The SpaceThe 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 out on safari at Yala National Park, or exploring the ancient sites of Ruhuna. For the lover of the wilderness, the symbiosis of lodge and wild will make you feel right at home in and with nature.
Back of Beyond - Safari Lodge Yala is created as typical park cottages with a large open veranda, for dining, lounging and sleeping, with a small enclosed area for sleeping and keeping your gear. We have been inspired by the traditional clay wall and thatch roofed homes of the dry zone, our cottages are built with mud bricks, thatched with talipot fronds and have a semi cleared garden that merges with the scrub land and jungle beyond.
Our Safari Lodge consists of 2 separate cottages – ‘Malittan’ accomodating 5 and ‘Debara’ 7 guests (a total of 12). The cottages have one enclosed room each which sleeps 3 persons, the others will be following the tradition of Sri Lankan wildlife parks, sleeping out on the veranda under the mosquito nets swaying in the gentle breeze. The character of the traditional simple dry zone homes is merged with the comfort of crisp linen and airy modern bathrooms with hot water.
Keeping with the feel of Yala and the Back of Beyond philosophy, air conditioning and TV are not available in this rustic cottage.
Our friendly staff includes a house-keeper and cook. Food has always been a vital part of what makes up our holiday 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 flavors of the coastal south predominates in the Sri Lankan food, and there is a distinct ‘Sri Lankan touch’ to the western dishes. We can also pack a picnic lunch should you be doing a full day safari or excursion.
Get closer to the wild! Guest AccessThe guests have access to the entire cottage, the grounds and the closeby beach. Interaction with GuestsI am based in Colombo most of the time but that is no problem at all, because you will be looked after well by our fantastic staff. The NeighborhoodActivities and excursions:
- Safari at Yala National Park
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: 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 beach is only a 5 min. walk away! The coastline is rugged and wild. Craggy rocks, red, black and white beaches, rock pools and sand dunes give you hours of beach walking.
- If you are a bird enthusiast, Bundala National Park (40 min) and Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary (1.5 h) offer excellent sightings, especially during the migrant season.
- The remains of the ancient civilization of Ruhana are scattered everywhere. Within easy access are the well-known sites of Kirinda (15 min), Sithulpahuwa (45 min), Tissamaharamaya (20 min) and Kataragama (45 min) as well as the lesser visited ones of Yatala (30 min), and Thelulla Dagabas (30 min). Getting AroundBack of Beyond - Yala, can be approached from Colombo through Pelmadulla - Uda Walawe - Thanamalvila (approx. 6 hours), or along the Southern Highway and the Southern coastal road (approx. 5 hours).
The closest town is Kirinda (10 min).
We can arrange a safari jeep to visit Yala or Bundala National Parks. Other Things to Note- It is possible to book the entire lodge, as well as a cottage.- Drivers accommodation and meals are provided at USD 10 per night.
- We can arrange a safari jeep to visit Yala or Bundala National Parks.
- We do not sell alcohol on the premises - you are welcome to bring your own.
- The sea is not safe for bathing in this area.