Ceylon Wild Safaris is a tented camp set in an 18-acre plot surrounded by nothing but wilderness. Unbelievably this was once a farmland with slash and burn cultivation. Although it is hard to believe now as the patient efforts of the camp’s owners are rejuvenating the former glory of undisturbed wilderness. With its homely atmosphere and knowledgeable rangers, the entire experience is up close and personal. The rangers are dedicated to bringing a sustainable approach to the experience they provide.
This property is great for those who want a wilderness experience with a touch of luxury. If you like glamping then this is for you! The camp consists of just six tented rooms. The tents are spacious with air-conditioning, a small plunge pool and a deck that opens into the wilderness. The en-suite shower and bathroom are equally lovely with twin sinks. It can be totally secured for privacy or opened up into the jungle to enjoy the views of wilderness. The tents are powered by solar, which is a big thumbs up from us. If you want to be active in between safaris or bush walks head to the creative hub and have a go at fine tuning your photography skills and take a print back home with you.
The camp is just 25 minutes from the Katagamuwa entrance of Block 1 of Yala National Park, where you will not find streams of tourists on long queues to enter the park. Ceylon Wild Safaris is situated near the nature reserve adjoining the park itself. We were fast asleep after long days on the road and safaris, if not we are absolutely sure that a call of a spotted deer and a growl of leopard would have been lingering in our ears through the night. The camp is that close to the park.
Safaris start as early as 5.30 in the morning with an even earlier wakeup call so that you can treat yourself to an early morning cup of coffee, some cookies and fruit. Don’t skip this as you do need plenty of fuelling. The drive from the camp to the entrance of the park is a safari on its own as animals wake up in the early morning hours and roam around in the nature reserve, across the road.
One of the standout features of this property is the expertise of the rangers. The 4WD safari jeeps are open and designed to give the guests optimal views during the game drives. The interaction during the game drives are easy and educational. Our rangers (being expert photographers) even volunteered to get some beautiful pictures for us. And during our safaris we loved the packed breakfast, full of little local delicacies, sandwiches, cakes and cookies to fulfil the sweet desires that tend to come up being in the jungle on a safari.
When away from the safari, we loved being at the property and being so close to Sri Lanka’s beautiful natural environment. We loved sitting by the rock, star gazing and sipping a gin and tonic. The night skies were spectacular on the days we stayed – we were thrilled to see a number of shooting stars and we did wish upon those stars that we could stay here longer.
This is an all-inclusive stay and a minimum 2 nights is necessary to explore Yala National Park – particularly if you are hoping to see the Sri Lankan Leopard. Patience is needed on all safaris! If you are interested in wildlife safaris in Sri Lanka you should also read our Sri Lankan wildlife blog which provides detailed information on the best national parks in Sri Lanka for safari.