Welcome to the “Ella to Yala” blog post. This guide will talk about everything you should know when traveling the charming town of Ella to the stunning Yala National Park in Sri Lanka. We’ll cover all the travel options, routes, and tips to make your journey smooth and your safari adventure unforgettable. Whether you’re a nature lover or an adventure seeker, join us on this exciting trip through Sri Lanka’s remarkable wilderness. 

Best Two Routes to Reach Yala National Park from Ella

Ella to Kataragama via Buttala-Kataragama Road:

  • Distance: 88km
  • Time Takes: 2 Hour

This route provides a direct and relatively quicker path to Yala national Park if you intend to enter the national park from Katagamuwa or Galge near Kataragama. As you travel on the Buttala-Kataragama Road, you may have the exciting opportunity to encounter the majestic wild elephants that call this region their home. This road also crosses through the buffer zone of Yala National Park in Buttala, offering glimpses of the diverse wildlife and untamed beauty of the park’s surroundings. The landscape along this route is charming and picturesque, showcasing the captivating countryside of Sri Lanka. 

This route is often considered the best choice, particularly if your plan involves an overnight stay in Kataragama or Interested in watching wild elephants in Buttala Kataragama Road

Ella to Tissamaharama via Wellawaya-Thanamalwila Road:

  • Distance: 88km
  • Time Takes: 2 Hour

For those seeking a more leisurely and scenic journey, the Wellawaya-Thanamalwila Road is a wonderful alternative as you passing Lunugam Vehera reservior and the Mountain Range near Mattala. One of the highlights of this path is the opportunity to visit the Buduruwagala Temple, an ancient site renowned for its remarkable rock carvings.

This route is often considered the best choice, particularly if your plan involves an overnight stay in Tissamaharama or planning safari from Palatupana entrance, ensuring an immersive and delightful journey before your arrival at Yala National Park.

Transportation Options to reach Yala National Park from Ella

  • Rent a Tuk Tuk or Scooter: If you intend to return Ella again or Passing Ella, Travelers can easily rent a tuk-tuk or scooter within Ella town do a day trip to Yala and return the Scooter back in Ella. It’s a flexible and adventurous way to explore the journey. However, when opting for this mode of transport, it’s advisable to avoid the Buttala-Kataragama Road, as there have been occasional reports of elephant encounters along this route. 
  • Take the Red Colour Bus (Route No 10/ Kandy – Kataragama): The red-colored public buses are a budget-friendly option, but they can get quite crowded, especially during peak travel times. It’s worth noting that carrying baggage on these buses can be a bit challenging due to the limited space. 
  • Take a Taxi from Ella to Yala: To ensure a comfortable and hassle-free journey, travelers can find local taxi services through their hotel or by searching online. Uber is not as widely used in the Ella area, so traditional taxis are a more reliable choice for your transportation needs. 
  • Take the Train from Ella to Yala

Unfortunately, No Trains from Ella to Yala National Park!

If you are looking for a Taxi for your Transfer from Ella to Yala, We have Best Taxi Rates

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Attractions to see during your journey from Ella to Yala National Park

Ravana Fall

Ravana Falls is a stunning Sri Lankan attraction you shouldn’t miss on your way from Ella to Yala, no matter which road you take. It’s a beautiful waterfall with a touch of legend from the Ramayana. Whether you go through Buttala-Kataragama Road or Wellawaya-Thanamalwila Road, a visit to Ravana Falls promises natural beauty and memorable moments. 

on our way from ella to Yala

Buduruwagala Temple

Buduruwagala Temple is a unique cultural site you can visit during your journey from Ella to Yala. To get there, take a 3 km detour from the Wellawaya-Thanamalvila Road. This temple boasts impressive rock carvings, including large Buddha statues, showcasing ancient artistry and history. It’s a serene and less crowded stop, allowing you to connect with Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage as you travel from Ella to Yala National Park. 


Upper Diyaluma fall

Upper Diyaluma Waterfall is a must-see detour during your journey from Ella to Yala. Located 12km (about 7.46 mi) off the Wellawaya road, it’s Sri Lanka’s second-highest waterfall. A 45-minute trek takes you to its summit, and it’s advisable to hire a local guide for safety and a richer experience. The trek not only reveals the region’s natural beauty but also immerses you in local culture, making it an essential stop for adventurous travelers. 

Upper Diyalumajpeg

Ellawala Fall

Ellawala Ella is situated 25.8 kilometers away from Ella in the Monaragala District. Accessible via the Ella-Wellawaya Road, approximately 5 kilometers from Wellawaya Town, this hidden gem is nestled within a dense forest, making it a bit challenging to reach. The natural pool at the waterfall’s base offers a refreshing spot for a swim. To reach the waterfall itself, a trek of a few hundred meters through the jungle is necessary, navigating a track and climbing among boulders.  It’s crucial to exercise caution while swimming, as there have been reported incidents of drownings.

Ellawala Ella

Wild Elephants in Buttala Kataragama Road

On the Buttala-Kataragama Road, part of the Ella to Yala route, you might encounter majestic wild elephants, including one known as Buttala Raja. It’s important to keep a safe distance and avoid feeding or getting too close to them, as it’s both illegal and potentially dangerous. Respecting their wild nature ensures your safety and their well-being, making your journey more enjoyable while preserving their natural habitat.

Buttala Elephants

Our car window was smashed by this Elephant on Buttala Kataragama Road

As your journey from Ella to Yala concludes, the memories of the enchanting landscapes and cultural wonders will linger. From the captivating Ravana Fall to the ancient charm of Buduruwagala, each stop adds a unique chapter to your travel story. The experience of navigating the challenging terrain to reach Ellawala Ella Fall and encountering elephants along the Wellawaya Buttala Road is a testament to the adventure this route holds. For those seeking transportation, contacting Ceylon Hunt for a taxi is highly recommended. Their prompt response to WhatsApp calls ensures a hassle-free and convenient way to wrap up your memorable exploration of this picturesque route. If you guys looking for a Ella to Yala Taxi please Contact Us!