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Mahoora Tented Safari Camp Yala
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 30, 2012

Myself and my husband decided to go for a safari camping tour to Yala National Park on our last vacation. We booked Mahoora Luxury Safari tent for two night with wildlife safaris and all inclusive package.
It was a glorious Safari Camping experience. From the beginning of the tour Mahoora staff treated us really well. Mahoora campsite is excellent, clean, well arranged. Mahoora luxury tents exceeded our expectations, fresh fruit baskets inside our tent, attached bathrooms with flush toilets.
It was a great experience to sitting under the night sky and having very well prepared meals. We had four safaris in our safari camping tour. We spotted four Leopards, a Sloth Bear, Elephants and more wild animals. Our naturalist tried his best to give us a nice safari experience.Our naturalist was always on hand to answer questions as we drove through the park, and pointed out numerous birds.
Mahoora given us a memorable wildlife safari camping experience.We would never hesitate to recommend Mahoora Luxury Safari Camps to wildlife lovers.
Thanks Mahoora, Thanks Eco Team!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank krish j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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184 - 190 of 296 reviews

Reviewed September 25, 2012

This was a fantastic experience and we certainly weren't disappointed. The safari was exceptional, we didnt actually see any leopards but other groups did. The guide was incredibly knowledgeable and really keen to enhance our experience as much as possible. After a tiring 4hr safari, we were greeted with frozen hand towels and a welcome drink. This was definitely more like 'glamping' as out tent/marque had a double bed with en suite (proper shower, sink and flushing toilet!). The service was second to none, we had a drink in front of a log fire under the stars and then a 3 course meal served via lantern and candle light in the camp just for the 2 of us. We had an amazing experience, one that we will never forget and cannot recommend highly enough.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Daryl S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

We want to share our experience in Yala in April. We chose to go with Mahoora in Yala , since parents of my kid's Best friends who had been with them highly recommended this to us.

We reserved a standard camping package and on our way we got a call from one of the staff asking us of our arrival time to Yala and were very much impressed. The welcome we got on arrival with cold towels and polite staff was great. Our guide was explaining the animals we saw and his knowledge is world class. Kids were busy in identifying animals using the binoculars and a book which was in the jeep. Even though we didn't see a leopard [ everybody wants
to see a leopard in Yala] there were plenty of other animals along the way. We came to the campsite and it was nearly dark. Surprisingly we had another welcome and the person who was the in-charge [ Chami ]showed us to our tents. The surrounding was illuminated
and the noise of the jungle was absolutely different to what we hear being in a city. Dinner was world class and the arrangement on the river bank made us wonder how they do it. How do they provide us with sumptuous food in the middle of the jungle? Raj [ our guide] was talking to the kids about wildlife and the kids were eagerly listening while me and my husband relaxed, confirming it was the right decision we made to take this trip, importantly staying with
mahoora. Next day morning the staff woke us up around 5am and offered us with tea
and coffee. We met Raj again and left for safari. It didn't take too long when we spoted a leopard. The feeling of seeing it for the first time we were speechless. We came back to the campsite where we had breakfast. Fresh fruits with Sri Lankan breakfast was amazing. We said adios to the staff and left the mahoora camping site, cherishing the great service of the staff,
tents which was clean and neat, the fruit basket , amazing food, the bon fire and knowledge of Raj. Till we return home we spoke about the experience we had in Yala with Mahoora and it continued since we shared it with everyone we know. The picture of the leopard that we have in our living room will certainly remember this trip for many years to come. Thank you
everyone for this experience hope to return again.

fassan

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Fel Diana A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2012

We were really looking forward to our stay at Mahoora Luxury Camp but were hugely disappointed. I'll stick to the main points but all in all I would not recommend any one spending 500 US$ per night for a below average experience.

Set-up of camp is not luxury at all. Tents are old and dated. Beds are so small that an average European man cannot comfortably sleep in them. Staff tries really hard but meals are cold and the selection of drinks is very minimal. After 4 beers they ran out of beer for the rest of our stay whilst drinks were supposed to be complimentary!

An even bigger disappointment was the safari itself. Firstly our guide did not speak English at all and our driver was a new guy who drove so fast and reckless that my son was almost torpedoed out of the jeep. After I complained to management we got a different guide next day but again his English was marginally better and it still prohibited us from having a conversation. Also the staff is focused purely on spotting leopards. Whilst of course spotting a leopard is the main price, there are lots of interesting animals, birds and other noteworthy elements to the park which are ignored by the staff. Lastly, there is no advantage to staying in the camp versus staying outside of the camp. At best you have a 30 minute window where people that stay in the camp over night can roam the park before all other day-trip jeeps get there.

The competitive advantage of staying in the camp (and thus worth paying a premium) should have been access to restricted areas or in any other way a unique experience. (Southern Africa understands this concept much better). In the case of Mahoora, you pay a lot of money to stay in an old tent and still line up with everyone else for the sight of a leopard.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Marit10012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anuruddha B, Owner at Mahoora Tented Safari Camp Yala, responded to this reviewResponded September 24, 2012

We thank our clients for giving us constructive feedback as they
provide constant avenues to grow and improve.

However with regard to the above feedback given, we would like to provide our observations and clarify some of the statements.

We appreciate our client’s view on the pricing and some of the services provided and would like to mention that we offer 3 categories of services [ standard / premium / luxury ] which are priced accordingly. Clients are given a choice to select an experience, depending on the price they are willing to pay.

The product purchased by the client in this instance has been standard camping.
In our premium & luxury packages we include a professional, very well knowledgeable, English speaking naturalist guide and for the standard package, this service is provided only on availability. There are very clear product / service differences between these 3 product grades.

However, we must categorically mention that the price [PP] that this client has paid is even lesser than what’s mentioned as fare.

And at the same time we stock beverages as per reservations only and in the standard package alcoholic beverages are not included. We have observed that our staff has served this client with some beers from the stock they have had for our other Luxury Clients stayed in the camp. But obviously hadn’t been in a position to provide them 'unlimitedly'.

As our camps are mobile camps, unlike in most other African continent camps, we use tent materials which can be easily transported, dismantled, fixed etc. As such we need to use standards which are aligned to the concept of removable mobile camping. All our tents in Yala are new and in use only for eight months.

Though our beds are 6’3” long we do understand that for some big made clients, having larger beds would be more comfortable. We will be certainly look into this matter and have some extra XL beds in the camp.

Our meals are made to the highest standards with customized menus by our trained
Mahoora chefs. However, we need to keep in mind that we are in the midst of the jungle with limited facilities. We apologize if some of the clients’ expectations were not met.

As for the safaris we adhere to the speed levels set by the department of
Wildlife. There is a Wildlife department officer present full time in safari vehicles to monitor any violation of rules and regulations of the park. In this instance, driver and the said official both claim that the vehicle did not exceed the speed limits, though in certain bumpy bends clients would have felt a bit uncomfortable.
In Yala National park, the infrastructure is such that the roads tend to be bumpy and dusty during certain times of the year and we have advised our staff to be more careful.

Unfortunately we are not allowed to travel or take our clients to restricted areas. All the service providers need to strictly adhere to the set standards in terms of road utilization and locations.

However the advantage that we can provide our clients is the
exclusivity of the experience that they are able to savour by being / having
accommodation inside the park. We need to consider that this experience is offered to an only limited number of customers at any given time. There are very clear advantages in morning safaris and evening safaris for our clients and it’s just one aspect of our experience.

Although leopards are the key feature in Yala, we clearly agree
that there are many other small and bigger miracles that one can witness and
therefore should not surpass them.

Once again our sincere appreciation for the feedback given to us is extended.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2012

Excellent all round - Safari, Accomodation, Service, Food, Staff. The camp is actually inside Yalla and we get head start before the sanctuary opens. Apart from joy of seeing the leopards, bears and other animals it was really enjoyable staying in luxary tents and sitting by the camp fire.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank GoLanka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2012

If you're into wildlife this is a must when you visit Sri Lanka. The staff are brilliant, knowledgeable, friendly, very efficient & always on hand. The food & service was amazing, in fact don't eat too much out on the drives as each meal is a 3 or 4 course feast. We saw all the big animals - leopards, bears, elephants, deer, jackals, crocs (saltwater & fresh!), plus so many beautiful birds & reptiles that out 4 days accounted for nearly 1,000 photos! The kids had a great time both on the drive but back in game, especially down in the river with the staff. This isn't 5 star luxury & the showers are cold but waking up in the jungle is priceless!

Room Tip: If you're travelling as a family of 4 get 2 tents of 2 and split the adults. Four to a tent is j...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank TrekkerJ123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2012

Our stay at Mahoora; Yala was truly an exceptional and wonderfully unique experience. I never knew that staying in Tent would be so very comfortable and luxurious!!!... the food was great and so was the attitude of staff.

We had a great time from the moment we entered Yala.. we saw 2 leopards right on... and pelicans and elephants.. being in Yala was a treat!! The guide and driver ; Prasanna and Sajid were extremely knowledgable and very patient. Besides the wildlife we had a great time with bird watching.

We have a 3 yr old boy, and even he enjoyed his adventure in the jeep and tent. The meals were laid out beautifully by the stream and we actually had some deers and antlers share meals with us!!! The food and attitude of the staff was extremely good and the staff was very very helpful...

Staying in the forest was great!!! and we got extra time on safari :)

Room Tip: Take anti-mosquito stuff
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Vaishali B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mahoora Tented Safari Camp Yala

Address: | bordering Yala National Park,15-20 minute drive to the park’s ticket office, Yala National Park 90714, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Yala National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 47 Specialty Lodging in Yala National Park
Price Range: $547 - $1,050 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Mahoora Tented Safari Camp Yala 3.5*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mahoora is a holistic experience from your arrival to the departure focused on living in the wild and wildlife viewing and not just an accommodation option only.All the Safaris are included in the price. Mahoora safaris include high quality Safari Jeep / all the entrance and permit fees, sumptuous picnic basket and an unlimited supply of chilled beverages and a Mahoora Naturalist to ensure the best animal sightings and interpretations. All of Mahoora elite tents are set-up just prior to your arrival, and are moved out after your departure, thereby minimizing impact on the environment. This "Pack in and Pack out" aspect combined with all other green initiatives; guarantee to make your stay with Mahoora the one of the most environmentally friendly accommodation in Sri Lanka.Mahoora is an all inclusive stay and Tea / coffee, Tropical Fresh Fruit Juices, Beer & Spirits, Wine, and Snacks all are included in to the price. Mahoora's Fine Dining Executive Chefs will prepare tantalizing meals to suit your personal tastes, whilst adding in a few culinary surprises. This is just one aspect of the unique Mahoora adventure which keeps clients returning to the wild, time and time again. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mahoora Luxury Tented Safari Camp Yala Hotel Yala National Park

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