We are family of 6 and had a 2 night stay at the camp in Wilpattu National Park. We had a fabulous time and were lucky enough to see leopards, sloth bears, elephants etc... and lots of birds. Our guides could not do enough to ensure that we had a memorable experience and their knowledge of the fauna and flora of Sri Lanka was encyclopaedic. They answered our endless questions with patience and good humour. The park was experiencing issues with water shortage which meant that they were restricting the number of cars entering but we were in safe hands and were first in the park every day! The camp was very comfortable with flushing loos, proper beds and hot showers and we enjoyed the best food of our holiday! The camp chef created the most fabulous meals and we were able to try many local dishes. The staff were just lovely and noticed that our daughter was struggling with the spicy food and arranged for a milder curry to be made just for her! All in all we had a great time which we will never forget....thank you!
Fantastic hospitality and thoughtfulness have gone into the design of the safari camping experience at Noel's Leopard Safaris. Camp manager Dhanu is very knowledgeable and a great host. Excellent food and great safaris early morning and late afternoon, to return to a lantern lit campsite for drinks and dinner under the stars.
I honestly can not think of another word to describe Noel Rodrigo's Leopard Safari near Wilpattu National Park besides WOW
We were greeted at the designated pick up area on the main road by the always cheerful Dhanu and transported maybe two kilometres to the camp. As per normal it was very hot so the Lemon Grass scented chilled face clothes and a cold juice were just what the doctor ordered.
Whilst we were given instruction on camp etiquette and safety by Dhanu his staff quickly and quietly carried our gear to the tent. And what a tent. I have done a lot of camping in my time but never like this. Spacious, airy, clean and practical. King sizes bed, flushing toilet and bucket shower. Sheer luxury.
Once we had freshened up we walked back to the lounge area where we were greeted with the greatest surprise ever. Ice cold beer in mugs straight out of the freezer. It really doesn't get better than that..
Then came lunch in an open sided tent. We sat with the other guests and were able to hear all about their experiences on the morning safari. The food was exceptional. Absolutely incredible that the chef could produce such awesome tasty meals. He even catered for both preferences when it came to the curries, mild and local. I recommend the local if you like heat.
At two in the afternoon we hopped on to the jeep and headed off to the national park. All the ticketing, permits and mandatory guide were done with ease and professionalism and off we went. There were maybe 50 other vehicles entering at the same time so to avoid congestion our guide took us down a separate road. Almost instantly we come across a Sloth Bear strolling along the track. After he is out of sight the engine is fired up and we continue for a short time until we stop again. None of the passengers knew what we were looking for but the guides did. Out of the bush came a lone male elephant and he wasn't real happy that we were there. Dhanu did his best to put everyone at ease but when it charged all ease went out the window. With complete calm and experience Dhanu gave a challenging shout at the elephant, who quickly turned and skulked off back into the bush.
After that experience everyone was happy to just cruise along and hope to find the elusive Leopard. We were shown crocodiles, land and water monitor lizards, mongoose, peacocks and heaps of other birds and animals that just blur together into a real life 3D nature documentary with not stop information that can only come with experience.
Yes we did get to see two Leopards but we weren't lucky enough to be right on top of them, but thats nature. They were beautiful,even at a small distance.
Back at the camp we were given torches but didn't really need them as the paths were lit by solar powered lamps and there was lighting in the tent and ablutions. We were offered warm water for our shower but a cold shower really hit the spot.
Just like lunch, dinner was unbelievable, although this time the table was set up in the open so everyone had a fantastic star studded ceiling enjoy. The pre dinner Gin and Tonics were followed by very nice wine accompanied the easy offerings perfectly.
The bed was large and extremely comfortable which was great because we were back up at 4 30 to be ready for the morning safari. As all the guests were all leaving that day we had an early start to get the most in as possible. And well worth it. Not too many big animals but plenty of monkeys, deer, birds, mongoose and more all with the same great quality tutorage from Dhanu.
Back to camp for an amazing local breakfast, shower, pack and transport back to the pick up point for our transport to continue on our journey. I seriously kicked myself for only booking one night. Do yourself a favour, do at least two nights or maybe three or four.
I have no faults to find. The camp is run by an amazingly professional team that bend over backwards to ensure everybody, no matter what age, has the most realistic but comfortable safari experience you could ever ask for. Well done
Our stay at Noel Rodrigo's Leopard Safaris in Wilpattu in June was one of my husband's and my highlights of our Sri Lanka trip! We stayed two nights and absolutely loved the camping and safari experience. The tents are very spacious and comfortable and all set nicely apart from each other, so you have a lot of privacy. The game drives were amazing, and Dhanu (our host) was able to spot so much wildlife for us that we ourselves would never have seen - even the tiniest lizards on the trees that we passed... stunning!! We were also lucky enough to spot two leopards, which was an experience we will not forget.
What amazed us the most was the amazing service we received in the camp... nothing compared to even high class hotels we stayed in. The staff is very well trained and the quality of their service is just exceptional! Dining under the stars with the most amazing Sri Lankan food and this kind of service just made our experience perfect - thanks for that! We will for sure come back one day.
I can't say enough about Noel Rodrigo's Leopard Safari in Wilpattu. We haven't stopped talking about it since returning from our honeymoon! From the second you arrive at the camp, you are greeted with cold towels, fresh drinks and hospitality that doesn't stop during your entire stay.
We were lucky to have Praneeth as our guide for the safari. He is incredibly knowledgeable about all the wildlife you come across in the Park. He and his team are able to spot so many things the average person would never even notice! From the smallest birds hidden in the trees to leopard tracks in the sand, they will work hard to make sure you can see as much of the Park's wildlife as possible. We were lucky to have an amazing leopard sighting, but would have been happy without because the experience was so awesome. We also saw water buffalo, wild boar, crocodiles, land monitors and so much more.
Besides the safari, the food is delicious and worth it's own review! Every meal at the camp is an authentic Sri Lankan dish and the chef is fantastic. We especially enjoyed the string hoppers, coconut roti, all of the curry dishes, and the fresh fruits and vegetables (all sourced locally).
At night, you'll enjoy a candlelit dinner under the stars. It added the perfect romantic touch to our day of adventure!
Don't miss this amazing opportunity or be afraid of sleeping in a tent. It is incredible!!