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“I think it was unsafe” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Kulu Safaris Sri Lanka

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Kulu Safaris Sri Lanka
Yala National Park, Sri Lanka   |  
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Hotel amenities
Colombo, Sri Lanka
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“I think it was unsafe”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

Yes, its probably one of the best camping sites but as a nature lover I see the reality and the danger that's lying under this luxury camping in Yala.
Just read these facts and decide on your own whether these "camps" are safe enough for you and your family.
Yala National Park is only 378 sq miles large and all the camping sites are in Block I which covers only 54.44 sq miles, where most of the animals roam. Besides Kulu safari, there's 3 other camping sites, all based near a river. Also Yala has the highest leopard concentration in the world and also there's plenty of elephants and Sloth Bears.
Now think about the land area and the animal density, and think how much these camping sites are invading their privacy. Also please note that as the management has arranged, at night we had drinks and sang around bonfires.
According to my knowledge about wild animals, when you invade their territory you have to do that very carefully or else they will get frustrated and will attack you back, which has really happened a couple of times according to some trackers we met at the office and the hotel staff where we stayed later on.
And since we are inside tents its not that difficult to leopards and sloth bears to attack us, it will take a few seconds for a jumbo to destroy the whole place. Don't forget that there's a constant battle going on between wild elephants and the villagers in most parts of Sri-Lanka, due to the fact that villagers conquer the jungle for their farming needs.
If animals take revenge on us, whose going to take the responsibility? Nobody. Because these people are only after quick money brought to them by tourism industry, and they don't even close down for the monsoons.
Yes, the staff does a terrific job even under very difficult conditions, but the camp was totally unsafe.
In my point of view, I think the few solid, well built bungalows they have inside the jungle is a better and a safe option.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KuluSafaris, Manager at Kulu Safaris Sri Lanka, responded to this review, September 5, 2012
Dear Reviewer,

We thank you for your review. However, we would like to respond so that our position is clear.

Kulu Safaris is the pioneer operator of this type of camping in Sri Lanka, commencing operations since 2003. Kulu is very strict on adhering to Wildlife Department regulations, and up-to-date had no complaints from clients or from the Department on breaching any rules. Kulu has never had any incidents with wild animals, and our staffs that are very knowledgeable, and highly trained with years of experience, ensure the safety of our clients. We have in fact had children and infants at camp on numerous occasions. In addition to lighting fire lanterns at camp to keep animals away from straying into the area where the tents are, our very well trained and experienced staff patrol the camp at night, to ensure no dangerous animals stray into the campsite at night.

Please let us know know when you visited our camp, as we do not permit singing or music at camp-and would investigate this.

Kulu Safaris has always followed a very strong code of ethics and abides strictly with Department regulations and rules.

Many thanks,
The Management Kulu Safaris Sri Lanka
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

From the moment we arrived at Yala National Park our experience with Kulu Safaris was faultless.

The guide/camp manager, Manjula, was every inch the professional and took us on four wonderful game drives where we saw leopards, elephants, a sloth bear, a python, and hundreds of monkeys, crocodiles, deer and water buffalo. We learnt a great deal about the flora and fauna of the Park and with such an experienced guide we were able to see things that the average visitor would never have been able to see. In addition, groups of elephants would even pop down to visit the camp at gin and tonic time.

Speaking of which, this is certainly not a safari on which you rough it. The food is excellent and varied, not simply in the styles of cooking but also in terms of presentation: we ate a barbecue lit up by flares at night, and a breakfast on tables set up in the cool river shallows. Although you do stay in a tent, frankly I have stayed in London apartments that were smaller and with worse plumbing. The camp is extremely efficiently run with great care taken to attend to the individual needs of each guest, whether four or forty years old.

Our trip with Kulu Safaris was the highlight of our time in Sri Lanka and we will take away many happy memories of our time in Yala National Park.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Istanbul, Turkey
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

Kulu safaris was the highlight of our Sri Lanka travel. In the middle of wilderness, away from crowd, it was wonderful to feel nature in such comrtable way. The service was great. Manju, the manager of the camp, is doing a great job. He was always ready to answer our questions to make our stay comfortable.
The staff was always smiley, kind to us and respectful to their job. The tents was comfortable, the vehicles were new, the food was excellent. Having the breakfast while sitting in the river, watching the wildlife coming to drink water from the river, having the dinner under the stars, chatting with Manjula, they were all wonderful. And of course the leopards were great.
Well, it is not cheap but to have all these cost some money, but it worths every peny. Only disappointment was we have stayed just 2 nights and we were sorry that we dont have time to stay 1 or 2 more nights.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

Travelled from a beautiful bungalow in tea country to go on our tented safari in Yala thinking we would be roughing it for a couple of nights. Wow from the moment we were met at the entrance to the park it was amazing. The enthusiasm and knowledge and friendliness of the Yala Safari people was wonderful. When we arrived at camp our lunch was ready and setup in middle of river - we felt like royalty- then we couldn't believe our eyes, an elephant came wondering into the river too to have a drink just a few meters away! Also resident at the camp is a beautiful orphaned sea eagle who swoops around and follows the staff. We went out on 4 safaris each for about 2.5 hours. The bird life is wonderful even though we were there during the dry season plus there are heaps of crocodile and spotted deer. We were lucky to see leopard twice during one night visit - leopard walked ring beside jeep at dusk - it was amazing. The tent and facilities were great and the food and hospitality was exceptional considering the challenges of being in the middle of a national park. Highly recommended to all ages

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2012

We actually took this trip in April but that's procrastination for you. Main thing was that this was the highlight of our holiday. As this was our first wildlife safari we weren't sure if 3 nights would be too much but in the end it was perfect. with 6 game drives we managed to see two leopards really close up, not to mention all the other game which we saw in abundance.
Biggest thanks and credit must go to Kulu themselves. Right from the moment we were met to the moment we left they looked after us and other guests incredibly well. The food was superb, and considering it all came out of a mobile kitchen, even more special. Best of all, however, were the guides. Having people who know and love the wildlife and country make all the difference. They always explained what was going on, stopped whenever asked and generally did all they could to give us a good experience. We spoke with Javana, one of the founders, who told us about the level of detail they go into and how they're improving so I can only imagine it will get better.
It's not cheap but I would say worth every penny.

Room Tip: 'They're tents Jim but not as we know them'.. Not much to add here as the tents all over...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2012

The organisation that was required to make our stay so comfortable and hassle free is mind boggling

Kulu Safaris run their organisation with military like precision

Every detail is taken care of during your stay at their camp site so that you are free to enjoy the nature and wild life

The location of the campsite is so picturesque and the meals sitting at the table in the river is one of the highlights

The advantage of being one of the few tourists to be staying in the park is you get to see wildlife in isolation - before the numerous day trip safaris arrive I the park

Thanks to the staff who accompanied us on each safari we were able to see a lot of different animals including leap odds - many times

I am not sure but I've heard the park can get a bit busy during peak season so it maybe better to visit off season - when the weather was perfect, nevertheless

Overall, very difficult to find any fault with our stay

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2012

We were a family of 5 (3 children ages 15-8) travelling in July and stayed 2 nights. This is traditionally off season although the weather was lovely (hot, dry) and the shrinking water holes meant the animals were out and about. We had luxury camped once previously so had some expectations. Our expectations were exceeded with the food, wine and service all being fantastic, particularly for the remote location in which we found ourselves - essentially solar power and car battery powered. Staff very friendly. The wildlife and scenary was better than we expected. We saw lots of leopards, 2 of the elusive sloth bear, elephants galore and everything in between (no pangolin though). It was the kids' favourite part of our 17 days in Sri Lanka.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kulu Safaris Sri Lanka

Address: Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Yala National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 30 Specialty Lodging in Yala National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kulu Safaris - The Pioneers for mobile tented camping safaris.Deep in the jungle away from the hum drum of everyday life is the opportunity for man and nature to reconnect – the way it used to be. This opportunity has been made possible by Kulu Safaris Sri Lanka.In Sri Lanka Kulu Safaris redefined the concept of camping in the National Parks with mobile tents which allow you to immerse yourself in the wild with all the comforts that modern civilization can give you.As you go on sightings of elephants, leopards, bears and birds along with your own professional naturalist you can rest assured that you will have delicious cooking, a comfortable tent and even hot and cold showers when you get back to camp.Our mobile camping experience combines five star luxuries with natures wildest. Our spacious tents come fully equipped with hot and cold water showers, toilets and a huge bed to relax in. Cosy lounge chairs at the entrance to your tent provide you with the space to unwind and relax to the sounds of the great outdoors. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kulu Safari Company Hotel Colombo

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