Luxury hotel holiday Leopard Trails Yala

An authentic, original safari camp on the outskirts of the much-loved Yala National Park, Leopard Safaris combines rusticity and eco-awareness with luxury amenities, such as air-conditioning and electric lights, and a real sense of privacy. Leopard Trails is consistently popular with those looking to become completely immersed in the safari experience. Game drives, to see leopards, sloth bears, crocodiles, and exotic birdlife, are included in your stay.
Included in your Expressions holiday
  • Accommodation in a double or twin room on all-inclusive
  • Scheduled flights with Sri Lankan Airlines
  • Transport by private car with driver-guide
  • Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints
  • Optional room, board and flight upgrades. Details on request

Luxury bespoke holidays and tours to Leopard Trails, Yala

Leopard Trails is an exclusive 5-star resort offering luxury safari camping in a beautiful rural location. A curated local dining experience, authentic accommodation and excellent guided safari experiences afford guests a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience wild nature.

Facts in brief

Official star rating 5

Location In the countryside, approximately 115-miles from Galle

Closest airport Bandaranaike International Airport

Distance from airport 6 hours' drive

Hotel facilities and services

Dining tent where jungle cuisine is served, Safari jeep vehicles, Semi-permanent tented accommodation.

Out and about nearby

Yala National Park safaris, see leopards, monkeys, exotic birds, elephants, and over 280 species of plants. Or, explore the Situlpawwa Archaeological site, go bird-watching in Bundala National Park, spend the morning with a dairy farmer, and visit the nearby lakes.

Holiday price guide Sample prices are per person based on two people sharing a Classic tent for 7 nights

From about

£3,600

Holiday Code EXH2017

The prices displayed here are a guide only. Each holiday price will be tailor-made at the time of booking to reflect all actual costs including up-to-date special offers.

Luxury bespoke holidays and tours to Leopard Trails, Yala

Leopard Trails is a luxury mobile tented camp, where you can enjoy the adventure of a bygone era in comfort, with fresh, regional cuisine prepared for each meal and served around a communal dining table. Tents are offered on an all-inclusive basis. Priding itself on the bespoke quality of the service, Leopard Trails is finished with all the luxuries of a hotel room, but with the wilds of the Yala National Park on your doorstep. En-suite tents are spacious, light, and comfortable, with electric lighting, full plumbing, crisp sheets, and authentic wooden furnishings. During the day, game drives afford unmissable opportunities to witness the native animals of Sri Lanka in their natural habitat, including the Leopard, after which the camp is named. The central lounge tent is the perfect place to relax with a book, listening to the sounds of nature, at the end of the day.

Room descriptions

There are never more than 15 people at camp at any one time.All tents are waterproof with air-conditioning, queen size beds, dressing tables, en-suite, ceiling fan, charging point, outdoor shower, private veranda.

Classic Mobile Tent
Luxury Tent

Holiday price guide Sample prices are per person based on two people sharing a Classic tent for 7 nights

From about

£3,600

Holiday Code EXH2017

The prices displayed here are a guide only. Each holiday price will be tailor-made at the time of booking to reflect all actual costs including up-to-date special offers.

Luxury bespoke holidays and tours to Leopard Trails, Yala

The journey and how you get there

For a holiday to Leopard Trails in Sri Lanka, our clients fly to Colombo, usually with Sri Lankan Airways on a direct flight from London Heathrow (or with Emirates from other UK airports via Dubai). This hotel is 5 hours and 45 minutes' drive from Colombo airport. However, it is usually stayed at as part of a tailor-made touring holiday accompanied by a driver-guide and you would often approach the hotel from a previous stay in Tea and Hill Country to the north or from Galle to the south-west.

Additional information

Children: Children are encouraged at Leopard Trails, and extra beds and cots can be provided.

Holiday price guide Sample prices are per person based on two people sharing a Classic tent for 7 nights

From about

£3,600

Holiday Code EXH2017

The prices displayed here are a guide only. Each holiday price will be tailor-made at the time of booking to reflect all actual costs including up-to-date special offers.

Luxury bespoke holidays and tours to Leopard Trails, Yala

About Galle and south coast

A stay in Galle and southern Sri Lanka uncovers a world of historic Dutch forts, beautiful beaches and fishermen fishing on stilts, where sleepy villages lie hidden in palms behind the wide sandy bays and sheltered coves. The further east you go, the less populated and the more naturally wild and remote the landscapes become. The lush inland forest reserves in the south-west contrast sharply with the arid south-eastern national parks of Yala, Uda Walave and Bundala, where wild elephants and migratory birds flock around the water ‘tanks’ and where leopards and sloth bear have been known to roam. Between December and April, the south coast is popular for whale and dolphin watching, in the waters off Weligama Bay. Galle, on the south-west tip of Sri Lanka, is a reminder of the Dutch presence on the island. The new town may have the usual urban bustle, but the Dutch Fort, built in 1663, retains a timeless air. Constructed by the Dutch East Indian Company as a fortified town, Galle Fort is a UNESCO world heritage site which is still intact with a thriving community living and working within its walls. You can walk along part of the ramparts with views out to sea on one side and the famous Galle cricket ground on the other. The region around Galle is fascinating and incredibly beautiful with its rainforest reserves and indigenous wildlife, as well as fishing villages and palm-fringed, sandy coves. We have selected hotels in Galle and along the South Coast which are ideally located to visit the many places of interest in the area. These hotels include Jetwing Lighthouse, a classy hotel designed by Geoffrey Bawa; The Fortress, an outstanding deluxe resort hotel; Amangalla, a splendid colonial-style hotel; Kahanda Kanda, a small and elegant countryside hotel; and Taprobane Island, a private island retreat.

Highlights of Galle and the south coast

Fascinating Galle has plenty to offer the visitor: Galle Fort – UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the few living fort cities in the world; Walk around the ramparts of Galle at dawn or at sunset; Arts & crafts shopping – jewellery, lace, rush & reed, home décor, furniture, antiques, batik and boutiques; The Dutch Reformed Church; Galle Literary Festival in January; National Museum; Maritime Museum in the Dutch warehouses of Galle Fort, just re-opened; Galle Markets; Galle Cricket Stadium; Hot-air balloon ride (December to April); River boat trip. A little way inland from Galle/Koggala: Hiyare Nature Reserve (volunteering possible); Kottawe Nature Reserve; Kanneliya Forest; Samakanda (organic farm, visit, walks and lunches available upon request); Village life bike rides; Handicrafts in the villages e.g. lace-making, rush & reed, woodcarving; Yatagala Temple. On the way from Galle to Yala you can enjoy: Stilt Fishermen; Cinnamon plantations; Unuwatuna beach; Martin Wickramasinghe’s house – museum (literary and 20th century life); Koggala Lake; Hinduangoda White tea factory and estate; Lace-making – Weligama, Dickwella; Surfing – popular surfing beaches from Unuwatuna to Mirissa; Weligama Bay; Coastal villages and fishing harbours; Whale Watching and Dolphin Watching (from Mirissa); Diving (from Mirissa); Deep-sea fishing trips (from Mirissa); Provincial town of Matara (Dutch heritage – fort and church); Dondra Head and Dondra Lighthouse; Kudawala Blow Hole; Mulkirigala Buddhist temple (inland); Uda Walawe National Park and Elephant Transit Home (inland); Sea Turtles laying their eggs on the beach, usually February to July (Rekawa Turtle Project); Kalametiya bird sanctuary; Bundala Nature Reserve (bird-watching mainly); Yala National Park; Kataragama – centre for Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim pilgrimages; Tissamaharama - ancient ‘tank’ and dagobas.

Cultural highlights of Galle and the south coast

There are many places to visit in Galle and the area along the south coast of Sri Lanka. In Galle itself, Galle Fort is home to a national museum housing Dutch and Singhalese exhibits of historical interest as well as a newly-opened Maritime Museum, a lighthouse and a 17th century Dutch Reform Church. The narrow streets within the Fort are fascinating for their architecture, lined with official buildings, shops and old town houses, some of which have been converted to stylish villas and boutique hotels. Outside the ramparts, Galle functions busily as a provincial town and port - brightly painted fishing boats line the shore and there is a lively market area with a whole pavilion dedicated to fish. Galle and the surrounding villages are full of artisans – lace makers, jewellers, woodcarvers, painters and people making things out of coir, rush and reed. The National Crafts Council has a centre by the old entrance to Galle Fort and there are plenty of small shops selling crafts, jewellery and antiques, as well as a few designer boutiques. Slightly further afield, there are numerous beautiful beaches and fishing villages including Thalpe, Unuwatuna, Matara, Koggala, Weligama Bay and Tangalle, as well as a number of National Parks with plenty of wildlife.

Festivals in Galle and the south coast

January: The Galle Literary Festival - this 4-day festival brings together Sri Lankan and international authors from around the world for writing workshops, talks, exhibitions and more at various locations in Galle. Past guests have included Vickram Seth and Gore Vidal. July: Unuwatuna Perahera - a 7-day festival commencing on full moon day. Matara/Dondra Perahera - with dedications to Lord Vishnu. Kataragama Esala Festival - a 10-day festival when pilgrims give penance to the Hindu war god, Skanda. July to September: Kite flying on the ramparts of Galle

Climate in Galle and the south coast

The average temperature on the South coast is 32° C with 65% humidity, though it is cooler and more humid in the west, getting progressively hotter and less humid the further east you go, especially the east of Tangalle. The evenings are a little cooler and the coasts enjoy sea breezes. Rainfall is experienced mainly during the south-west monsoon from May to August. The ‘calm’ season is December to April, when the seas are general calm and there is little rainfall. Whilst the sea appears calm out of the monsoons, there are still undercurrents and riptides.

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