Yala Safari Camps with Mahoora
Sri Lanka Yala National Park
Our tented camps make Mahoora Yala the ultimate glamping experience. We offer the best amenities, from fully functional toilets to comfortable beds - all inside our custom-made tents! We offer everything from best wines to an on-site professional chef, giving you the ultimate in relaxation and indulgence.
The unique advantages of the Mahoora Yala in brief:
The Mahoora tented camps are located bordering the yala national park with about 15 to 20 minutes drive to the park’s ticket office. As this campsite is located just next to the park’s boundary, guests are able to experience something very similar to living inside the park. If you are fortunate you may even encounter wildlife in the campsite itself. We have experienced Elephants and Leopards visiting the campsite.
You are able to start the Yala Safari as early as 5.30am and continue till 7.00pm. Early morning and late evenings are the best times for wildlife viewing and photography /filming.
The complete Mahoora experience with luxury safari jeeps and expert game drivers, professional naturalists, snacks / beverages / water /tea & coffee are available unlimited. What’s more a yala safari with our professional team is a unique and holistic experience. We believe such experience can be provided by us, as we are well experienced and has the expertise.
In general, a hotel will not be able to offer the same services as their area of expertise is very different.
If there is a full day yala safari, we are able to provide a complete hot lunch served inside the park without returning to the campsite. This saves time and energy spent on traveling to the camp for lunch.
However, clients have the option to go back for their meal and return for the evening safari after enjoying an exquisite lunch.
We can also extend customized services for clients. (Family safari / honeymoon safari / photography safari / walking safari etc)
Mahoora Specialized Safaris
During certain times of the year, there are a few “chena” plots scattered around the areas near the mahoora tented camps. Chena is the local term for traditional slash and burn cultivation used for seasonal crops which is a common means of earning a living in the area. Clients have the option of visiting these sites that are of a moderate distance, during their day or night nature walks, and gain better understanding of rural Sri Lanka. This is also a service offered without any additional charges.
Your stay in a Mahoora Tented Safari Camp is completely carbon neutral.
The experience of staying in Mahoora Yala and exploring Yala National Park is one that can scarcely be matched.
Boasting the highest density of leopard population in the world, the Yala National Park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and is widely noted as being the best place in the world to film and photograph the Sri Lankan leopard with the population density being as high as one leopard per square kilometer.
Every wildlife safari in Sri Lanka will have the same objective; to see the most of what the Park has to offer in the shortest amount of time. Mahoora tented safari camps provide an experience that will give you just that. With Mahoora, you will have the option of setting up base on the borders of the Yala National Park itself, cutting down significantly on your travel time.
The Yala National Park is among the oldest and best known of Sri Lanka's 15 National Parks. It covers approximately 1,300 square kilometres and is home to a range of ecosystems found nowhere else in Sri Lanka. With vegetation including moist and dry monsoon forests, thorn forest, savannah grasslands and fresh and saltwater wetlands, it comes as no surprise that the Yala National Park has the perfect habitats for the large number of endemic plant and animal species unique to the country, thus making it one of the chosen wildlife safari destinations that features on everyone’s tour itineraries. There are 44 species of recorded mammals in this National Park, which include the Sri Lankan Leopard, Sri Lankan Sloth Bear and Sri Lankan Elephant, 215 species of birds, 46 species of reptiles and 21 species of amphibians.
Read more about Yala National Park
The Location and getting there
There are two main entrances to the Yala National Park and most of the hotels are located in close proximity to the 'Palatuphana' entrance. As it is the most commonly used, there is lot of traffic which goes through that entrance every single day.
Our Yala Mahoora tented camps are located close to the “Katagamuwa” entrance (off Katharagama) facing the park boundary and is around a 15 / 20 minute drive to the park ticket office. The camp is in a semi wilderness forest setting where animals roam freely.
The drive to the park ticket office / main entrance from the campsite is also a part of the safari as it goes through the forest /park. Our clients often spot leopards and sloth bears on this route. For the morning safari we leave the campsite at 5.30am to ensure that we are the first to reach the core areas of the park. This way, there is no compromise to game viewing.
How to get to Mahoora - Yala National Park
We strongly recommend you to get in touch with your Safari Specialist as soon as the booking is confirmed, so we could explain where the meeting point is and agree on the meeting time. It will be a very difficult task for you to find the campsite on your own. You will be picked up from the meeting point inKatharagama and driven to the campsite at no extra cost or your driver will be guided over phone step by step.
Though we do not provide driver accommodation in the campsite, on request it could be arranged at a Guest House where he could make a direct payment.
To arrive at Katharagama:
On the coastal road, from any of the beach destinations.
This route is ideal if you are already on the southern coast. Take the A2 route up to Galle. From Galle you need to reach Thissamaharama passing Matara / Tangalle and Hambanthota. From Thissamaharama, take the 32 route to the sacred city of Katharagama. Expect a travel time of six to seven hours from Colombo.
The Inland Route
Travelling from Colombo, pass Avissawella, Ratnapura, Pelmadulla, Udawalawe, Thanamalwila and Tissamaharama to Katharagama, expect a travel time of five to six hours from Colombo.
Through the Southern Expressway
Exit the E01 expressway in Godagama, turn to Mathara and continue towards Tangalle and Hambanthota to reach Thissamaharama. Expect a travel time of four to five hours from Colombo.
From any other destination
To find out how to reach Katharagama en route to Yala National Park from any other destination in Sri Lanka, please refer the map.
Sea Plane or Helicopter Charter
The option of a chartered sea plane / helicopter to reach Mahoora Yala is taken by some of our customers. Though it is comparatively expensive, the experience and the convenience is incomparable.
Please talk to your Safari Specialist to get a quote.
Mahoora Tented Safari Camps actively support in minimizing human leopard conflict in the border areas of the national park. Researchers, and volunteers who seek to assist in such activities, including clients are encouraged to participate in the program. During safaris, our clients fill a research document on leopard and other important sightings that they have had as such data is important for planning conservation activities.
Pack in and Pack out
All of our tents are set-up just prior to your arrival, and are moved out after your departure, thereby minimizing our impact on the environment. This “Pack in and Pack out” aspect combined with all our other green initiatives; guarantee to make your stay with Mahoora the most environment friendly accommodation in Sri Lanka.
Though the tents are set up far away from local villages, bear in mind that this area is very quiet, so the distant sound of a radio or temple chant may sometimes carry to the campsite. These occurrences are rare but we would like to keep our customers informed in case such situations arise.
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