We booked the 7 hour morning tour with Yala Kings Safari with two days' notice after reading all the positive reviews here on tripadvisor. The company replied straight away and was very easy to book with competitive prices. Our driver Tharanga picked us up very early in the morning and was awesome! He had such a sharp eye and was able to see animals that neither of us could see without him pointing it out as they were camouflaged. We saw a leopard, many elephants, buffalos and crocodiles. Highly recommend Yala Kings Safari!
Highly recommend, Tharanga as a guide. He was an expert spotter. Has worked in the park as a ranger for over 25 years. He could spot a deer kill in the corner of his eye that was nearly 1km away. We had a confrontation with an aggressive elephant and he handled the situation calmly and confidently and ensured our safety. He was very knowledgable about all the wildlife in the park. Highly recommend Tharanga and Yala Kings Safari.
We booked a 7 hour private safari with Kings on the morning of our 25th wedding anniversary after reading great reviews on TA. Correspondence was prompt and detailed, pickup time was accurate and our driver Tharanga was absolutely fantastic. He was calculated, patient, calm and safe in his approach to showing us the many animals and birds of Yala, the highlight being 5 sightings of leopards! The final one was simply breathtaking as this majestic creature was sunning himself on a rock as we came around a corner! There were no other jeeps around and we had this amazing animal to ourselves until he got up and gracefully walked away. We were very lucky but what a way to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary! I would thoroughly recommend Kings Safari and Tharanga as an excellent driver and guide!
We chose Yala Kings because of the reviews and the promptness of the responses on emails and clarity of what we were going to get and how much it was going to cost.
My interactions with Tharindu, the boss, were all very professional, right up to the evening before we departed, when he emailed to advise the name of our driver, Tharanga.
I had read some awful reviews of Yala Park and the way jeeps were speeding around the park and that people who visited did not see hardly any animals. After our experience with Tharanga, I put that down to either a rushed safari or an inexperienced driver.
Tharanga has 23 years experience showing visitors into Sri Lanka’s national parks, and this was clearly evident during our trip.
While we sat at a water hole for 10 mins and observed a dozen different animals that Tharanga just kept finding, other jeeps stopped for a minute and then drove on.
We chose a full day safari and it was worth every rupee. We stopped near the ocean for a morning break and at the river for lunch during the mandatory two hour period where vehicles must not move around the park.
We also visited on the last day, ie Friday August 31st before the park closes for two months because of the dryness.
The lack of water did not stop Tharanga finding us the following; 3 leopards, a sloth bear that came right along side the Jeep, elephants, heaps of water buffalo, monkeys, deer, boar, monitor lizards, cameleon lizards, birds of all types including birds of prey, mongoose, crocodiles, peacocks, and lots more.
Tharanga was so adept at spotting animals, that what appeared to be a tree branch, was in fact a crocodile or a lizard.
I read about a family who took a 3 yo child with them and then complained about the roads being rough.
My goodness, this is the bush, the jungle, the outback! You need to immerse yourself in it to appreciate its beauty and what it has to offer.
If you don’t like tasting a bit of dust, or getting thrown around a bit on 4x4 tracks, then simply don’t go.
During our break by the river, which is a beautiful spot with full toilet facilities, Tharanga provided us with a curry lunch, fresh fruit and water.
So, a final word, do your research, choose a company who has knowledgeable drivers who can really make your trip something to remember, as Yala Kings did for us.
I would have added more photos, but they are all on my other camera. The only one below is of the stop we had at the ocean.
Well done Yala Kings and Tharanga !
My husband and I had a wonderful time on our safari in Udawalawe National Park. Our driver, Tharanga, was incredible! He knew about every single animal in the park and found the even the most hidden creatures, all while driving a Jeep! We couldn't have asked for a better guide. We would highly recommend booking with Yala Kings Safari for your tours of the national parks in Sri Lanka!