My Mahoora family and other animals 

Being a wildlife photographer and naturalist is more of a passion than profession. Thus, naturally, in 2012 I joined the Mahoora Tented Safari Camp family as a naturalist, and explored Sri Lanka’s wildest National Parks around the country. Yala, Udawalawe, Wilpattu, Minneriya, Wasgamuwa, Kumana, and Bundala are really just a few! However, I’ve learned that the best part about a life of adventure is that you leave a legacy behind in stories, and the stories you tell around a campfire are always shared experiences with guests and colleagues.

On one particular day, at the height of March 2019, while preparing for a late afternoon safari, I was joined by a passionate fellow naturalist and friend – Dumindu Ranasingha – and it was then that I knew the family safari we were hosting was about to get all the more exciting. I first met Dumindu in 2017 at Mahoora Safari Camps Sri Lanka in the Udawalawe region, and since then it was a rollercoaster of fun; from catching wild boars steal rice from the kitchens, to successfully getting on the bad side of the camp’s resident peacock! But it was always the family safari holidays that really created a good narrative for our campfire stories!

So Dumindu, Nishantha Pradeep – our expert safari driver – and myself, set off on a week of Sri Lanka wildlife tours in Udawalawe. A family of guests from the UK stayed a couple of days to enjoy four safaris and so far the usual came to pass; experiencing a wildlife safari in Sri Lanka has its staples of endemic birdlife, elephants, fowl, raptors and reptiles. However, today was a little different; a herd of elephant families and bull elephants approached us and tried to join us for tea!

Our tea stop inside the Park is by the Mawu Ara tank, and the spread includes freshly-made tea and coffee, as well as local cookies. While Nishantha was preparing a cuppa for guests, Dumindu spotted the approaching elephants who were just a stone’s throw away! At this close proximity, it’s quite a rare encounter to socialise with a whole herd of gentle giants! The whole lot of us had a wonderful time, spending hours watching the elephants and birds frolic. And, to top it all off, we were the only safari group in the area so this story in particular is a shared experience by just a few. Told, however, many times by a roaring campfire.


By Puwathara Jayawardena, Mahoora Senior Naturalist




Wonderful stay at Mahoora Tented Safari Camp Yala

"From the moment we were picked up to the moment we sadly had to leave, Mahoora staff provided us with an experience we will never forget. We did 2 safaris, 1 afternoon and 1 the next morning. So lucky to witness leopard up close and be able to watch her hunt!!! 

 All staff at the camp are to be highly commended. We loved every minute of it and hope to be back for longer next time"
The Allan Family, Australia
April 2018

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