The normal routine is to arrive at the park at midday and do a small game drive before returning to the campsite. On arrival at the campsite, you are shown your tents and one of the team will explain how to keep it zipped up, as well as how to use the enclosed outdoor shower.
Settle down to a delicious lunch and enjoy a short rest before setting off for an afternoon game drive. You will drive along red earthy paths, through forests and scrub to stunning openings where villus (lakes) lie full of white lotus flowers and trees with nesting painted storks, famous for their pink and black tail plumage. You may be lucky enough to spot leopards and sloth bears as well as other mammals and numerous bird species.
When you return from the drive, which normally lasts at least three hours, enjoy a drink and some snacks in the outside seating area. Then, have dinner under the stars next to a small bonfire. Dotted with small gas lamps, the camp is stunning at night.
The next morning you will be woken at about 5am, have a cup of tea or coffee and jump in the jeep for a morning safari. Witnessing the sunrise and amazing dawn chorus whilst you look out for elusive leopards is something not to miss!
Back at the camp, you will have breakfast and then enjoy some downtime to read up on birds and wildlife, or just delve into your holiday book.
Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris is a great experience whether you choose Yala or Wilpattu National Park. If you are desperate to see leopards, then you have more of a chance in Yala but for more of an exclusive experience, Wilpattu is an excellent choice. The campsite operates on an all-inclusive basis offering tented accommodation, two game drives per day in a customized vehicle accompanied by an experienced guide, snacks and drinks on game drives, all meals at camp, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and all park entry fees. If guests are interested in going on a private game drive accompanied by a naturalist an additional supplement is applicable.
Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris also has a strong environmental policy – they ensure that they remove everything from the park with no footprint remaining. They also help the Wildlife Department by looking out for suspicious behavior and poaching in the park. Also a percentage of the cost of your stay goes to the Leopard Project to fund further research and the conservation of Sri Lanka’s leopards. The proceeds from the t-shirts and postcards sold in the camp also go to the Leopard project.
Next to each tent there is a shower and a separate toilet facility. A real joy after an evening safari is to have a hot shower under the stars.
There is a family suite, which sleeps 4 and up to 6. If you are on honeymoon, then it is worth requesting this special, extra large tent for ultimate comfort.
– Relax in a hammock strung between trees in the camp and read your book
– Whilst on safari visit the remains of Queen Kuweni’s palace
– Cooking classes
– Animal Identification
– Wildlife walks
– Relaxing with a good book
– Dinner under the stars for Honeymooners
– Art Class with Cecile Rodrigo.
– On your way to or from Wilpattu you can visit the ancient city of Anuradhapura and also the beaches of Kalpitiya
Activities for the smallest wildlife enthusiasts:
– Sand toys
– Hammocks and swing chairs
– Wild animal drawing book
For the slightly bigger adventurers:
– guided nature walks (with or without parents)
– animal footprint memory game
– wildlife checklists for safaris
– amateur photography
Breakfast can include fresh fruit, toast, pancakes and some Sri Lankan dishes. Lunches are often delicious Sri Lankan curries and rice, followed by fruit salad or curd. Some evenings there are barbecues or hoppers (a type of pancake), which are a delicious Sri Lankan specialty.
Breakfast is served in the shade or in an open-sided tent once you return from your morning safari. Lunch is also served in the same way. Dinner is sure to impress. After your afternoon safari, you will enjoy drinks and snacks, followed by a beautiful al fresco dinner with the forest behind and a myriad of stars above.