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Safari Lodge Yala - Facts in Brief
Safari Lodge Yala - Accommodation
Safari Lodge Yala - Dining
Safari Lodge Yala - Things to Do

Safari Lodge , Yala

Back of Beyond Safari Lodge,Yala, is created as a typical park bungalow with a large open verandah, for dining, lounging and sleeping, with a small enclosed ‘safe area’ for sleeping and keeping your gear. However, unlike the green painted, brick, cement and asbestos park bungalows we have been inspired by the traditional clay wall and thatch roofed homes of the dry zone to give character to our bungalows.

Each bungalow is built with mud bricks, thatched with talipot fronds and has a semi cleared garden that merges with the scrub land and jungle beyond. The character of the traditional dry zone homes is reflected in the open ‘pila’ for storytelling and star gazing. At night, the stars and the rising moon, with the sound of the sea breaking on the rocks hidden below the forested cliff is the perfect end to a long day, and a beginning of a long night of sharing ‘Yala Yarns.’

And we have gone beyond the park bungalows and traditional homes, to give you crisp linen, airy modern toilets, and a cook that will serve up western as well as Sri Lankan cooking!

It’s an peaceful home to come back to, after a safari at Yala, or a day out exploring the ancient sites of Ruhuna. To lie on the open verandah as the moon rises over the invisible ocean, is to live for a while, the romance of the remote dry zone villages.

“ Thank you guys for this great experience ! Spending the night on the verandah with the sound of the sea was great ! The food was absolutely delicious, especially the kottu. I dont think I have ever seen that many stars in the sky before. Together with the safari, an all round enjoyable experience. ”
- Paul , January 15

Safari Lodge - Yala - Location Map

Location :
Gurugoda, close to Ruhunu National Park, Yala. 15 minutes to the Park gate, 10 min. to Kirinda, the closest town.

Travelling from Colombo :
Back of Beyond Yala, can be approached from Colombo through Pelmadulla - UdaWalawe -Thanamalvila (approx. 6 hours), or along the Southern Highway and the southern coastal road (approx. 5 hours).

Accommodation:
2 cottages for a maximum of 12 adults and children. Separate driver’s quarters are available at a nominal rate.

Dining:
Custom prepared Sri Lankan and western meals will be served in the dining areas. Tea, coffee and drinking water is provided free of charge. Alcohol will not be provided in our premises but guests have the liberty to bring in their own.

Meal times and check in/out times:
Flexible depending on safari rounds and availability.

Staff:
Includes house-keeper, and cook.

Activities and excursions:
Bird watching, beach walks and exploring rock pools around our compound. Safaris to Yala (Ruhuna National Park) and Bundala National Park. Exploring the heritage sites of Sithulpahuwa, Kirinda temple, Tissamaharama etc.


FACILITIES AND SPECIAL NOTES

In brief, we offer :

- Lodges with attached modern toilets, and open format showers
- Hot and cold water
- Linen, towels, tissue rolls, soap and shampoo
- Mosquito nets and natural repellents
- Fan cooled rooms
- In-house cook and Sri Lankan and western menu options.
- We do not serve alcohol but permit our guests to consume their own at the premises.

We care deeply for our natural and social environment, we try to our best to ‘touch gently’ (see our policy statement), so please bear with us as,

- Mobile signal strength is usually low as we have retained the luscious greenery around us.
- We do not sell bottled spring water
- Rooms do not have electric air conditioning
- Low lighting is used except in the bed rooms
- No TV and other noise generating entertainment
- No swimming pool
( but there are plenty of varied activities to fill your stay so we guarantee you will not miss the TV or the pool.)

You are welcome to :
- Request for tea, coffee and safe drinking wate
- Use our Wi-fi
- Arrange for cooking lessons with our in-house cook

Speak to us if,
- You are on your honeymoon – we will make it extra special!
- You need to arrange a customised tour; around Sri Lanka or in the proximity of our lodges

“ This is a fabulous place ! Our stay here has been terribly brief ..not had even 24 hrs .. but we’ve made the most of it. Our kids were enthralled by the 2 frogs in the loo. We particularly appreciate all the attention to seemingly small details – great sheets and towels, hooks to hang things, really nice lighting… that makes a big difference in one’s enjoyment. We’re off to Back of Beyond Kahandamodara right now ..lucky us!
Thanks Yohan for your patience and honesty in our dozens of e mails when I was planning our visit.
We’ll be back. ”
- Tamsyn and family , Switzerland , January 2012

Two cottages, Malittan and Debara, that can accommodate up to 12 persons. Separate driver’s quarters are available.

Malittan Cottage : (Sleeps 5 persons)

The open plan cottage is built to encourage you to rest with a cool natural breeze between the morning and evening safari in the National Park. The cottage has one secure room which sleeps three, an open verandah/living space with two more beds and an open dining area. A separate modern toilet and shower area serves the cottage.

As is the tradition of Sri Lankan wildlife parks, most of our guests choose to sleep out on the verandah under the mosquito nets swaying in the gentle breeze.

Keeping with the feel of Yala and the Back of Beyond philosophy, air conditioning and TV are not available in this rustic cottage.



Debara Cottage : (sleeps 7 persons)

Our second cottage was built to meet the requests of our guests. Very similar in design to our original Malittan Cottage, Debara Cottage is larger with a secure bedroom that sleeps three and has an attached toilet. The open verandah sleeps four more. The cottage has an additional toilet with hold and cold water.

As is the tradition of Sri Lankan wildlife parks, most of our guests choose to sleep out on the verandah under the mosquito nets swaying in the gentle breeze.

Keeping with the feel of Yala and the Back of Beyond philosophy, air conditioning and TV are not available in this rustic cottage.

FACILITIES AND SPECIAL NOTES

In brief, we offer :

- Lodges with attached modern toilets, and open format showers
- Hot and cold water
- Linen, towels, tissue rolls, soap and shampoo
- Mosquito nets and natural repellents
- Fan cooled rooms
- In-house cook and Sri Lankan and western menu options.
- We do not serve alcohol but permit our guests to consume their own at the premises.

We care deeply for our natural and social environment, we try to our best to ‘touch gently’ (see our policy statement), so please bear with us as,

- Mobile signal strength is usually low as we have retained the luscious greenery around us.
- We do not sell bottled spring water
- Rooms do not have electric air conditioning
- Low lighting is used except in the bed rooms
- No TV and other noise generating entertainment
- No swimming pool
( but there are plenty of varied activities to fill your stay so we guarantee you will not miss the TV or the pool.)

You are welcome to :
- Request for tea, coffee and safe drinking wate
- Use our Wi-fi
- Arrange for cooking lessons with our in-house cook

Speak to us if,
- You are on your honeymoon – we will make it extra special!
- You need to arrange a customised tour; around Sri Lanka or in the proximity of our lodges



Food has always been a vital part of our Yala holidays…part of what makes up our travel memories! In keeping with the traditions of our Back of Beyond retreats, our cook at Yala will prepare a wide variety of Sri Lankan as well as western dishes. The flavours of the coastal south predominates in the Sri Lankan food, and there is a distinct ‘Sri Lankan touch’ to the western dishes.

Rooms are offered on Bed and Breakfast, Half Board or Full Board basis.

We can also pack you a picnic lunch should you be doing a full day safari or spending the day exploring the historical sites of the South.

“ Thank you for a fantastic stay here – the food was a little too delicious. I think I am leaving a couple of dress sizes larger. The hospitality was impeccable. It was lovely falling asleep to the sound of the rustling roof in the wind. ”
- Harriet , UK , October 2011

The very reason we have our little cottages at Yala, is to allow us to visit and re-visit Yala (Ruhuna) National Park. In spite of being famous for having the greatest concentration of leopards in the world, Yala is much more than for leopard watching. Herds of elephants, lone tuskers, sloth bear, wild buffaloes, deer, sambhur, jackals, crocodiles, innumerable birds, butterflies, trees, landscapes…the list goes on.

For the morning round, we recommend you leave the cottage by 5.45 am to be at the Park gate as it opens. The best time for departing for the evening round is around 3.00 pm. If you prefer to spend the whole day at the park, take a picnic lunch and break journey by the Menik Ganga..

Beyond Yala, there is much more to explore in this part of the island.

The coastline is rugged and wild. Craggy rocks, red, black and white beaches, rock pools and sand dunes give you hours of beach walking. You can access the beach in 5 minutes, along the small road just beyond the Back of Beyond property.

“ A lovely Christmas break in a beautiful part of Sri Lanka.... take a walk along the coast if you have the chance. Just turn right at the sea - incredible sand dunes - and great for the kids.
Samith and Duminda were excellent hosts - the food and the service was great. It's become a family tradition to stay here. I'm sure we will be back. ”
- The Bray family , December 2014

If you are a bird enthusiast, Bundala National Park (40 min. drive) and Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary (1.5 hr drive) offer excellent sightings, especially during the migrant season.

The remains of the civilization of Ruhana that goes beyond two thousand years is scattered everywhere. Within easy access are the well-known sites of Kirinda (approx. 15 min. drive), Sithulpahuwa (45 min. drive), Tissamaharamaya (20 min. drive) and Kataragama (approx. 45 min. drive) as well as the lesser visited ones of Yatala (approx. 30 min. drive), and Thelulla Dagabas (approx. 30 min. drive).

Testimonials

Safari Lodge , Yala

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