Explorer by Mahoora is exclusive, private and completely isolated in Sri Lanka’s wilderness. Needless to say, it is one of our favourite places to stay during a wildlife tour in Sri Lanka. Unlike Sri Lanka’s other national parks which can be busy and crowded, Maduru Oya National park is wild and untamed, visited only by keen wildlife enthusiasts.
The camp is set in a cleared patch of land overlooking a small lake and a set of very artistic boulders on the far corner. Elephants walk down to the adjacent water holes to drink water late evenings across the boulders. The evening sunset is astonishing, taking of various hues of pinks and purples. When we visited there were nearly 30 elephants in small herds drinking water. It was extraordinary to sit on the boulders and watch them. The campsite has just 3 tents (only a maximum of 10 people can stay inside the park including staff) making this a completely private experience. The tented accommodation is modest yet has an artistic touch with cheerful throw pillows and bed runners making it cosy and comfortable. Each tent can accommodate 2-3 guests (double/ twin or a triple), amenities include a luggage rack and a bedside table.There is no electricity in the tent or outside. There are rechargeable lamps in the bedroom and the en-suite bathroom. A small verandah outside has two comfortable chairs to sit between safaris and watch the birds and an occasional elephant that roam across the bushes.
Meals are served under an open tent giving you ample views of the forest. All three meals were a delicious combo of Sri Lankan and western cuisine. Our favourite was the BBQ freshwater prawns within a garlic/ butter sauce, which we picked up from the days catch at the remote fishing village inside the park on our morning safari. The Sri Lankan rice and curry served at lunch was equally good.
A stay at Mahoora is all inclusive so you can have a gin and atonic or a glass of wine or perhaps a beer on a hot afternoon. The stay includes 2 half day safaris with the naturalist for each day. Since you are already living in the park, the safari is only a minute away. Apart from picturesque views and fascinating wildlife, the park has a few unique offerings including an ancient sluice gate (where you enjoy a delicious picnic breakfast), an isolated fishing community that resides inside the park and an interesting wildlife museum.
This property is ideal for wildlife lovers, couples and small groups who want a unique and authentic wildlife experience. We would recommend this property for families with older children especially looking for off beaten road on a wildlife journey. We can include this property in our 20-day suggested itinerary Wild Sri Lanka.