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Mahoora Safari at Yala National Park

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Have you seen this leopard?

A famous Sri Lankan Leopard goes missing

Welcome back, wildlife conspiracy fans! Today we are examining the story of Mr. J. He fights elephants! He can fly through the air! He is actually a demon in leopard form! Many legendary stories, but who really is or was this mysterious Mr. J? Here’s what we know: Mr. J was no doubt the King of Yala National Park. He earned his reputation by defeating rival male after rival male over the years. He hunted prey such as Barking Deer and Monkeys on a whim, swatted away charging Wild Boars with a single swipe of his mighty paw and fearlessly took down huge Sambar when he truly wanted to feast. But well into his 10th year, this ruler with an iron fist and undisputed romancer of the ladies… vanished!

Mysterious facts

Some have reported that he was seen badly wounded. But who in Yala is brave enough to take on the huge and mighty Mr. J? It’s been 2 weeks since that “sighting” and Mr. J has not been seen since. Did he actually lose a fight to another male over territory? Or did he win, but at a terrible cost? Or did he get bored of Yala and grow the size of all his black rosettes on his fur so that he turned black-as-night and is secretly the Black Leopard that has been spotted elsewhere in the country? The only thing we know, is that we may never know!

 

  

Story of the Photo

Whilst staying at the Mahoora Tented Safari Camp in Yala last year, Dilum was out on a morning safari when he spotted the mighty Mr. J and got this great shot of the fearsome leopard. Although the fight was never witnessed, the stories of his injuries have been corroborated by reliable sources. Some are expecting the worst, but many still hope that this majestic beast will recover soon and once again be spotted doing his slow prowl through the jungle.

 

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Mahoora Yala Hosts Special Guest, Marco Pierre White

marco pierre white visit to yala national park sri lanka

World-renowned celebrity chef and restaurateur Marco Pierre White spent a night of Sri Lanka safari at Mahoora Tented Safari Camps Sri Lanka, and enjoyed a host of delicious dishes that showcased some of Sri Lanka’s traditional cuisine, during his visit to the Yala National Park last month.

White, who had numerous Sri Lankan chefs and food enthusiasts buzzing when he visited the island in January, is widely considered to be one of Britain’s most recognisable food pioneers and has been dubbed the world’s first celebrity chef, even being introduced as the godfather of modern cooking during a special appearance on MasterChef Australia.

 

Over the years, he has specialised in British, French and Italian cuisine while working under legendary chefs such as Albert and Michel Roux, Raymond Blanc and Nico Ladenis. His inspiring journey through the culinary world saw him earn celebrated status at a young age, becoming the youngest chef ever to have been awarded three Michelin stars, at the time, for his illustrious ‘The Restaurant Marco Pierre White’. White inspired an entire generation of culinary magicians and his prowess as a mentor has seen the likes of celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Curtis Stone and Shannon Bennett who have gone on to open some of the best restaurants in the world.

 

While exploring the Yala National Park on 24 and 25 January, he spent a night in the luxurious Mahoora Elite Tent. White was also treated to a fine dining experience in the wilderness, which aimed to fuse all the culinary traditions of the tropical island with some of the techniques he himself has perfected throughout his celebrated career.

The in-camp chef pulled out all the stops with a host of traditional dishes designed to impress even the most critical of palates. Some of the dishes presented to the culinary master included a beautifully prepared fried lake fish with crunchy vegetable salad, which was accompanied by a warm and comforting bowl of wing bean soup (Dambala). White also enjoyed juicy barbequed seafood skewers along with an assortment of crunchy local vegetables as well as a Sri Lankan favourite, vegetable kottu followed by another local classic in the form of pancakes stuffed with panipol.marco perrie white at mahoora camps yala national park sri lanka

 

White was also presented with a mouth-watering assortment of all of the island’s favourite sweets including thalaguli (sesame balls), puhul dosi (pumpkin preserve), milk toffee, pol toffee (coconut toffee) and Kalu dodol.

He also enjoyed a traditional breakfast in the camp, as he was presented with
an assortment of local breads with freshly squeezed papaw (papaya) juice and a variety of tropical jams. White was presented a fusion of some of
Sri Lanka’s favourite breakfast dishes including a warm bowl of Kurakkan Kenda, made of finger millet along with jaggery. A full course of Kiribath
soon followed with an appetising list of accompaniments such as lunumiris (hot chilli paste), seeni sambol and malu ambulthiyal – a traditional preparation of fish curry.marco perrie white with channa jayasundera

White was also taken on two thrilling safaris in the most esteemed wildlife park in the country, famed for its unmatched range of endemic flora and fauna which includes the regal Sri Lankan leopards, elephants and sloth bears.

Before parting company with the Mahoora team, Marco gave a glowing review of the luxurious outdoor setting as well as the team’s efforts to provide him with a taste of Sri Lankan cuisine and its wild treasures.

marco perrie white giving feedback for mahoora tented safari camps yala sri lankaThe legendary chef wrote:

“The jewel in Yala’s crown. Words cannot express
the visual impact. Wonderful, beautiful, magical are just a few. I’m moved and humbled with respect.”

Accompanying Marco on his journey through Yala was Andrew Bennett – Chef Director of Black and White Hospitality which handles the
operations of Marco’s New York Italian and Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill. Meanwhile, the Mahoora team was profuse in their praises of the event’s sponsors – Cinnamon Hotels, Land Rover, Sri Lankan Airlines and Knorr.

 

B E S T   R A T E S   G U A R A N T E E D !

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Much more than just a great place to stay

"Thanks to our guide Avinka we had five great safaris staying four nights just after reopening this February. The staff made us feel so very welcome during the entire stay.

The safaries are just wonderful, and having a great guide in your vehicle makes a big difference. Avinka can spot animals you would never see and we were even lucky enough to sight leopards on the trees, close to our vehicle, and also running through the field. The wildlife is so exciting that you will have a great experience even if you don‘t see any leopards. We also had a great driver, which is essential if you drive through difficult territory. You are being taken care of the entire time, so even for those who do safaris for the first time, you will always feel safe.

The camp itself is very comfortable, you get everything you can think of, and on top of the great food being served with so much attention and friendliness. You also get wonderful vegetarian and vegan options. They put on bonfires at night, which makes it unforgettable.
When booking and making plans, you get great support from the headquarters, even if it gets difficult since you have to change your plans.
The best thing what can happen to you at the end of a vacation is when you are a bit sad to leave the place, having experienced something to remember forever, and the team does everything for this to happen. Thank you so much"

Axel S wrote, Traveled with family
January 2021

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Mahoora Tented Safari Camps Yala - Mahoora Tented Safari Camps Udawalawe - Mahoora Tented Safari Camps Wilpattu

 

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