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“48 hours in Uda Walawe”
Review of Master Campers

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Master Campers
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 2, 2012

When my friends suggested we go camping for the long weekend in October 2012, I was more than a little anxious. Some of the inquiries about the camping trip from my friends, included air conditioning and swimming pools.
It took more than a dozen emails to paint a picture of what to expect.
After several visits to BBC weather [as the rainy season was setting in] and checking every minute detail we were set to go.

From the moment we arrived Isuru and and his team looked into every detail.
The tents and bedding was comfortable. Finding flush toilets in the wild was a luxury.
The setting of the camp site next to Walawe river was picturesque.
The meals were definitely of gourmet standard, with a five course dinner the first night. The second night was a barbeque, which had grilled fish, prawns, chicken and a range of vegetarian dishes to keep the "vegetarians" satisfied.

We had 4 Safari's over the 2 days and we saw an assortment of bird life and superb elephant sightings complete with the new borns. Personally I thought that our encounter with a pack of Jackals [6-7] on a lesser used road was a rare one.

Many thanks to Isuru from Master Campers for the excellent safari's and
Chef Roy for the gourmet cuisine and my intrepid fellow campers and friends for enduring the vagaries of camping in the wild.

You can watch a short video at this link

http://vimeo.com/52594725

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank MohanF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 4, 2012

Staying with Master Campers was a fantastic experience. The two safaris in 4WD jeep were absolutely amazing, we saw a huge variety of wildlife close up. We saw a one month old baby elephant, several tuskers (lucky to see them as rare in Asia), many groups of elephant, a jackal, a crocodile, monkeys, buffalo, three kinds of eagle. Our guide gave us information on each one and we could stop and watch as long as we wanted. Back in camp, the accomodation was comfortable, while the food was just outstanding - far, far better than we expected on a camping trip ! Coming back to camp in the dark after the first safari and seeing the camp fire and torchlights was magical. Would recommend to everyone ! Gillies family

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Delilah68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2012

When one says camping what comes to mind is people roughing it out in the jungles sleeping in uncomfortable surrounding and having to cook their own food. Which is quite far from my experience with Isuru and his team at Mastercampers. That is why I prefer to call it Glamping instead. Even to call this a camp is a misnomer I would rather call it a hotel where the rooms are made out of tent material.
When I first visited the campsite I was surprised. I never expected it to be so much like a star class hotel. I was expecting some degree of roughing out. Instead we were welcomed with an amazing lemon and watermelon drink and ice cold towels. We slept on comfortable beds. Had a toilet with a shower commode and bidet to use (it was made out of tented material and away from the tent we were sleeping in). And ate at a table beautifully setup with fine china and crockery and cutlery just like in any hotel. The only difference was we were served by two waiters who devoted all their attention on us as we the only clients present and we were dining by a river which is better than the ambiance one would find at any hotel.
Mastercampers have two types of tents on offer. I have stayed in the premium as well as the luxury tent. The latter is equivalent to living in a 5 star room inside the jungle. It is as big as one and accommodates a queen size double bed with enough room to walk about. The tent also comes with an attached toilet with sink and shower cubicle with hot water. They even provide a fruit basket! Now that is what I call absolutely wonderful.
Anyone can set up a tent in the jungle and fill it up with amenities. But that does not necessarily make it an enjoyable experience. However there are two things which set Master campers far apart from the rest.
The first is the food. Oh my goodness the food. The food! The food! I can write pages and pages about it. So do forgive me. Chef Roy who is also a director of Master campers tantalized our taste buds with the most amazing dishes. Both the local and western meals he prepared were full of taste and flavor. From Crispy hoppers (which is an absolute luxury in the jungle) to onion soup and sesame chicken. From Banana Fritters to Fresh fruit platters; our senses were assaulted from all angles. For the first time in my life I saw my daughters who rarely eat helping themselves to second servings. In fact one actually wanted to kidnap uncle Roy. And when one thinks that they can’t do any better they bring out the barbecue with Roys signature pumpkin soup (which comes in a pumpkin by the way) and surprise us once again. I have never seen a man with such a passion for cooking. His commitment and versatility never ceases to amaze me. Yes he once even baked a banana cake for us by digging a hole under the camp fire since he did not have access to an oven. Of course it was delicious as expected.
The second and equally important aspect is the spirit of generosity of Isuru and his team. Would you like a coke? How about a bull’s eye or omelet? What about another cup of tea? Would you like to go on a Safari? These are the questions we are pampered with constantly.
Sometimes it is the smallest of things which makes the biggest difference. To me it was when they specially made a bottle of ice cold orange juice knowing that was my chaser of choice when they saw me drinking my Vodka with Coke. To my Kids it was the cooler full of iced water and soft drinks which accompanied them on each Safari. To my wife it was the flexibility of being able to go on Safari whenever she wanted without having to drag me away from my book as I lay lazily on a hammock. Yes Isuru is ever willing to take my family on Safaris in his pick up whenever they feel like it. I must confess this was a great convenience for me too.
In fact we experienced the generosity of Isuru and his team even when we were not his guests. For instance we were holidaying in wild life bungalow in Yala at the same time they were setting up camp for some other guests. The moment Chef Roy heard that we were in the park he sends Isuru with a large portion of his wonderful pork curry. Later I found out that what he had sent was the portion of pork curry the crew had kept for their own meal. How touching is that?
Every time we have camped with these guys they have showered us with lots of little acts of kindness which made our stay with them an absolutely memorable holiday. It also helped to cement the fact that he was the only choice we would consider when we think of going on a camping expedition.
In fact recently he organized a camping expedition for our entire office on the bank of the Kandalama Lake in Dambulla. They loved the food so much that now they want Mastercampers to cater to our office parties and functions.
There is one negative thing though.
Which is that writing this article has made me yearn to go out camping once more and taste some of Chef Roy’s delights.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Chrishantha-cj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

Camping in the Jungles


The campsite itself is beautiful, set in a clearing surrounded by impressive trees. The bird life in the area is out of this world. What's more, the site is right next to the Walawe River. The result? Many blissful hours spent in the water lounging, chilling and feeding fish.
At night, the campsite which does not have electricity, is lit with a huge bonfire and lots of hurricane lamps. The tents come with their own lamps so you have nothing to worry about. Tents come in double, triple or family size with beds. Linen is provided. The river side is amazingly beautiful and peaceful; the perfect setting to relax with a good book.
The Master Campers team really outdid themselves in the food department. We sat down at mealtimes to what can only be described as feasts. Rice and multi-coloured curries for lunch, one of the best barbecues I've had for dinner and the best fish curry with roti and kitibath for breakfast. Chef Roy’s special pumpkin soup is a must try! All of us kept tucking in until we eventually couldn't move.

We opted for the evening safari, which I think is the best time for a safari. We had a very eager tracker who was very good at finding birds for us. There are lots of birds at the camp site and if you sit yourself down on the bank of the river you can easily spend several hours trying to photograph them.
I had hoped I would enjoy the trip, but didn't expect to love it like I ended up doing. We could only spend one night but I am told that you must spend an entire day in the park to really unwind. Going by our experience, I can understand how this is true and I look forward to getting to go back there for an entire weekend.

They camp in almost all the parks in the country, so if you have a few days to spare give them a call. I doubt you will regret it.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank lkw_sl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile
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Stayed: October 2017, traveled as a couple
Thank Baehram A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2016
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  • Stayed: August 2016, traveled as a couple
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Thank christine J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2016
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  • Stayed: February 2016, traveled with friends
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Thank JEAN-PIERRE F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Master Campers

Address: 39/2 Bandaranayake Mawatha | Udawalawe, Uda Walawe National Park 10100, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Uda Walawe National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 35 Specialty Lodging in Uda Walawe National Park
Price Range: $584 - $862 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 1
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Master Campers runs mobile safari camping sites just out side the wildlife parks of Sri Lanka (the most visited are Udawalawe, Yala and Wilpattu). On their Safaris Visitors will see the wonders of Sri Lanka's jungle while enjoying gourmet food and every amenity needed for camping in comfort and style. Our Camp sites and activities including safari game drives provide enjoyment for campers of all ages. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Master Campers Sri Lanka/Uda Walawe National Park

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