EXPERIENCE THE VARIETY OF SRI LANKA'S WILDLIFE
Yala is one of the largest parks in Sri Lanka and is certainly the most visited and well-known. The park boasts a diverse range of wildlife but one of its most notable features is that within ‘Block 1” is the highest density of leopards in the world. Here at RASK we think that the best way to uncover Yala’s charm, astonishing wildlife and spectacular scenery is to experience it safari-style by camping out in the park. Our three safari operators are able to offer a range of all-inclusive perks, provide expert knowledge and insight, and offer a safe but adventurous way to get out into Sri Lanka’s wilderness.
Kulu Safaris operate fully equipped movable camps on the borders of the Uda Walawe and Yala National Parks. Campsites are carefully selected for their beauty and intimacy with nature.
A camp crew, complete with chef and stewards, goes ahead to set up camp. Single or twin-sharing tents are available.
You have access to a specially adapted 4WD vehicle for unlimited game drives, experienced hands-on trackers and naturalists. Photograph leopard, wild bears, elephants and an abundance of wildlife.
The camps are great to unwind after each days activities. A perfect hot shower is ready for you. Coming out to a crackling campfire and sitting down with your favorite drink, the stars blaze overhead. Delicious meals cooked in open air, are served under the stars in a spacious dinning tent.
Designed especially for photographers and comfort, in either a Toyota Land Cruiser or Toyota Hilux, the game drives are led by Game Rangers Aaron Sivarajah, Indika Nettigama and Avijja Fonseka who lead memorable game drives and walks and have years of experience tracking down the elusive leopard in Sri Lanka.
Back at the camp, guests can enjoy a private alfresco shower, followed by drinks and appetizers around the camp fire before dinner, which is served in one of many locations available at camp. Dining under the stars makes for an unforgettable experience in the jungle. The next day, rise at dawn to freshly brewed Ceylon tea of coffee and depart on morning game drive or walk at 6am which is an amazing time to get up close to peacocks and wild buffaloes. On return to the camp, freshly squeezed juices from seasonal fruits await you before a breakfast fit for kings.
Leopard Safaris specialises in unique tented, mobile camping safaris in Sri Lankas major national parks.
Staying on the borders of the park is an unforgettable experience which allow you to enjoy the remarkable beauty of these wildlife reserves. Sri Lanka’s parks boast a stunning array of wildlife. In addition to the highest density of leopard anywhere in the world, there are sambar, spotted and barking deer, water buffalo, sloth bears, abundant birdlife, butterfly swarms, iguanas, mongooses, fishing cats, wild boar, monkeys and crocodiles.
Leopard Safaris use customised Toyota Land Cruiser for the game drives which can handle every kind of terrain, give an excellent view, and are specially fitted with camera support points for photographers.
The campsite, set up a day prior to your arrival, is laid out with single or twin sharing canvas tents with queen size beds, fresh linen, hot showers and chemical toilets. There are no permanent structures; everything is brought into the park for your convenience.
During the course of a day there are many things of interest for the whole family, whether looking out over a waterhole at breakfast, snoozing in a hammock after lunch or star gazing over dinner.
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ART IN THE JUNGLE
A private art class with Cecile of Leopard Safaris in the Wilpattu or Yala National Parks for kids is a great way to keep kids occupied and entertained while parents relax or when they want to venture out into the wild, leaving the kids behind. Two art programs are on offer for children between the ages of 3-6 years and 7-12 years. These classes include lessons on how to make stick/coconut rafts, water color butterflies, rock painting, thumb print pictures, leaf prints (on linen bags/t-shirts), how to identify tree rubbings, seed art, wire drawings, rock painting, and jewelry making of seeds.
JEEP DRIVES IN YALA NATIONAL PARK
In the morning or afternoon your chauffer will drop you off at the meeting points by either 6AM or at 3PM. The meeting point will be one of the entrance gates of Yala National Park. You will meet you trekker and driver here who will take you on a 2.5 to 3 hour game drive into the National Park. The Park is situated in the dry semi-arid climatic region and rain is received mainly during the northeast monsoon. Yala hosts a variety of ecosystems ranging from moist monsoon forests to freshwater and marine wetlands. The number of mammals that has been recorded from the park is 44, and it has one of the highest leopard densities in the world. The experience is designed to make you experience the spirit of Yala, with knowledgeable trekkers and disciplined drivers. The park is teeming with elephants, leopards, wild boar, spotted deer, crocodiles and jackals.
THE JUNIOR RANGER COURSE
The Leopard Trails Junior Ranger Course opens up a whole new world to young explorers. The program takes place during game drives and in and around camp, with short walks that include tracking animals, a cosmic safari (astronomy); learning bush survival techniques, game-spotting competitions and it concludes with a nature quiz and a Ranger’s Test. During game drives, kids will learn bird watching techniques and how to spot local animal tracks including deer, wild boar, leopard, elephant and even dog tracks. On the walks, which happen after game drives and a short distance away from camp, kids will learn how to spot burrows, how to identify edible plants and basic navigation using the sun and moon. Upon completion of the course, these proud achievers will be quizzed and awarded certificates to recognize their new-found knowledge.
4×4 JEEP RIDE IN MINNERYIA
Just half an hour’s drive from Polonnaruwa is Minneriya National Park. The park covers 8,890 hectares and consists of a mixed forest of evergreen shrubs, a favorite habitat for animals, which include deer and wild elephants. The Park’s main feature is the former reservoir or tank built by King Mahasen in the third century AD. During the dry season from June to September, this is a fantastic place to watch herds of elephants come to graze and bathe. In more recent times it been discovered that the park witnesses the largest elephant gathering in the world during these months. You can also see huge flocks of birds, including cormorants and painted storks that come to fish in the shallow waters