over two provinces of Hambantota district of southern province and Monaragala district in Uva province. The entrance to the park is at Palatupana, 12km from Kirinda. The distance from Colombo to the entry point of Palatupana is 305 km.
The gateway to Yala National Park is Tissamaharama. A 20 km drive via Kirinda takes the visitors to the Palatupana. At Palatupana, the well-designed visitor center provides the information to the tourists and assigns a tracker to all incoming vehicles. The park provides jeeps with soft–tops which give the opportunitiy to view wild life. Dawn and dusk bring about the best timing for safari tours in the Yala National Park. Being located in one of the arid regions of Sri Lanka; the climate of Ruhuna National Park is usually hot and dry. The mean annual temperature is 27 Celsius, although in the dry season the temperature could go as high as 37 Celsius.
Yala National Park consists of five blocks and is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. Though Yala spreads over an area of 1260 square kilometers, only one fifth of the area is open to the visitors. Four-fifths of the park is a strictly designated Natural Reserve. Adjoining the eastern border of the park is Kumana.