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Noel Rodrigo's Leopard Safaris

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Katukeliyawa Galkadawala road, Wilpattu National Park Sri Lanka
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About

#3 of 10 Specialty lodging in Wilpattu National Park
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Only one man has made his home for thirty-five years amongst the world's highest concentration of leopards in the wild. Noel Rodrigo personally guides guests into Sri Lanka's most dramatic landscapes and natural habitats for elephants, sloth bears and crocodiles as well, in the utmost comfort, thanks to his former career as a first class airline cabin manager. Setting Noel's safaris to Yala and Wilpattu National Parks apart however are not merely the Toyota jeeps customized with camera support points and powerful binoculars for every guest, nor the South African tents outfitted with king size beds, en suite bathrooms, cooling units and private decks, nor even the healthy homemade Sri Lankan cuisine and imported wines. "I don't want my guests to feel any difference," says Noel of his elite team, recognized for their expertise by leading travel agents and international publications including Robb Report, Tatler and How To Spend It. In close coordination, Noel and these equally attuned animal trackers and bird specialists lead twice-daily game drives - most see a leopard, often many -- while hornbills, kingfishers and peacocks flutter overhead. "Elephants may come to drink at the waterhole by your tent," Noel tantalizingly warns his guests of all ages, honeymooners, families and friends among them, at his well appointed camps in the Sri Lankan jungle and high upon the Knuckles Range where nature photography lessons, cooking classes and equatorial stargazing are among the additional activities on offer amidst these timeless natural surroundings.
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Free breakfast
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Airport transportation
Non-smoking hotel
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Katukeliyawa Galkadawala road, Wilpattu National Park Sri Lanka
Getting there
Bandaranayake Intl Airport77 miSee all flights
Sigiriya Air Force Base Airport46 miSee all flights
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133Reviews5Q+A14Room tips
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If you are looking for a truly authentic experience of living and experiencing the Sri Lankan jungle, you simply will not find better. We were a party of 6 over 60 ladies on an adventure. We were greeted by Pasi and the staff with a welcome drink and much needed cold flannels. After being shown our ‘luxury’ tents we were called for a traditional Sri Lankan lunch, the food was incredible, more than you could possibly eat, and as soon as we had finished we were in the Jeep and off to the jungle. Pasi and Sameer are very knowledgeable about the area, and the birds and animals and excellent spotters, we saw the usual deers, water buffalo, crocs, so many interesting birds, a star shell tortoise (my spot) , elephant eating in the undergrowth was amazing, he blended in so well, and so many more a Amal’s, then the heavens opened and we were all given rain capes to keep us dry on the drive back to the camp. Pasi and Sameer were available 24 hours via a jungle mobile phone that they handed out with a torch should we need assistance We marveled at the candle lit dinner table with wine glasses for us under the stars, then the food came out, wow what a feast with South African wines from their wine list and professionally poured, you don’t see that much in restaurants much but you do here. After dinner and a chat we were escorted to our tents and settled down to the noise of the jungle. Next morning we were up at 5am for coffee and the sunrise safari, then back for breakfast. We were offered a warm bucket shower(another experience for us), then before leaving we were asked to plant a couple of trees, which was an honor for us. I cannot praise Pasi and the rest of the camp highly enough. If you’re going to Sri Lanka and you are planning on a safari in Wilpattu or Yala, you Must experience this.
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WOW If you are looking for luxury, this place won’t be for you. This was the final leg of our honeymoon in Sri Lanka and after experiencing luxury, this was the perfect way to bring us back down to earth ! If you are looking for a truly authentic experience of living and experiencing the Sri Lankan jungle, you simply will not find better. Our host was Passi who was phenomenal. From the second we arrived until the second we left, he, his amazing staff, and the jungle provided us with an experience we will never forget and treasure. So, on arrival we were greeted with a traditional Sri Lankan lunch, the food was incredible, more than you could possibly eat, and as soon as we had finished we headed off to the jungle so as to waste as little time as possible. The safari was magical, both in the evening and all day (a full 12 hours!!) the following day. We saw a leopard, a very rare jungle cat, a bear, multiple birds and reptiles, deer and buffalo and were chased by an elephant. Because of Passi’s incredible knowledge however (he is one of only 2/3 other fully qualified naturalists in the country) we felt incredibly safe and informed as to different species, behaviours, habits etc and left the jungle with significant more knowledge of Sri Lankan wildlife than before we entered. The accommodation is basic, which we loved, but again if you are after luxury, you won’t find it here (purposefully by the camp). We enjoyed an outdoor shower, an outdoor toilet, a very basic but perfectly comfortable tent, and enjoyed our two night stay listening to the sound of the jungle as we slept. Passi is available 24 hours via a “jungle phone” should he be required to move a snake or anything (they can’t get into the sleeping quarter of the tent BTW!) which gives a sense of reassurance, if needed. The staff are so nice at the camp, they arranged for a candle lit dinner for us under the stars ok both evenings, we had celebratory drinks and chatted under the fire. When we had to leave at 6am the following day they had even gone to the trouble of boiling us some water (has to be done over a fire!) to allow for an early shower, and prepared a hearty breakfast. I cannot praise Passi and the rest of the camp highly enough. If you’re going to Sri Lanka and you are planning on a safari in either Wilpattu or Yala, you simply have to experience this. AMAZING
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I booked with Noel Rodrigo leopards safaris 6 nights : 3 in Wilpattu camp and 3 in Yala Camp for an average rate per night of 372 USD for a "single mobile tent" including the safaris games, food and drinks. So for Wilpattu National Park, the expérience was very good with a very good guide and i saw 6 leopards in 6 games. For the camp, i wasn't so enthousiast as i never imagine that for 372 USD per night, the bathroom won't be ensuite but outside of the tent. Also the tent was old with many problems with the zips to close the tent. And for toilets, shower you have to go out and i am not sure it's very safe at night as we are on leopard land and wild animals are unpredictable. Also i had a medium size monitor lizard in my tent and i don't fear a lizard but i know perfectly cobras and snakes can follow the scent of the monitor heading them inside my tent. So this old tent with a lot of holes allowing animals to enter weren't safe and also be obliged to get out at night can be a danger and it's very unconfortable. So i didn't like the camp and i wanted to cancel Yala Camp as it was the same bad confort for expensive rate. So this camp is over-rated and they have to change the tents for ensuite tents. If i come back to Wilpattu, i will book a normal hotel - might be around 50 USD and i will book separately the safari jeep and i will be much cheaper
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Response from SriLankaLeopard, Owner at Noel Rodrigo's Leopard Safaris
Responded Nov 2, 2019
Dear Chris, Thank you for your two-star review, as we expected worse after you had mentioned you will “shoot” our company online to “destroy” our image. Unfortunately, your opinion of the regulations of Yala National Park as well as the road authorization system is out of our control. We understand it is disheartening to see rubbish on the road, which is why our company is regularly involved in rubbish clean ups & recycling and education activities! We are delighted to read your comments about your safari experience, your luck with sightings and that you wnjoyed the guidance and knowledge of our guide. Nevertheless, we are so disappointed to hear your comments in this review as well as our email thread such as “you have never exist in my mind and you are nothing”, however perhaps next time I’d suggest not waiting until the last night to express your dissatisfaction with your accommodation and ask for a refund of your 6 night stay. As much as we do not appreciate your racist comments that you had made (such as mentioning you will not promote Sri Lankan tourism as you said “because your country don’t deserve it” as well as comments such as “your people and the Chinese” throwing rubbish), we would still love to have the opportunity to show you again the real, authentic Sri Lanka. If you do venture back to this magical island, please do not come beforehand saying that you will judge our country and quality of safaris on the weather. If you didn’t know already, Sri Lanka itself does not control the weather! With best wishes, Noel & team
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I would really prefer to keep all information about this amazing place a secret but realise that i should not be selfish...We have been lucky and traveled extensively but this experience will always be remembered as it was extra special. The magic of the jungle with all its sensual sounds, extraordinary vegetation and magnificent colours. The absolutely brilliant guys running the camp and the fact that you can see these beautiful animals and birds in their natural habitat accompanied by people who really know about the ecosystem and who care deeply about it.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Well that's not entirely true. My wife saw one walk behind the jeep as we were looking forward! That aside we saw everything else. Our guides knew where to go and where the game was. They were enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. Camp food was first class. Drinks were always available. everyone one so friendly. The glamping was pretty good. Outside loo added some adventure but the tent was comfortable and we felt secure.
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PRICE RANGE
$540 - $622 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
Sri LankaNorth Western ProvinceWilpattu National Park
NUMBER OF ROOMS
5
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Frequently Asked Questions about Noel Rodrigo's Leopard Safaris
Which popular attractions are close to Noel Rodrigo's Leopard Safaris?
Nearby attractions include Wilpattu National Park (3.8 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Noel Rodrigo's Leopard Safaris?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at Noel Rodrigo's Leopard Safaris?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Does Noel Rodrigo's Leopard Safaris have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Noel Rodrigo's Leopard Safaris offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.