In our opinion, a tented safari experience is by far the most exhilarating way to see Sri Lanka’s wildlife and well worth the price tag. Mahoora are the original experts at boutique tented camps in Sri Lanka, and are frequently praised by some of the foremost names in the industry. They have a long history of providing high-quality wildlife experiences and continue to innovate whilst up against some very stiff competition. It’s definitely glamping over camping, so you can relax completely. The tents are lavish with elegant furniture, tasteful decorations, full bathrooms and full-sized beds.
There are three National Parks to choose from - Wilpattu, Yala, and Udawalawe - each significantly different to the others. Depending on the package, you’ll be able to head out on one or two safaris every day, each lasting about 4 hours. The accompanying naturalists are at the top of their game, and the chances of sighting leopards are high. Open-air dining and BBQ cuisine are the norm and a great way to wind down after a dusty day in the bush. Relax, drink in hand, under a perfect sky, the darkness interrupted only by the flaming torches around your private table.
All three camps are located in the buffer zones right outside the parks. Being so close to the gates of the park means that you avoid long transfer times and can start your safaris sooner.
Two styles of tent, Mahoora Explorer or Mahoora Elite (upgraded)
Up to 2 safaris per day, depending on the package booked
I can’t recommend Mahoora highly enough. Doing the safari this way was the right call, it really enhanced the whole trip.
Discover what to expect from staying at Mahoora Tented Camps
We always recommend Mahoora with confidence. Over the years, they have got to know the parks and wildlife perhaps better than anyone else. The result is a very slick experience, and they have an unofficial reputation as the safari operator of choice for significant sightings. The whole package is fantastic. The tents, the food, the service, and the thoughtfulness of the staff all provide an unbeatable backdrop to the safari experience.
In recent years, Mahoora has gone a step further in their quest to provide the best Sri Lankan wilderness and wildlife experiences. In addition to the well-known parks, Sri Lanka is also home to some much less-visited conservation areas. These are remote, with no facilities, so a private camp site can be set up just for you. It’s amazing how comfortable they are. Though perhaps less spectacular than the permanent camps, it’s definitely not ‘roughing it’! Limited to only 3 tents, you can make camp in 7 different locations which are all that little bit closer to the action.
A safari can take up to 4 hours, and doing two of these in a day means there is little time left for anything else except dinner! For many, a single safari each day is sufficient, which leaves you time to relax in a hammock and enjoy your accommodation. There are a handful of other experiences that can be arranged, including day walks around the local area, visits to the local village, and Sri Lankan cooking lessons.
Mahoora have publicly stated their commitment to being carbon neutral for some years now. A lot of thought has gone into this policy, of which they are rightly proud. It’s a heartfelt move and part of a wider responsibility to the parks they operate in. Whenever possible, supplies are sourced, and staff recruited, very locally.
Combine the island’s top wildlife crowd pleasers with some magnificent hidden gems and cultural highlights before spending some time on the beach.