Awesome half or full day jeep safari experiences with expert local drivers and guides. Visits to Yala, Lunugamvehera, Udawalawe and Bundala National Parks.
Directory | Asia | Sri Lanka
Daya Safari Jeep Service, Yala National Park
Daya Safari are a family run business that has been in operation for over 20 Years. All drivers are very experienced and knowledgeable with regard to the jungle. They offer comfortable luxurious and friendly customer service.
After many hours spent trawling through TipAdvisor reviews and guide books trying to find a reputable safari jeep tour for our trip to Yala National Park we eventually settled on Daya Safari Jeep Service and it was totally the right choice. The company offers a selection of safari packages:
Morning Safari - 5.00 AM – 10.00 AM (US $42 per person)
Evening Safari - 2.30 PM - 06.00 PM (US $42 per person)
Half Day Safari - 5.00 AM - 12.30PM (US $49 per person)
Full Day Safari - 5.00 AM - 6.00 PM (US $70 per person)
We decided to take the full day safari as we were keen to spend as much time in the park as possible in order to maximise our chances of seeing all the species of wildlife we had on our list! The pricing was very reasonable at $140 for the two of us which included the all important park entrance fee, soft drinks, fruit, snacks and a deliciously authentic Sri Lankan curry and rice lunch. Communication via email during the booking process was pretty easy and we didn't have to pay anything up front, all we had to do was give the guys our drivers phone number and they organised a meeting point on the morning of our safari. One thing to note is that during September and October blocks 1 and 2 of Yala national park are closed to visitors but the less visited block 5 is still open. We visited in late October so we were limited to block 5, even though there is a much smaller Leopard population in this area it is still a beautiful park with stacks of wildlife and we did manage to see a Leopard.
Our driver for the day was Chanake, he met us promptly at about 5.15am in Tissamaharama so we could be at the entrance to block 5 of Yala National Park before the gates opened at 6am. Getting to the park early means that you are there before most of the jeeps have turned up and disturbed the animals and you also have a good chance of getting an official park guide for the day as well.
We had an excellent day spotting the various flora and fauna in Yala National Park, both Chanake our driver and the guide had great ears and eyes for tracking down many animals and birds that we would have easily missed, they also had a couple of pairs of binoculars for us to use which came in very handy! During the morning we tried to track down some Leopards which we picked up some fresh tracks for but they proved too elusive, we did however see some Water Buffalo, two Elephants, some Gray Langurs and plenty of different types of Deer. Before lunch we headed to a quite corner of the park with a beautiful lake where we saw lots of bird species including a Painted Stalk and an Eagle, more Water Buffalo bathing in the water and about half a dozen large Crocodiles.
After lunch we came across a Mongoose really close to the jeep trails, we sat and watched it for about 10 minutes before continuing our search for the elusive Leopard. The afternoon was a bit tiring as the weather was searingly hot but Chanake didn't give up the hunt and eventually we spotted a Leopard hiding in some bushes in thick undergrowth close to the jeep tracks. After about 20 minutes or so of watching and waiting the Leopard crossed the tracks right in front of us.
Disclaimer: All opinions conatined in this article/review are our own. All photographic work is our own unless otherwise stated.