Mahoora, derived from Maha Hoora, the ancient Veddha tribe whose early inhabitants in Sri lanka, gave this name to "The Great One". These fantastic luxury camps have been designed fit for a king and our own experience was just that.
A tent for a king , service for royalty and a ast for a king. The best was the numerous sightings of the "leopard king".
- Wilpattu: leopards, elephants, sloth bear, birds, deer, wild boar
- Yala: leopards, elephants, birds, monkeys
- Uda walawe: elephants, birds, crocodiles, snakes
- Yala east : Bird watching, crocodiles
- Bundala : Birdwatching, monkeys, flamingos, crocodiles
-Wasgamuwa: elephants, birds, butterflies, bears
- Sinharaja Rainforest : Monkeys, orchids, birds,
What does Super Luxury Camping mean? It means all the advantages of being close to nature without having to 'rough it.' Think more five star not Boy Scouts. You will be accompanied by excellent wildlife guides and drivers but the main advantage is that you are living with nature 24 x 7.
Some of the best sightings are in the early and late hours of the day and most jeep safaris are not within the Parks best spots by this time so you can meet with herds of elephants and sleeping leopards in absolute solitude. No rattling jeeps to scare away your prey and excellent photographic opportunities.
The camping is no compromise as the facilities are first class and you can't beat dining by candle-light beside the lake as the elephants splish-sposh by dusk.
What you can expect in you campsite depends on the level of luxury you are prepared to extend to on your budget. We offer the luxury campsites which are truely memorable but a slight reduction on the super-luxury rate.
The campsites are a minimum of 2 nights and 3 nights is usually the longest we recommend unless you are a real enthusiast. In that time you will have met bears, leopards, birds, deer and nothing passes the guides by, they have razor sharp eyes and ears.
What can you expect on your campsite?: click on rooms index above and dining for more details.
Choosing the right park is often down to your itinerary and also the wildlife you are keen to see. The time of year and weather conditions will make a diferrence, so do gain the advice of our consultants. Here is a guide to the main parks where eco team operate:
Udawalawe National Park, south east of Colombo, is a dry zone game park with an average temp. of 29C and most famous for its elephants. The elephant population is estimated at 400 and it is not unusual to see herds of adults and young feeding, bathing and playing in the water. The park is also home to water buffalo, water monitor lizards, sambar deer, monkeys and the occasional leopard (if you are lucky). It is a particularly fine location for birdlovers. The camp is situated next to the Walawe River, which feeds the nearby Udawalawe Reservoir.
Wilpattu National Park is 180 kms north of Colombo and, covering an area of 425 sq. miles, is the largest in Sri Lanka. It is fairly thick, dry zone jungle interspersed with a number of flood plain lakes, banked with delicate white sands. It boasts an impressive variety of flora and a variety of wild life including deer, elephants, wild boar, sloth bears and leopards. There are five different camp locations within the Park This park is temporarily closed.
Kumana (Yala East) National Park is a well known bird sanctuary and a 'must' for serious twitchers. The Kumana Villu is a natural swamp lake fed by the Kumbukkan Oya through a half mile narrow channel. This mangrove swamp provides nesting for many waterbirds in May and June. Regular sightings include pelicans, painted storks, spoonbills, white ibis, herons, egrets, and little cormorants. Even the very rare black- necked stork has been spotted here. The park has its share of elephants and a few leopards in the surroundings of mangrove trees, kumbuk trees and karan fern. The camp is located near the bank of the Kumbukkan River, close by an old shrine still used by the local people who worship the resident god by offering milk rice.
Bundala National Park is located in the southeastern arid zone of Sri Lanka with its hot, dry climate. The terrain is generally flat, with sand dunes bordering the coast, and vegetation consists mainly of dry thorny scrubland and lagoons. A total of 383 plant species have been recorded, including 6 endemics and 7 considered threatened. It is home to 32 species of mammals, 5 of which are endangered. For keen birdwatchers the complex wetland system harbours a rich bird life (nearly 200 species) including migratory waterfowl which has led to the title of 'Ramsar Wetland' - one of international importance especially for migratory waterfowl. There are three campsites in Bundala, one on a cliff top overlooking the ocean and two in shady areas next to a lagoon.
Wasgamuwa National Park in the Central Province is bordered by the Mahaweli and Amban Rivers. A paradise for nature lovers, it hosts a huge variety of of flora and fauna - 23 mammals, including elephants and bears, 143 birds, 8 amphibians, 17 fresh water fishes, 17 reptiles, 50 butterflies and 150 plants. The park has an historical significance with its small scale ancient tanks (reservoirs), ruins and ancient religious sites. The camp is located in a shady area amongst trees, next to the Mahaweli River which affords a welcoming and refreshing dip after a dusty, hot nature walk or drive.
Special Interest Locations
Sinharaja Rainforest, Kudawa Camp, is Tropical Wet Evergreen Forest with a great diversity of habitats and a vast collection of Sri Lanka's endemic species. Named as a World Heritage Site in 1989, this lowland evergreen rainforest is steeped in legend and mystery. The word Sinharaja means lion (sinha) and king (raja) and perpetuates the legendary belief that the Sinhala people are descended from the union between a princess and the lion king of the forest! The camp is located on a peninsula in the forest between two rivers-deep enough for swimming-and just beyond a tea plantation, an ideal spot for early morning bird watching and nature trails through the forest.
Dambana 'Veddha' Camp. Dambana is a remote jungle village of indigenous people known as Veddhas, consisting now of only about 350 famillies determined to carry their traditional way of life into the future. Visitors have the opportunity to meet and chat with the villagers and learn about them and their traditions. Your visit has financial benefits for the community as a rent is paid for the campsite, a fee for their involvement in the programme and the Eco Team uses local produce and labour whenever possible. The camp is located next to the Delikadeliwewa tank. During your stay the Veddha people will visit the camp in traditional dress and perform some traditional dances.
Your loo also is private, so no worries if you over indulge a little at dinner - no spade required.
The best advice here is travel light and Eco tours thoughtfully provide slippers and an umbrella should you get caught by the monsoon.
What can you expect in your campsite:
There are 2 styles of campsite- luxury and super luxury. The real difference is the hot water, the pampering and cuisine. Both are of a high standard but the super-luxury is worth the extra budget.
Excellent organisation and equipment ensures that you will dine like kings. Hygiene and refrigeration are taken very seriously and all your meals will be cooked freshly.
There is even plenty of ice left over for your gin and tonic and what more there is a dedicated A chilled bar tent which will serve you unlimited drinks, both alcoholic and fruit juices.
Wonderful cooked breakfasts will sustain you through a packed morning's safari; lunch will be lighter to give you time to prepare for a many course dinner.
You will ahve a team of staff and an excellent chef who should win awards for producing gourmet cuisine prepared in just a basic environment.