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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




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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