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Noel Rodrigo's Leopard Safaris - Yala National Park

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

Highlights

- Tented multi-day safari adventure
- Game drives, abundant leopard population
- Sloth bears, elephant, water buffalo, jackals
- Nature walks, bird watching, cookery classes

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Overview

Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris in Yala National Park offers an authentic multi-day safari experience in the most popular and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. The safaris were established back in 2006 by wildlife enthusiast Noel Rodrigo as a way of sharing his passion with others. He and his staff know the park inside-out and have a wealth of expertise to share while out on game drives. The campsite is very environmentally friendly, with efforts continuously made to reduce its carbon footprint and conserve both animal and plant life in the surrounding area.

Accommodation at Leopard Safaris’ Yala National Park campsite consists of South African-style canvas tents that are fully customised and mobile. They offer plenty of space and have a lounge area with a view of the park, so guests can spot wildlife without from the comfort of their tent. There’s a flushing toilet and an outdoor hot water shower, with linen and towels provided. Lights are solar powered and tents are kept cool thanks to the battery-operated bladeless fan. To make the whole safari experience convenient and enjoyable, basic amenities such as a battery charger and a stainless steel water bottle are provided. There’s also the Luxury Lodge, which is designed for couples and comes with a stylish four-poster bed, as well as a private deck area and access path. Those staying in the Luxury Lodge have the additional option of a private candlelit dinner.

Dining at Leopard Safaris is typically a communal experience, with traditional Sri Lankan food to enjoy. Although menus are set, chefs will cater for specific dietary requirements or requests. Meals are served three times a day and jungle barbecues are sometimes offered. One of the camp’s highlights is enjoying authentic local cuisine out in the open and under the stars.

Game drives take place twice daily and are a fundamental part of the Leopard Safari experience. Yala National Park is known for its abundant leopard population, though plenty of other animals can be seen including sloth bears, elephants, water buffaloes and jackals. There are plenty of enrichment activities available at the campsite. These include guided nature walks, animal identification sessions, cookery classes and bird watching walks - those who simply want to relax instead can grab a book from the library and relax in one of the hammocks.

Leopard Safaris welcomes children aged three and above. Most of the Mobile Family Tents sleep four, but there is one that sleeps six – all come with two separate sleeping areas connected by a common living space. There’s also a Luxury Lodge Family Tent which has one large room with a king-size bed for parents and a bunk bed for children and sleeps five. Special family-friendly safari packages with discounted rates for younger ones are available. Age-appropriate activities for children are on offer, including animal identification sessions, photography walks and wildlife footprint tracking games.

Nearby Alternatives

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 5

- Close to Yala National Park
- Great wildlife, possible leopard sightings
- Quiet property with spacious guest cabins
- Lots of exciting day trips

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Delightful jungle and beach chalets
- Adjacent to Yala National Park
- Great for animal lovers

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Authentic 'close-to-nature' safari experience
- Game drives to see a variety of wildlife
- Tented accommodation with good facilities

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 504 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • Driver-guide: Very punctual, except for pick up for airport when he was delayed by >30 mins due to road closures. Vehicle very clean and well maintained- plenty of water and supplies of clothing for religious sites, tissues, postcards etc. Very good at understanding what level of conversation we wanted. Happy to stop for paracetamol, supermarket etc. Took us to signal box at railway since we were early (which was very interesting)

    The Walawwa: Lovely place to arrive at and get a bit of rest. Great pool, lovely rooms and food etc. Peaceful oasis so close to town.

    Wilpattu Camp: Wonderful food- really enjoyed trying lots of new things in excellent surroundings.Felt like the place had not been visited much recently (which I don’t think it had due to the terrorist attacks) so our safari guide had been brought up from another park and did not know the park too well- it worked out well though and we saw all the animals we hoped to see so no complaints on that front. We did feel that we should have been told about extra things we could have done- when we commented on the great food on final day we were told that they could have done a cookery demo for us, but it was too late at that point. It worked well for us but clients should probably know that they are likely to have multiple wildlife in their tents (eg frogs)- didn’t bother us at all, but others it might do. We were given a questionnaire to fill in at the end whilst all the staff were standing around, which wasn’t ideal as you felt a bit of pressure! Felt really well looked after here!

    Water Gardens Sigiriya: Beautiful suites with plunge pools- quiet and peaceful with lovely big swimming pool. Food good

    Jungle Beach: Beautiful location on beach. Rooms good. Food a bit limited I would have liked a bit more variety ideally.

    Camellia House: Lovely location- beautiful views. Food OK but service below average- our food orders were wrong a couple of times and even pre-ordered food was delayed. Tea factory tour was only an hour and that was the main reason to be here. It was interesting but quite brief seeing it was the main attraction according to our itinerary. Also, we were taken there in a minibus which didn’t have seatbelts on all seats and was quite smelly- not up to the standard of the usual transportation. Rooms were described as having panoramic views- one did have amazing views but the other one definitely didn’t.

    Galle Face: Lovely old hotel- but it did have some problems (leaking ceiling and ‘smuts’ coming out of air conditioning.) Weather very bad (spectacular storms). It was a shame the street food tour couldn’t take place but totally understandable given the weather, however we enjoyed our dinner here and free drinks/canopes!). Good choice at breakfast.

    MissingPippa R reviewing Sri Lanka Highlights - Classic on 30 September 2019

  • Once again you organised a really good holiday for us.
    If there was one criticism it was that there were too many flights. I don’t know whether you could do Bangkok first, Chiang Mai, then fly down South?
    Your drivers and Guides - all really good. The variety of transport on the tours in Bangkok and Chiang Mai; we all loved.
    Tamarind Village - Our room was a bit of a squeeze, with the 3 of us and 3 big suitcases.
    Lisu Lodge- I enjoyed our time here. Going forward I would suggest only 1 night or they need to have some more activities. I liked how we ate on the floor, the food was really good. Staff very friendly. We liked the cycling, tea plantation, trekking and white water rafting.
    Riva Surya- good location.
    Elephant Hills- we loved looking after the elephants, the lake was also a really good experience. The guides were informative and looked after us well. The resort locations and tents were perfect.
    Santiburi - amazing; we upgraded to a beach bungalow which was fantastic. The hotel is in a stunning location, the facilities and the service was impeccable. Sam has some private Thai boxing lessons, which he loved. We had cookery lessons and used the paddle boards. A perfect end to quite a busy holiday.

    MissingNatasha L reviewing Thailand Family Adventure on 24 September 2019

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