Leopards are beautiful creatures that roam several parts of the world like Africa, India and Sri Lanka. They are characterised by their tail that is longer than half of their body length, when taken from head to tail.
The Sri Lankan Leopard is native to the region and is one of the biggest safari tourist attractions to the country. They can be identified by their tawny/rusty yellow coat, that sports dark spots and close-set rosettes. They are also known to have evolved to a larger size than other leopard species. The leopard species is labeled as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The best locations to find leopards in Sri Lanka are in Yala National Park and Wilpattu National Park. They were found in more parts of the country, but are now more concentrated in areas of conservation. Spotting leopards is difficult because they are mostly solitary nocturnal hunters, unless female leopards are with young or its mating season. You can try to spot them during the early morning or late evening hours though, as there have been sightings of them at these times.
As leopards are endangered it is vital that when you head out on safaris to spot these majestic creatures you choose responsible safari companies to ensure that you do not hinder conservation efforts that are ongoing in the country.
The Yala National Park has grassy plains, scrub lands, light forests and slightly briny lagoons. In addition to the leopards, of which they have the highest number, you can also spot the Sri Lankan Elephant, spotted Deer, Sloth Bears and a myriad of birds, including the majestic peacocks, as well as amphibians and reptiles. For an immersive and educative safari head out from Wild Coast Tented Lodge on a game drive with experienced rangers who know the flora and fauna of the area so thoroughly they can name the leopards by their spots.