RESTAURANT VIEW, LOOKING OUT INTO THE JUNGLE
Sleep in the jungle in luxury safari tents near elephants and a myriad of other wildlife.
The entire camp is candlelit at night - creating one of the most romantic experiences imaginable.
Delicious meals and nature walks are included in the price.
The staff feel like family and are very knowledgable.
Fall asleep to the sound of the jungle - unlike anything you would have experienced.
Ever imagined falling asleep knowing there could be elephants, leopards, bears, and many other creatures of the jungle nearby? In the morning, you walk through the jungle to find bear scratchings just 200 metres away from your tent. If this sounds scary - it isn't. If it sounds like the trip of a lifetime - it is.
The Tree Tops Jungle Lodge is one of the only camping experiences in Sri Lanka where you actually spend the night in the jungle. The animals are scared of humans, so pose no threat to the lodge. But if you're lucky enough, curious elephants will pay a visit!
Owner Lars (from Denmark) and Operations Manager Kamal (from Sri Lanka) have created the perfect Jungle oasis over the past 15 years. Together with their team of wildlife and jungle experts and an extremely talented chef, they have created a tranquil getaway where you're literally on a full-time safari.
SUNRISE NEAR THE LODGE
Tree Tops Jungle Lodge is built inside the boundaries of a protected forest, adjacent to Yala National Park. You don't even need to leave the dining area to be entertained by the many animals that call this place home. During our 3 night stay we saw a couple of tree snakes (non venomous and very curious), a giant squirrel above our heads during breakfast, frogs, butterflies, colourful lizards, and hundreds of different species of birds; from shimmering bright blue kingfishers, deep red wood peckers and brilliantly colourful peacocks dancing and calling for the females in the mornings from the tallest trees in the jungle.
Occasionally you'll even see elephants outside the tents or hear the sound of a leopard passing at night - it’s truly a wildlife lovers dream.
THE "CLAMPING TENT"
There are 3 large 'glamping' tents, keeping the accomodation truly tranquil and exclusive. Each tent has a huge bed, complete with mosquito net and warm blankets for the colder nights. There's also a seperate room with rustic shower, toilet and basin. You’ll have your own table and chairs on the outside patio to enjoy a morning cup of tea or coffee as the sun starts to lighten up the surrounding jungle. You’ll fall asleep to the relaxing sound of thousands of jungle animals chirping and whispering you good night.
THE BEGINNING OF A WALKING SAFARI
Obviously wildlife observation is the biggest point of interest here. Guided morning and evening walks into the jungle are included in the accomodation cost. Walking Safaris are very rare in Sri Lanka, so this is a real treat- the guides have many years of experience and are extremely safety conscious.
Another huge advantage is accessing the nearby Yala National Park away from the masses. In the southern entrance, you can have up 30 jeeps queued around a leopard. However, Tree Tops is located near the lesser known northern entrance, which is completely uncrowded. The lodge has a safari jeep driver whom they've been using for the past 12 years, and leopard and elephant sightings are common.
Tree Tops is also one of the best places in Sri Lanka for bird watching; you won't even have to leave your tent's balcony to see the hundreds of different species.
The food is a real highlight - especially the candlelit dinner. The curries are made to the spice level of your choice and everything is made from scratch to ensure freshness and incredible flavour. For breakfast there are eggs, coconut roti, dahl, grated coconut, fresh fruit and cheese. Lunch consists of huge fresh salads, pasta and curries. Dinner is a delicious selection of interchanging Sri Lankan vegetable curries with sambol, chutneys and other special treats. Again, everything is made fresh (even the coconut milk!) and is served as soon as it’s ready.
STARS UNDER THE SAFARI TENT
The first thing you notice when you arrive is Kamal (the manger) and his huge welcoming smile. Small touches by the staff really lift Tree Tops to the next level; such as providing unlimited bottled water, extra hot water for your coffee in case it’s too strong and even a full amenity pack with toothbrushes and shampoo. Before each meal, a staff member will explain each dish and answer any questions you have. We were even shown raw ingredients of what some of our curries were made of. It’s always exciting to know about food you’ve never heard of and what it looks like before it's chopped up! The staff are always on-hand to help out or answer any questions about the different animals and birds that constantly stop by.
SAFARI TENT ENTRANCE
Your package is all-inclusive - with 3 incredible meals a day
It even includes toothbrushes, toothpaste and shampoo
Make sure to add-on a jeep safari, this will maximise your chances of seeing elephants and leopards.
Bring good walking shoes for the jungle walks
The price even includes pickup from the nearest village, Buttala.
If you want to camp inside the Yala National Park, Tree Tops also offers this under the name Aliya Safaris and Camps. Contact details below.
PATH LEADING TO THE LODGE
One of the most scenic options is to take the infamous train to Ella, through the tea plantations, and then organise with Tree Tops for a private car for the remaining 1.15 hour drive. Alternatively, you can arrange private transport from Colombo airport (a six hour journey).
Once you arrive in Buttala, you will be picked up (free of charge) by a three wheeler as the trip to the Lodge itself is along a rustic jungle road.
Prices average about $150USD per person per night (all-Inclusive), however these vary depending on the size of your group and length of stay.
Head to the Tree Tops Jungle lodge website for more information and discounted rates for larger groups or longer stays.