Discover the stunning route from Yala National Park to the charming town of Ella in Sri Lanka. This article will guide you through the various ways to travel between these two breathtaking destinations. Whether you’re excited to explore wildlife in Yala or unwind in Ella’s peaceful surroundings, we’ll show you the best paths to take for an unforgettable journey.

Best Two Routes to Reach From Ella to Yala National Park

Kataragama to Ella via Buttala-Kataragama Road:

  • Distance: 88km
  • Time Takes: 2 Hour

For those departing from Katagamuwa or Galge near Kataragama, this route offers a direct and swifter path to Ella. Along the journey via the Buttala-Kataragama Road, travelers may be thrilled by encounters with the magnificent wild elephants that inhabit this region. Passing through the buffer zone of Yala National Park in Buttala, the road provides glimpses of the rich wildlife and unspoiled scenery surrounding the park. The landscape is enchanting and picturesque, showcasing the captivating countryside of Sri Lanka. This route is often preferred, especially for those planning an overnight stay in Kataragama or seeking to observe wild elephants along the Buttala-Kataragama Road.

Tissamaharama to Ella via Wellawaya-Thanamalwila Road:

  • Distance: 88km
  • Time Takes: 2 Hour 

For travelers seeking a more relaxed and scenic route, the Wellawaya-Thanamalwila Road offers a delightful alternative. Along this path, you’ll pass by the picturesque Lunugam Vehera reservoir and the majestic Mountain Range near Mattala, enhancing the beauty of the journey. A notable highlight of this route is the opportunity to explore the ancient Buduruwagala Temple, famous for its impressive rock carvings.

This route is often considered the preferred option to get to Ella from Yala National Park, especially if you’re planning an overnight stay in Tissamaharama or preparing for a safari from the Palatupana entrance. It promises an immersive and enjoyable journey.

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

Wild Elephants in Buttala Kataragama Road

When driving along the Buttala-Kataragama Road, which is part of the Yala to Ella route and stretch along with the Yala Block 04 and Yala Block 05 entrances, you might see amazing wild elephants, including one called Buttala Raja. Remember to keep your distance and never feed or get too close to them. It’s not only against the law but also unsafe. By respecting their wildness, you keep yourself safe and ensure their well-being. This makes your trip more enjoyable and helps protect their natural home.

Buttala Elephants

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

Ellawala Fall

Ellawala Ella is located 70 kilometers away from Yala in the Monaragala District. It’s accessible via the Ella-Wellawaya Road, about 5 kilometers from Wellawaya Town. Tucked away in a dense forest, reaching this hidden gem can be a bit challenging. But it’s worth it! At the base of the waterfall, there’s a natural pool, perfect for a refreshing swim. To get to the waterfall itself, you’ll need to trek through the jungle for a few hundred meters, navigating a trail and climbing over some boulders. Remember to be careful while swimming, as there have been reports of drownings.
Ellawala Ella

Upper Diyaluma fall

The Upper Diyaluma Waterfall is a must-visit stop on your journey from Yala to Ella. Situated about 12 kilometers (approximately 7.46 miles) off the Wellawaya road, it stands as Sri Lanka’s second-highest waterfall. A 45-minute trek leads you to its summit, where hiring a local guide is recommended for safety and to enhance your experience. This trek not only showcases the area’s natural splendor but also allows you to immerse yourself in local culture, making it a vital destination for adventurous travelers.

Upper Diyalumajpeg

Buduruwagala Temple

The Buduruwagala Temple presents a distinct cultural attraction worth exploring on your trip from Yala to Ella. Located just a 3 km detour from the Thanamalvila – Wellawaya Road, this temple features remarkable rock carvings, including expansive Buddha statues that highlight ancient craftsmanship and historical significance. It provides a tranquil and less congested pause, offering an opportunity to delve into Sri Lanka’s vibrant cultural legacy as you journey from Yala National Park to Ella.


Ravana Fall

Ravana Falls is an enchanting Sri Lankan destination that you shouldn’t overlook on your journey from Yala to Ella, regardless of the route you choose. This captivating waterfall carries with it a hint of legend from the Ramayana. Whether you opt for the Buttala-Kataragama Road or the Wellawaya-Thanamalwila Road, a stop at Ravana Falls guarantees breathtaking natural scenery and unforgettable experiences.

on our way from ella to Yala

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In summary, traveling from Yala to Ella offers an amazing adventure through Sri Lanka’s stunning landscapes. From Yala’s wildlife to Ella’s tea plantations, it’s a journey filled with natural beauty. By learning about the distance, best routes, and transport options in this article, you can plan your trip effectively. Whether you prefer the scenic train, a bus, or a private vehicle, each choice has its own perks. So, get ready for an unforgettable journey from Yala to Ella, where every moment promises new experiences and memories to treasure.