Yala wildlife tour in Sri Lanka

Description of Yala wildlife tour in Sri Lanka

An alternative Sri Lankan nature and Yala wildlife tour package tailored for a discerning responsible traveller.

You will be sleeping under canvas in the really wild Sri Lanka in a remote, non-touristic and undisturbed region of the southeast corner of the island. Far away from more busy and built up areas around Yala National Park. A "slow safari" allowing time for just being in the wild combined with jeep safari tours and local bush and forest walks.

The package has two afternoon tours and one full day safari tour in different sectors of Yala National Park and is based on a 4-nights stay at Tree Tops Jungle Lodge - a tented wilderness camp - situated in a genuinely wild environment. The tour also has a full day of wild nature living experience in the camp with local bush walks led by the tracker team.

Balanced between bush camp living, local landscape walks and safari tours in Yala National Park the package intends to create a different and exciting experience with Sri Lankan wilderness. A holistic nature/wildlife experience also allowing slow pace time to absorb the rhytms of the forest at Tree Tops Jungle Lodge.

This is a private/individual 4-nights component to be fitted into your own holiday itinerary planning. Pick up and drop transfers can be arranged on request. Meeting point is in Buttala which is easily accessed from all corners of the island.

The Tree Tops Jungle Lodge camp property is exclusively private and with just three tented chalets on a 25 acres re-wilded land merged with thousands of hectares protected conservation forest. The limited camp size is part and parcel of the concept and vision and definitely enhances the real and raw wilderness living feel. True nature-based accommodation set up in the jungle itself, and operated by a highly trained locally recruited staff team who take care of running a camp in a jungle.

The camp is off grid and day and night are two different chapters ... In the tent there are solar powered lamps and electric power sufficient to recharge batteries etc. In outside areas only hurricane lamps. At night the Mud Hut restaurant is illuminated by candle light only. The food is mainly vegetarian (or vegan) curry style, using locally sourced ingredients. Guests can give a helping hand in the kitchen … and get a bit of inspiration .

Three Yala National Park safari tours are included in the package: -

(-) One full day tour in the southern Yala block 1. The transfer takes 80 minutes from Tree Tops Jungle Lodge to the Yala entrance.

(-) Two afternoon safari tours into the recently opened northern region of Yala. This area of Yala is only a 40 minutes transfer away from the camp.

Safaris can be tailored to taste and time. The safari drives are private and with an experienced tracker-driver and a jeep custom made for safari.

Visiting different regions of Yala National Park adds to a more complete experience with varied angles on wildlife and habitat and leopard sightings.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 01On request: Arrival and Departure transfers arranged with our network of drivers. If you travel on your own: Arrive at 12 noon in Buttala town. A 20 minutes tuk-tuk transfer will bring you to the Tree Tops Jungle Lodge - tented wilderness camp property. The camp team will serve an early lunch. SAFARI TOUR. Start afternoon private safari tour at 1.30 pm. Into the northern region of Yala National Park, Block 5. This afternoon tour is in the nearby block 5 of Yala National Park, a lesser visited sector of Yala. The entrance is a 40 minutes, enjoyable, slow transfer from Tree Tops Jungle Lodge. Return back to camp at 6.45 pm. In time for refreshments before the dinner.
Day 02:On the second day experience a full day of living in wild nature. Wake up and enjoy the morning in a bush-jungle environment. Tea/coffee with bird watching. After breakfast, a walk with our 3-man tracker team in the local landscape and into protected forest. The walk will take around 1.5 hours ( roughly between 9.15 – 11.15 am ) After lunch - afternoon siesta. Use our quality binoculars for bird watching Late afternoon when the heat of the sun ceases go on an evening walk with the tracker team. This walk begins around 4.45. Back in camp around 6.15 pm ( a 1.5 hours walk ). These guided walks are in the immediate surroundings of the camp, a natural locality that is great for birdwatching. In dry seasons (mainly May – September) wild elephants might be around and are frequently spotted in the evening when they move from the forest, out in open landscapes.
Day 03:SAFARI TOUR Full day private safari in Yala National Park, southern region block 1. Enter via the Katagamuwa - northern entrance - into block 1 Start from lodge at 5 am. Enter the national park 6.20 am Leaving Yala National Park in the evening before 5.45 pm before other jeeps leave, in order to avoid traffic dust. Back in camp around 7 pm in time for refreshments before the dinner .
Day 04:Early tea / coffee at 6 am With the first daylight - Sunrise walk starting around 6 .15 am The tracker team will focus on smaller natural details, birds, dragonflies and other small creatures and may discover fresh foot prints of larger mammals. The early morning walk takes about 1.5 hour. Breakfast around 8.30 am Until noon take a break, watch birds and enjoy being in the wild setting Lunch 12. 45 pm SAFARI TOUR. Start afternoon private safari tour at 1.30 pm. Into the northern region of Yala National Park, Block 5 Return back to camp at 6.45 pm. In time for refreshments before the dinner.
Day 05:Morning in the camp, birdwatching. Departure 10.45 am (or earlier – as per your plans).

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
WILDERNESS IS OUR LUXURY
As a wilderness camp Tree Tops Jungle Lodge can boast of a big headline; - a claim that wilderness is the luxury. We are proud to state that we have, over many years, created our own wilderness and our 25 acres jungle property is in a permanent ‘re-wilding process’.

MINIMAL LAND USE ETHOS
Our 25 acres property is reserved for a very limited number of guests … just three tented chalets. The management ethos is to avoid "over-development" but preserve the original and authentic atmosphere. A piece of a wild Sri Lanka experienced in a silent and individual way.Good for the place, for the guests, for the wildlife, for the birds.

Our property has no fence or boundary to the forest; it is part of the larger ecosystem. Not only is our bush camp location naturally regenerated to wilderness, the lodge property is also situated along the boundary of a protected conservation forest and even merged with the forest.

TREE PLANTING
The camp property is a land where biodiversity is permanently growing and is left to natural rewilding. Natural trees and bushes grow and is increasingly used as habitat by more birds, insects, mammals, lizards etc. Moreover, re-wilding is facilitated by constant planting of trees as a part of our work; - a passion and also a part of the ecotourism vision.

SAFARI TOURS ETHOS
The safari tours inside the national park is conducted with respect for all regulations and we constantly consider potential improvements of details related to our own behavior on safari drives in the national park.

Two ways introduced by the safari operator to minimize disturbance of animals by our vehicles is to minimizing the use of mobile phone information about presence of animals. It means we try to avoid the ‘jeep jams’ frequently happening around wild animals in the park. Basically we intend to track ‘our own animals’. This is very much an ideal target and it cannot always happen in this way, yet it is our guideline.

We use a ‘fair trade’ salary payment policy and pay more than market average for the staff team in order to de-motivate ‘tips-conscious’ behavior by our staff, especially important when it comes to safari. When involving new drivers we educate them, making them aware of our ideals and guidelines and how our clients hope to see the safari to unfold. It means by any means avoiding chasing and disturbing wildlife and avoid the jams.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

This is a wildlife watching and bush camp stay that is operated by an ecotourism operator with excellent credentials and has been honored with the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Award. A very high high degree of community participation is ensured by the management concepts of the camp operator / ecolodge located in forest close to Yala National Park.

This ecolodge camp is not only located in a jungle but offers a very authentic local experience due to the community based ways of running this wilderness camp. The camp is operated and managed by a locally recruited staff team.

The whole operation including rewilding and giving back wild habitat to elephants is made possible by the clients booking with us. Here tourism has a 100% positve impact by generating nature tourism based jobs for people from a remote area where there is otherwise no access into tourism. Good for the local community as well as for travelers looking for real experiences with an authentic feel.

The staff is offered training on the job. The operator hire staff looking for informal talents more than exam papers with the intention to integrate an alternative type of people into nature tourism by using their natural skills and background from living in wild areas. This is considered a very useful qualification by this ecotourism operator and necessary training is provided.

Climate

1 Reviews of Yala wildlife tour in Sri Lanka

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 01 Mar 2020 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Every single minute of my stay, from the warm welcome by manager Kamal and his jungle team, until I reluctantly departed 4 days later. I enjoyed two
safaris in Yala National Park guided by Kamal in his naturalist capacity and an excellent, experienced, eagle-eyed safari driver, we saw glimpses of 2
leopards - one in a tree and one hiding in the bushes - as well as elephants, water buffalo, languars, wild boar, golden jackal and spotted deer. I really
enjoyed the morning and evening jungle walks with Kamal and his team, all expert bird and insect spotters and incredibly knowledgeable naturalists. At
night the jungle sounds were amazing, especially hearing animals scurrying past and over my tent!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Stay for at least 3 nights. Don't worry about being a solo traveler. The first night the other guests were more than happy with me sharing their dining table and for the next 2 nights I was "alone" with staff and jungle sounds, but busy on safari, walks and eating the delicious meals.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes Lars recruits all staff from the local village. Kamal is a self-taught naturalist and has worked for Lars for almost 2 decades from the beginning of the camp.
Conservation and sustainability is key to the Treetops philosophy and the basis of everything they do.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Lars has created an idyllic eco-lodge on the edge of Yala National Park. Very relaxing, exceptional service, varied and delicious vegetarian food. Large
common area with comfortable chairs, small library and dining area. Tents are beautiful, clean and equipped with everything you need including cold water
shower, flushing toilet, large double bed with insect net, plugs for charging devices, lighting, a fan and drinking water in a jug. This operator is an amazing and truly unique authentic wildlife experience.

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