A horde of local operators offer a wide range of trips from Tissa. Easily the most popular are the half- and full-day trips to Yala and Bundala national parks, and some operators also offer overnight camping trips. Camping trips don’t come cheap, although staying the night in the park gives you the chance to see nocturnal animals, including snakes, crocs, owls, wild pigs, porcupines (rare) and nocturnal birds. .
Another popular option is the half-day excursion to the rock temple at Situlpahuwa followed by a visit to Kataragama for the evening puja. The journey to Situlpahuwa passes through the fringes of Yala (though you don’t have to pay the entrance fee), so you might spot some wildlife en route, but this is much less interesting than a proper trip to the main portion of the park. There’s also a third national park nearby, Lunugamwehera (entered off the Wellawaya—Tissa road close to the km282 post) although this lacks the appeal of both Yala and Bundala and sees very few visitors.