When can I stay at Wilpattu Safari Camp?
The camp is open all through the year and visitors are welcome at any time of the year.
What is the best time to visit?
There is no specific answer to this question. Late October to early January is the rainy season and conditions can be quite wet and parts of the park can become inaccessible. From January onwards conditions improve and the park is beautiful and green with water bodies full of water and flowers. From March onwards the park begins to dry out until rains come in late October.
What is the best time to see animals?
The best time of the year to see wildlife is during the dry months when animals are drawn to water. But it also means that these are the hottest and dustiest times of the year. That would be from May to September. During the months of May onwards temperatures can average around 35 degrees Celsius during the day and drop to around 28 degrees in the nights. From April to October the park becomes very dry with many of the water bodies drying up until the rains come in late October.
How many days should I spend at Wilpattu Safari Camp?
Ideally you should spend at least 4 nights with us. This would give you an opportunity to visit some of the less frequently visited sections of the park away from the normal tracks which we like to do. This allows our guests to enjoy the different parts of the park that are difficult to visit if there is a rush. Also it gives you a better chance of seeing some of the more elusive animals such as Leopard and Bear.
What should I expect on a typical safari day?
Your typical day will start with a wakeup call at 5.15 am. You can meet at the dining area for a fresh cup of tea or coffee and some light snacks. The vehicle will leave camp at 5.50 am. There is no time limit that can be spent in the park hence; usually we would be back at camp by around 10.30 am. On safari you can enjoy a fresh cup of tea and a light snack. Back at camp you will be welcomed with a fresh fruit juice. Lunch is served at 11.30, from then on you are free to relax as you wish until 2.30 pm when we will meet at the dining area, have a light snack and leave for the evening safari. We will be back at camp by 6.15 pm. You can shower and meet near the dining area, sit around the camp fire for a sundowner and have dinner thereafter. After dinner you can sit under the stars and enjoy the evening. The campsite service will end at 10.00 pm.
Is the camp suitable for a first time safari experience?
Most certainly. The camp is safe and managed by experienced staff that will ensure that you will feel very comfortable. The facilities too are great so you will not have to “rough it out”. All you need to do is to make a determined effort to relax and enjoy the camp we will look after you.
Is the camp suitable for children?
The camp is more suitable for children over 8 years.
Can I be 100% sure I can see leopard?
A simple answer is “no”. Leopards and other animals in Wilpattu National Park, are wild and we have no control of their movements. Wilpattu is a park still recovering from a long closure and is also a large park. We at Wilpattu Safari Camp can’t guarantee sighting of any animals specially leopards.
What we can guarantee is that we will try our very best to show you as many of the animals that inhabit the jungle, both big and small. Our long years of experience means we do have a very good knowledge of the territories of various animals hence we will do our best but we do not guarantee sightings.
What if it rains during my stay.
The guest tents are completely waterproof so you don’t need to worry about getting wet in the tent. The jeep is covered with an all-weather canvas to keep you dry. Each guest tent will have an umbrella, and we will provide rain coats if required.
Can I charge my electronic equipment?
Yes you can. Each tent has a charging point for you phones, laptops, camera batteries and tablets.
Does my mobile device have reception?
Yes there is reception at the campsite, but there is no reception inside the National Park. 3G reception at the campsite is patchy.
What is the maximum number of guests?
The camp has four safari tents that can accommodate eight adults because this would provide for a more personalized service by our staff and ensure that you relax and enjoy your stay with us. Single folding beds to accommodate children can be provided (advanced notice required). Three of the safari tents have king sized double beds, while one has two single beds. Tents are equipped with draped mosquito nets, a pedestal fan and attached toilets with proper flush toilets. The camp also has running water.
Is the camp suitable if you have mobility problems?
The camp does not have ramps. The camp is located on flat land but a few small steps need to be climbed to the tents. The vehicle too has steps to help you.
How long is the drive from the Airport and Colombo?
The camp is 3 ½ hours drive from the Airport and about 4 hours from Colombo. The drive is on a comfortable road, right up to the park entrance.
Do I have to share a jeep?
All safaris are on a sharing basis with other guests. Maximum of 8 guests in the jeep.
Can I have my own vehicle and guide?
Yes this is possible. You will need to let us know in advance so that we can make arrangements for you. The camp works with a selected group of jeep drivers from the village who have been trained by us. The cost of which will have to be borne by you.
What are the check in and out times?
The official check in time is 1pm and check out time is 12pm. We are flexible on this based on bookings and availability of tents.
Am I safe from wild animals?
Your safety is of paramount importance to us and all steps have been taken to ensure you are safe. Since Wilpattu Safari Camp is located next to the boundary of the park, there are possibilities of wild animals visiting the campsite. The camp is unprotected and thus guests must exercise caution. The campsite is lit by both LED lights and lanterns during the night that keep away most animals. Whilst on safari you will be accompanied by our driver and a separate guide. Often Namal himself will accompany you. In camp our staff will always be there to ensure you feel safe and accompany you to your tent in the evenings.
Do you provide laundry facilities?
We are unable to offer laundry facilities for our guests. For long term guest we can arrange for laundry to be done at a town about 25 km away. The cost of this will have to be borne by you.
How often do you change the linen?
We change the linen every three days or as every new guest comes in. Each new guest is greeted with freshly laundered linen.
How many safaris will I be able to go on?
Two Safaris per day. One in the evening and one in the morning.
Can I opt out of a safari?
Yes, you are most welcome to just sit back and relax and enjoy the serenity of our campsite.
Are you able to cater to special dietary needs?
Yes this is possible. We offer both local and western cuisine for our guests. The local cuisine is prepared with sensitivity that guests may not be able eat too much spice. For those with special dietary requirements, such as vegetarians, please contact us before your visit, so we can cater for your needs.
What should I bring?
Apart from your standard luggage make sure you bring some effective sunscreen, a hat, your shades and mosquito repellent. It is ideal if you could bring some khaki colored clothing and avoid the use of bright colors and white.
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What are the medical facilities available?
The camp will have its basic first aid kit and a few common drugs. The main city is about a 30 minute drive away from the camp where there is a large government hospital well equipped to handle most situations.
Do I have to carry extra money?
Ours is an all-inclusive campsite. Once you have checked in you don’t have to spend any money. All meals, refreshments, safaris, and park entrance fees are included. You may need some cash if you would like to support the staff with tips.
Do you offer airport pick up and drop off?
We will gladly arrange for your transport to and from the airport?
Do you provide accommodation for drivers and guides?
We are unable to provide accommodation for them within the campsite. However, we can arrange comfortable accommodation in the village at a local hotel at their cost.
Can I bring my children?
We would be glad to have your children stay with us. We will arrange for camp beds to accompany the parents in their tents for children under 12 years of age. Please inform us early of such requirements. We have special programs for children to learn about nature.
Do I need to bring my camera equipment?
Yes and no. We recommend, you bring the camera equipment that you are familiar with. If you are a canon user we have a canon 600f4 and a canon 300 f2.8 lens and a canon 7d body that can be hired by you. Please contact us early to ensure availability of the above. Binoculars are provided on safari. Bean bags to support the lens will be provided.
Can I listen to music?
Off course you can, but to be sensitive to the surrounding peace and other guests we would require you to plug in your earphone. The best advice we can give is to forget the music and listen to sounds of nature. We assure you will be more relaxed and enjoy your stay with us more.
Where does the drinking water come from?
The camp uses bottled drinking water from authorized dealers. The water for the camp is from a well that is located in the camp.
All meals are prepared by our chef at the camp kitchen.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call or email us.