Ceylon Wild Safaris is a subtle mix of simple living and luxury hidden away in the buffer zone jungles of the Yala National Park. The setup is straightforward on first glance, yet spend a couple of nights here and you will realize that there is much more than meets the eye. The campsite spans across 2.5 acres, although Ceylon Wild Safaris’ actual land extent is around 18 acres. A venture initiated by a group of individuals who are truly passionate about wildlife conservation, Ceylon Wild Safaris runs on solar power as it strives towards sustainable tourism.
Ceylon Wild Safaris offers six comfortable tents, each enclosed in a private space bordered by thatched coconut palms. The rooms are slightly higher than ground level and, as well as plenty of room in your private outdoors, the interiors are all very spacious and functionally decorated.
Each room can hold up to two double beds easily and includes a small dressing table, table, wardrobe and clothes rack. There are also bathrobes, towels and toiletries and the adjoining bathroom consists of twin vanities and a shower space and opens out to the outdoor platform towards the back of the tent. The platform at the rear of the room faces the great outdoors and hosts a plunge pool which is a much-welcomed feature in this part of the island.
All rooms have inverter A/C as well as Wi-Fi.
There is a spacious lounge area complete with plenty of reading on wildlife including birding. This is a lovely area to just relax with a drink as you wind down the day. The dining hut is located towards the middle of the property and is a simple open area covered with thatched roof housing birds and squirrels in its crevices.
CWS offers Sri Lankan cuisine as it aims to keep it local, including all ingredients which are purchased from the shops in the closest town.
All 18 acres had already been cleared by farmers, so no trees have been cut in the implementation of this project. CWS are instead slowly reforesting the rest of their land.
Why we like it
Tips on photography - and the blankets in the car for the early-morning safari are a caring touch
As a conservation-based operation, Ceylon Wild Safaris takes great care to instil the importance of nature into every client and employee. Being entirely solar-powered, Ceylon Wild Safaris also has a no-plastic bottle policy at the camp and promotes waste separation at the site. They are keen to hear back from clients on their sustainability initiatives and what can be done to improve them.
Ceylon Wild Safaris is in an isolated area in Yala's buffer zone and is closer to the Katagamuwa entrance of the park, about 40 minutes away. The journey from Colombo will take about five-and-a-half hours while Galle is about four hours away.
Location: Yala National Park, Yala
No. of Rooms: 6
Key Features: Expert guides; evenings around the bonfire; luxurious 'tents'; close to Yala National Park