Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris
As with other camping operators, Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris offers a very different wildlife experience from lodge-based safaris in Yala and Wilpattu National Parks, the two largest and best wildlife reserves in Sri Lanka.
Set within the buffer zones for the parks and thus close enough to reach the entrance early, the large, walk-in tents are well spaced and have king sized beds with proper mattresses and linen, fan, bedside table, separate living area with chairs and outdoor furnished sitting areas. There is a separate shower tent with basin and hot and cold water shower and separate tent with a fully flushable toilet.
There is a bar area where a good range of local and international beers, wines and spirits are served, a relaxation tent with cushions and intermittent WiFi access, and a dining area with fully laid table and chairs. All meals are taken al fresco and freshly prepared by the camp’s trained chef using fresh ingredients to create delicious, unusual Sri Lankan dishes.
Two game drives in well converted 4x4s are taken each day, complete with complimentary cooler box filled with drinks. An experienced naturalist guide accompanies each jeep safari, vital for spotting the wildlife.
There is a new deluxe tent on site at their Yala camp which is of a much higher level of luxury and can be booked at a higher rate. Noel intends to create another camp in a wilder area of the Yala buffer zone using only these new luxury tents – please ask us for news of the current situation.
Walk-in South African-made tents with en suite bathrooms, air conditioning, king sized beds, hot water showers, eco -lavatories, room safe, bar and al fresco dining area, relaxation tent, well converted 4x4s with beanbags, tripods and monopods, binoculars, refreshments when on safari, a wildlife library and free WIFI.
In Wilpattu there is no swimming pool . In Yala there is a salt water swimming pool and the highest grade accommodation.
At both Yala and Wilpattu you might encounter leopard, elephant, wild boar, jackal, wild buffalo, water and land monitor lizards, barking deer, crocodile, sloth bear, grey langur, spotted deer, samba deer, fishing cat and many species of birds, including serpent eagle, and Sri Lankan jungle fowl.
If you are a particularly keen photographer, we can arrange unlimited extra safaris at additional cost. However, the normal safaris times are from 0600 to 1000, then 1430 to 1800, which are the best times for spotting wildlife in any case.
If present and depending on which national park you are visiting, request a guide to show you a slender loris in the trees around the camp at night. If he can find a scorpion too, get him to shine a UV light on it – the result will surprise you.
If you have any questions regarding our Sri Lanka tours, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965
Our guide was excellent being knowledgeable, interesting, trustworthy and a good travel companion. I would unhesitatingly recommend him to your future clients. Yala was undoubtedly the highlight of the tour and from a wildlife point of view exceeded our expectations. My wife and I have had a thoroughly enjoyable two weeks in Sri Lanka. Everything ran smoothly and there were no major faults. Astounding scenery and wildlife, friendly people and delicious food.
We will certainly consider using Reef and Rainforest again. Thank you for putting together a wonderful itinerary which covered all our needs in the time available. A return visit to see other parts of the island will be on our list!