Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris Experience: private safaris with Sri Lanka’s ‘leopard man’ – Yala and Wilpattu
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Yala’s arid boulder-scattered parklands are dramatically different from the lush jungles and paddy fields that cover so much of the island. Spanning 100,000 hectares of dry thorny scrub and dusty glades, you could easily be in an African bushveldt, right down to the long-thorn bushes. This background was so suited to viewing elephants, leopards, wild boar, spotted deer, crocodiles and jackals that the entrepreneurial South African Englebrecht, who was shipped over as a POW after the Boer War, rightfully instigated it as a sanctuary – Sri Lanka’s first – at the turn of the twentieth century. It’s now the oldest and most prominent of them all.
EXPERIENCE DESCRIPTION: Starting either at 5AM or at 3PM, “the leopard man” will take you on a 2.5 to 3 hour game drive into the National Park. The campsite is situated outside the national park. Entrance fees are all included. The vehicles are customized Toyota safari jeeps with row seating. There is cool box with drinks, there are binoculars as well. In the evening gather around the campfire in the evenings to enjoy a range of international drinks from our jungle bar. With the sounds of the jungle around you and the campfire casting a romantic glaze over the natural surroundings, you can’t help but be enchanted by the unique experience of being in the jungle at night.
YOUR HOST: Your host’s 35-year-experience amongst the world’s largest concentration of wild leopards and his personal game drives into Sri Lanka’s most dramatic landscapes will make your safari and camping experience unique and unforgettable. With your host’s expertise and guidance you will live the thrill of interacting with Sri Lanka’s beautiful wildlife, up close and personal. Your host is able to offer game drives in two major but geographically different National parks: Wilpattu and Yala.
Includes: 3 game drives with “the leopard man”
Duration: Each drive is Approx. 2.5 hours
Suitable for children: Yes
What to wear or bring along: Cool, light clothing, caps, sunscreen and a camera
Important to know: In addition to the highest density of leopard anywhere in the world, Yala is also home to sambar, spotted and barking deer, water buffalo, sloth bears, abundant bird-life, butterfly swarms, iguanas, mongooses, fishing cats, wild boar, monkeys and crocodiles. The chances of seeing a leopard are high, although not guaranteed. The best time to get to the park in the morning is at opening hour, it is a magical time and the least crowded.
Private or Not? This experience is private