Delve into the wild depths of Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park at Mahoora Safari Camp, a luxury tented encampment that couldn’t get any closer to the action if it tried. Here, the stunning natural landscape takes centre stage as you spot elephants, crocodiles and leopards by day, and by night dine under a star-swathed sky and rest your head in canvas-clad comfort as you drift off to the sounds of the wild. With exceptional service and delicious, freshly prepared cuisine, Mahoora is our pick for a little pocket of canvas couture amongst a startlingly beautiful and remote corner of Sri Lanka. It’s luxuriously comfortable, but fittingly so for a safari camp, so you never lose a sense of how close you are to your astonishing natural surroundings.
At this place, it’s all about the location. And for nature-buffs, they simply do not come better than this. Mahoora Safari Camp is one of the only places where you can stay within the Yala National Park, a nature reserve stretching over Sri Lanka’s lush south-eastern corner, so there’s no long drives to get to the action for you; you’re already right in the thick of it. Yala is home to the highest concentration of leopards in the world and considered to be one of the best locations for spotting this otherwise elusive feline, along with a kaleidoscope of other wildlife. Manoora’s luxury tents are located right in the reserve’s heart, dotted throughout the trees and close to a river bank full of bird-life, surrounded by an untouched landscape made up of riverine forest, grasslands, sandy beaches and freshwater lagoons.
At Mahoora you stay in tents, but this is anything but your typical camping affair. There isn’t a roll mat or sleeping bag in sight at this place which proudly uses only the finest materials to hand-make each of its canvased private quarters. Luxuriously spacious and fully carpeted, with full length double beds, a seating area, private ensuite bathroom (complete with flushable loo and hot and cold shower) and patio space in each, they are like a little home-from-home in the middle of the Sri Lankan wilderness. It’s as five star as camping can get.
Why we like it
Mahoora isn’t just somewhere to lay your head at night, staying here is an experience; where wandering off the beaten track is rewarded with unforgettable memories and up-close encounters with some of nature’s most majestic creatures. Bringing a camera is an absolute must, but for us, there’s still nothing quite like just walking out of your tent and silently drinking in the breath-taking natural beauty that greets you every morning.