“Experience on safari in other parts of the world has taught us that you generally get what you pay for, and so we booked at the top end for two nights in Yala, with Noel Rodrigo’s highly respected operation.
Noel, Cecile and the rest of the team were welcoming, gracious and knowledgeable hosts, and highly professional in every aspect of the business. Meals were a treat both for the food (the Sri Lankan dinner being better than the western barbecue one, and lunches stunning) and conversation with our hosts and fellow guests. Pre-dinner drinks were likewise great, and the staff were so good at getting everyone engaged in the conversations, whether they were young kids, reticent teenagers, or adults. Our tents were carefully set-up and very comfortable, and the public lounge area was a fine place to sit and read. Our safari vehicles were also well-set-up.
But let’s face it, one visits Yala to see animals and birds. Spotted deer and birds aside, wildlife in Yala is not plentiful in the sense that it is on the plains of the big African game parks; but having to work a little harder to spot game makes the experience more rewarding in many ways. The first of our four game drives provided us with two excellent leopard sightings. The next morning we were lucky enough to see sloth bear (mother and cub). Add in the elephant, crocodiles, water buffalo, barking deer, sambar deer, mongoose – plus other animal species and all manner of birds – seen over the four game drives, and we left Yala well-satisfied.
We would recommend a minimum two night stay, both to provide a good chance of seeing a wide range of birds and animals and to settle into the rhythm of camp life.”