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“Don't consider going with anyone else.”

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Leopard Trails Camp Sri Lanka
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 4, 2014

Having a passion for wildlife and travelling the world to see the best on offer I having nothing but praise for Leopard Trails. While many reviewers have praised the accommodation, food and atmosphere, all of which I agree with, the major point of difference is the quality of all the guides and drivers and their commitment to sustainable and ethical practices, conservation and educating their 'guests' about the wild life in Sri Lanka. Whilst seeing the larger and more well known beasts, including leopards and elephants, was a highlight learning about the birds, reptiles and other animals in the park was an unexpected joy. It also amazed me that our guide, Aron was as excited as we were with each sighting, particularly when we spotted a rusty, spotted cat. Watching jeeps,without guides, fly past these smaller and less well known animals made me realise how lucky we were. So whilst we probably paid more than these day trippers if you want to really see, experience and learn about Sri Lankan wildlife you should not consider going with anyone else.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank born2travelozzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 3, 2014

Writing this I honestly believe that Leopard Trails provides one of the best safari experiences in Sri Lanka, challenging even the established providers in Africa. The guides that form the team are all amazing. Each with an vast amount of knowledge of the bush. They are dying to show you and tell you about not just the big game, such as leopard and elephant (more about this later), but point out the wonderful birds that populate Yala and pry out great facts about the beautiful floral in the area.

In terms of the safari's itself, the team at Leopard Trails does a great job. They have great respect for the animals in the park, and follow clear ethical guidelines on how a vehicle should behave in a sighting. They also have the patience to help get you the best sighting. We were very lucky to see leopard three times, never with more than one other car in the sighting, which in Yala is an amazing feat.

As someone who is experienced in the field, I hesitate to say it, but the guides and the drivers at Leopard Trails are going to give you one of chances of seeing leopard and sloth bear. They will also ensure that you have a great experience as you drive around the park looking for game. Showing you there is more to Yala than merely leopard.

The accommodation at camp is also superb. The tents are spacious, with very large beds, with a truly luxurious camping aesthetic. Even during the heat of the day you will find that the tents are wonderfully cool inside. The staff at camp is as helpful and friendly as the guides. Always ready to help the guests, be it with a cool drink and towel when returned from our drive or when serving the three delicious meals we had.

All in all, I believe that Leopard Trails has set the bar very high for tented safari in Sri Lanka, and its sustainable approach to safaris and camping should be a model for not just the country but the Asia region.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Michiel V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2014 via mobile

All in all an excellent stay enjoyed by myself and my family.

I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone.

The excursion into the national park was my particular favorite part of our stay and the guides were fantastic.

  • Stayed: January 2014
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Thank mudgeboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2014

I hate camping, I have never liked the thought of it and never wanted to stay in a tent. My husband persuaded me to go to Leopard Trails and I can honestly say it was one of the best things we did whilst in Sri Lanka!

The journey to the campsite was long, but as soon as we arrived we were greeted by friendly and enthusiastic staff (and a much needed refreshing drink).

We were shown to our tent. This was my nervous moment. I was surprised to find a superking bed, arranged as if you were staying in a 5 star hotel. The ensuite, flushing toilet (yes, flushing toilet!) adjoined the bedroom and beyond that there was a shower. The proportions and décor of the tent made me feel at ease and was beyond my expectations.

The food at the campsite is amazing. You wouldn't think you were in the middle of the jungle. Each day the variety of food available is a credit to the chef and all the staff there. You certainly don't go hungry.

On to the actual safari! We had an amazing guide, Indika, he was unbelievably knowledgeable and funny. He really made the safari exciting. His knowledge and enthusiasm really encouraged you. We met other guides there, who were exactly the same. So it was good to see that the management are hiring staff who not only know the area and the wildlife but who are also totally excited every time they go out in the jeep.

Our guide mentioned that it was quite rare to spot a couple of animals, sloth bears, leopards and snakes. We were so lucky to see all these and much more on our stay. Although, our leopard sighting was very quick, which was a shame, we must remember these are wild animals, not performing seals, so shouldn't get upset when you don't see as much as you wanted to.

On our trip we managed to see a leopard, snakes, monkeys, crocodiles, wild boar, sloth bear, elephants, eagles, birds, frogs, scorpions and much more! We were so delighted.

Leopard Trails is not only a glamorous camping site, it really gives you an insight into the special species Sri Lanka has to offer. The staff are first class and the whole experience was outstanding. I cannot thank everyone at the camp enough. As a non-enthusiastic camper, I have now been totally converted and can't wait to experience Leopard Trails new camp at another national park.

I also have to point out, that we left our two children at home, but I really think they would have loved it. The rangers/guides always do their utmost to entertain and include everyone, whatever their age.

If you go to Sri Lanka you have to go to Leopard Trails.

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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Neelika C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2013

I was lucky enough to visit Leopard Trails to write a review for LT – the Sri Lankan magazine I work for. I was luckier that they let me bring my kid and that almost all the founders of Leopard Trails Camp were also visiting at that time and so were around to explain their vision.

The experience was remarkable in more ways than one. Without scooping my own magazine, I am now writing my first Trip Advisor review ever, because Leopard Trails deserves it! The camp is sprawling and tastefully manicured, the tents are more than comfortable; the food is authentic Sri Lankan fare, prepared well and served generously. All possible luxuries in the middle of a wilderness area have been considered and are on offer, including an all-inclusive bar that features everything from fine wines to single malts.

But ultimately, it is all about respecting the wilderness, while still allowing guests to experience a real Sri Lankan safari. In this regard, the Leopard Trails team have hit the target and positioned themselves exactly at the turning point of responsible wildlife promotion in Sri Lanka. The passion and commitment to wildlife of the entire team is obvious, it will drive the continued success of this venture I believe.

The “Park Rangers” are unique to Sri Lanka too, the Leopard Trails guides are not only qualified, they are passionate about the wildlife around them and genuinely nice and hospitable – we hear they don’t want to leave, even when it’s time to take a break!

This is a destination experience – one that shows off the biodiversity of Sri Lanka while minimising the carbon footprint (or for that matter actual footprint) it leaves behind. Luxurious, meticulously planned and still exuding warmth and hospitality, this is what Sri Lanka’s wildlife community have been asking for and what tourism in Sri Lanka can and should be - the Leopard Trails Camp experience offers it all.

My kid is 5 years old and loved every minute of it!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Radhika_Philip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2013 via mobile

I feel sorry to write only an average review. The camp experience, rangers and facilities are great, but the actual game safari is a real let down because of the scarcity of game and it is hard to spot interesting animals.

The tents are large and comfortable. There is a rudimentary bathroom including a shower for each tent ( cold water only though!). The food is really good and well done to the cook who manages to pull this off in the middle of the jungle. The staff could not be nicer or more helpful. Rangers are great, very knowledgeable about the jungle, incredibly nice and helpful. They really went over the top to ensure we would have a good experience. The evenings were fun with a bonfire and nicely presented dinner.
The 4x4 cars are well equipped and there are always drinks on board.

However the reserve itself is very disappointing. It is small with not enough game and there are too many cars driving around. Maybe it was worse because of the Christmas period but still I have never experienced this in Africa. It is very rare to see a leopard, and therefore it is misleading to call it a leopard safari. We saw one once for a few seconds over our two day safari and most people in the camp never saw one. It is possible to see elephants from time to time, and otherwise it is mostly about birds, wild boar, deer, crocodiles and monkeys. There is little diversity. Sometimes we drove for an hour without seeing anything apart from deer and birds.
As soon as one spots something of interest, eg an elephant, you immediately have eight cars speeding to the area and the animal goes away. It was tedious to wake up so early in the morning and see nothing. This is a nature reserve with beautiful birds rather than a game reserve, and the fact that there are too many people allowed at any point in time in the reserve clearly scares away the animals - given the density of trees and plants it is hard to see anything unless animals are close to the road, and they tend to keep away from it, probably because of the constant traffic of cars.

Stayed: December 2013
2  Thank Cec55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2013

As first time visitors to the Yala National Park, Leopard Trails provided an unforgettable experience. The spacious tents (including en-suite facilities) provided all the luxuries whilst keeping with the concept of outdoor camping. The food was also incredible with each meal offering the best of Sri Lankan cuisine. True to the hotel name, we were fortunate and privileged to view 5 leopards in one sighting (male, female and 3 cubs). Thanks to the knowledge of the Leopard Trails ranger (ask for Arran), we witnessed these amazing creatures for 45 min as they ate and played with each other. The importance of such knowledge cannot be understated since it is a critical element in ensuring you have a truly memorable time at Yala. We highly recommend Leopard Trails for an all-round holiday.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Divya H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Leopard Trails Camp Sri Lanka

Address: Yala National Park | Yala, Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Yala National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 39 Specialty Lodging in Yala National Park
Price Range: $59 - $139 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Leopard Trails bespoke tented safaris redefine the original tented safari with convenient modern-day amenities, all the while staying true to the romantic ambiance of a by-gone British colonial era filled with adventure. Tented Safaris is the most authentic form of safari, a true immersion into the sights and sounds of the wilderness. ... more   less 
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