Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
At a Glance
The pioneer operators of tented safaris in Sri Lanka
Excellent trackers mean they offer some of the best wildlife-spotting in the world; you can also ask for a specialist guide
Despite cooking in a camp, food is excellent and some of the best on offer during a tour of the country
Tents are set up with double beds
You are not with the rest of the government vehicles this way, you'll have a much more expert and personal experience
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
From May to August the Yala monsoon brings rain to the island’s southwestern half. The southwest has the highest rainfall – up to 4000mm a year. There is also an inter-monsoonal period in October and November when rain can occur in many parts of the island. Colombo and the low-lying coastal regions have an average temperature of 27°C. The sea stays at around 27°C all year. Climatically speaking, the driest (and best) seasons in Sri Lanka are from December to March for the west and south coasts.
Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation to Kulu Safaris or take a look at our itineraries to South Coast
Kulu Safaris offer a new concept in Sri Lanka that now allows you to get up close and personal with the wildlife in the national parks of Yala Park, Uda Walawe, and Wilpattu, camping within the parks in fully catered mobile camps.
An exciting and innovative concept that allows you to wake up in the heart of the national parks of Sri Lanka, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the wildlife. The local knowledge, logistical efficiency and creativity of Kulu Safaris has made them the number one choice for many world class production houses including the BBC, National Geographic and Disney Nature.
A fully mobile safari camp will be set up in advance of your arrival including hot water shower facilities, queen size beds, a fully equipped kitchen and heavy duty safari tents made in South Africa. You have access to a specially adapted 4WD vehicle for unlimited game drives, tracker and naturalist. All food and drinks are included (apart from premium liquor).
Currently they operate within the Yala Park, Uda Walawe famed for its herds of elephant and Wilpattu, home to the highest density of mammals in Sri Lanka particularly leopard but will hopefully extend to the other parks that make up 10% of the country. These are some of the most famous wildlife parks in the country and also have high numbers of wetland birds such as Lesser Flamingoes, Pelicans, Spoonbills and Painted Storks to name a few and reptiles. Wilpattu is the largest national park in Sri Lanka and has over sixty lakes which draw large numbers of game particularly when the monsoon rain water starts to subside. Kulu Safaris will be happy to out together a personalized itinerary according to specific requests and also provide kayaks which guests can take out for a couple hours on the water to experience a different aspect of nature.
Your tent will provide a comfortable queen size bed, hot water shower facilities, separate toilet and a veranda where you can relax and unwind in after a days exploring some of the most spectacular national parks of Sri Lanka.
Children are welcome to come and stay at Kulu Safaris. However, there are no specific facilities.
Facilities include the dining tent which also serves as the camp's living room. Each tent has it's own adjourning bathroom and is raised up above the ground on a decking. The Camp also offers equipment such as Kayaks for those interested in doing something a little different.
The park safari is included in room rates but you will have to pay extra for a naturalist to accompany you. Yala National Park has a variety of a ecosystems ranging from monsoon forests to freshwater and marine wetlands which are home to one of the highest densities of leopard in the world. It is also home to mugger crocodiles, sloth bears and a variety of birds including the Crested Serpent Eagle, the White Bellied Sea Eagle, Lesser Flamingoes, Pelicans, Spoonbills and Painted Storks.
Jessica Cator (Staff)
Kulu Safaris is in a beautiful location. The central camp looks out over a lake and the amazing scenery of the National Park. The staff were incredibly helpful and the tents are wonderfully comfortable. The great thing about Kulu's is that it is situated near the second gate in Yala, which only 2 or 3 properties use. You therefore get a much better wildlife experience by staying here.
Kulu Safaris also offer more opportunities than just Safaris in the National Park. They to encourage people to enjoy all elements of the environment they are in by taking them on treks, Kayaking on the lake, and nature walks around the camp.
All in all it is a fantastic experience.
Susie Reynolds (Staff)
It may not be Africa but for a few days during your tour of Sri Lanka, this is well worth a stop. If you can fit Yala in, this will be your chance to see a leopard and wonderful herds of elephants. The accommodation is great in canvas tents with queen size beds and hot showers. Dining under stars is real experience in a total wilderness with no one else around for miles and miles.
Afternoon Safari - Yala National Park
Enjoy an evening safari in Yala National Park. Yala is a must for anyone wanting to spot the elusive leopard, and with over 250sqkm / 96sqm of land to explore, you will likely have some luck in spotting not only leopard, but sloth bear and elephants.
Explore Galle Fort
While staying in the Galle Fort take the time to discover this fascinating colonial town, filled with history. Founded in 1588 by the Portuguese, the fort was subsequently occupied by the Dutch and the British, so there is plenty to explore.
Explore the Kapu Ela River by boat & Cycle through Rural Galle
Enjoy a scenic and immersive tour through the beautiful countryside surrounding Galle. Your journey will take you down the Kapu Ela River by boat and then by bike across the paddies, ending with a traditional Sri Lankan meal and a lesson in hopper making.
Hopper Cooking Class at Why House
The foodie in you will love this hands on cooking class at the beautiful Why House. A delectable Sri Lankan staple, hoppers are iconic in Sri Lanka and are delicious when served with a range of chutneys, sambols and curries.
Morning Safari - Yala National Park
Head into Yala National Park in the early morning to marvel at the range of wildlife, particularly the leopards for which the park is renowned.
Safari in Wilpattu National Park
Head into Wilpattu National Park for a morning or evening safari to marvel at the range of wildlife.
Sailing & Snorkelling Excursion
Climb aboard a beautiful 48ft catamaran, and sail along the south coast of Sri Lanka stopping at private coves to stand-up paddle board, snorkel over colorful reefs, swim or soak up the sun while your crew take the helm.
Visit a Cinnamon Plantation
Today head to Villa Mayurana, close to Koggala on Sri Lanka's South Coast. Learn about the process of growing cinnamon and the history that goes with it. Still a major export, cinnamon has medicinal values as well as being used in everyday cooking.
Weligama - Deep Sea Fishing
Enjoy some deep sea fishing in the waters of the southern town of Weligama. Perfect for beginners or those more experienced at fishing, let your skipper help you catch some big game fish from sharks and tuna to marlin and swordfish.
Enjoy a session of whale and dolphin watching just a few miles offshore. Large pods of dolphins and, in the migration season, blue whales can be seen.
Location & directions
Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
Depending on the time of year, your safari will take place in Udawalawe National Park (central southwest), Yala National Park (on the southeast coast) or Wilpattu National Park (on the northwest coast).
How to get there
10-hour 45-minute direct flight to Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo. It takes approximately 7-hours to drive from the airport to each of the parks.