The Kumana National Park, previously known until 2006 as Yala East National Park, has its entrance located approximately 30km south of Arugam Bay, at Okanda.
It is normal to hire a 4×4 in Arugam Bay for up to 6 people (the more people you can find the cheaper it is). Try the safari sharing page on srilankataxishare.com to search for other people to share the trip. The jeep hire should cost about 8000LKR with driver.
There is a chance to see an abundance of different animals both enroute and in the park. The majority of visitors have most success during the early morning safari.
Be warned that it is tiring and many people do not realise how uncomfortable it can be sitting in this type of jeep for up to 6 hours over very bumpy terrain in 35 degree heat.
Don’t forget to take plenty of water and, if possible, clothes that offer a barrier to the sun as the jeep is open sided and the sun angle is low during the safari times.
Also ask around for the latest prices as they vary a lot, and ensure whether it includes the park entrance fee which is currently $15 per adult. Some guides are better than others and a few do not even speak English so this is also worth checking!
There is a Safari Share Forum (opens in another window) at srilankataxishare.com.