Safari location in Yala
The camping safari tour takes place in the Block 1 region of Yala National Park, the wildlife rich southern part of Yala where the chance to observe leopards is best.
This is the popular area that made Yala famous and almost everybody visit this part of the national park.
Despite the fact that Yala National Park is often described as overvisited you can actually have a very different perspective if the safari is planned the right way.
A camping safari is one of the best ways to experience Yala from an alternative angle and avoiding larger crowds of jeeps.
The safari drives, morning and afternoon
For each night of stay there are two safari jeep drives, in the afternoon and in the morning.
It is not allowed to drive in the national park at night, from evening 6 pm to morning 6 am.
The duration of each safari drive is about 3 hours.
In the morning starting from the camp at dawn at 6 am. Return to campsite for breakfast around 9 am.
The afternoon safari will start around 3 pm. Return to the campsite at 6 pm in time for a wash and refreshments before the dinner.
Night falls around 6.30 pm. The sunset can be enjoyed with an ice-chilled beer or a gin and tonic. The dinner would be around 8 pm.
In the jeep
The jeep is custom made for safari and with front facing seats. Onboard we bring basic needs refreshments such as bottled water, soft drinks, tea/coffee and biscuits.
The safari driver is one of the camp team members – and is a highly experienced safari specialist. More than a ‘driver’, he is able to simultaneously drive the jeep, spot wildlife and foot prints as and furthermore being alert to sounds and alarm calls indicating the presence of a leopard.
Attitude, patience and limited expectations is always an ideal starting point when going on a safari.
Sooner or later we come across something. We would like to underline that it is vital to appreciate smaller things in the Sri Lankan wildlife safari context, and not to expect a large variety and number of animals to see, especially not bigger mammals.
Still, given this is an island of a quite small size there is a surprising population of wild animals. They may be hard to spot. But we do see them and in Yala National Park block 1 wild animals are habituated to the safari traffic; it makes it a little easier to spot them.