“Adventurous but comfortable camping safaris in Sri Lanka’s major national parks: get set to spot leopards, elephants, wild buffalo and giant porcupines”
The large safari tents are all the same in design: 3 sq.m, divided into a sleeping section and living area. There are comfortable queensize double or twin beds, and mineral water and towels are provided on a bedside table. In the large porch/living area at the front you’ll have 2 chairs, a mirror, chest of drawers and a table. This area needs to be zipped up if you’re not there to prevent monkeys coming in – and we had some painted tree frogs visiting too; harmless and very pretty. The Family Tent can sleep 2 adults and 3 children, and the other tents can each fit an extra bed for a child.
In addition, there’s a large open tent that's used as a living room/dining room in the event of rain; a hot and cold water shower – the water is heated when you’re out on a drive, ready for your return – and a chemical toilet per tent. As an alternative to the shower, you can bathe in the river during the day, and special biodegradable shampoo/shower gel is provided for that and the shower. At night the camp is lit by flaming torches and you also have your own torch and lamp in the tent. For a 5.30am drive, you’ll be woken up with biscuits and tea in your tent.
Astonishingly, given the tiny camp kitchen and limited provisions, the food at Kulu was the best we tasted all trip. We arrived at lunchtime to see the table sat in the river – so we could cool our feet in the running water as we ate – and it was heaving with Sri Lankan specialities like curry, daal, brinjal and sambal. Dessert was fresh fruit or banana pancakes.
Dinner, this time set up on the shore, was again a huge meal, and they do a different dinner for each night of your trip. The other couple with us had had Spaghetti Bolognese the previous night; we had a barbecue with more meat than we could possibly eat - lamb, chicken, sausages, burgers and baked potatoes. We had pre-dinner G&Ts then delicious red and white wine or Lion beer to accompany the meal. Dining under the stars, surrounded by flaming torches and the green gleam of crocodile eyes in the river was quite an experience...
A Sri Lankan breakfast is served after the first drive of the day: fresh papaya, banana, pineapple, plus passion fruit juice, tea or coffee, toast, pancakes, omelettes, and optional daal, sambal and rice. During the day on the long game drives, we were given ginger biscuits – good for travel sickness on the bumpy roads – and water was provided in the jeeps.
If you have any dietary requirements, you will need to mention them at time of booking. All food is included.
Things we loved...
This is a great adventure for older children but Kulu are not too keen on taking younger kids: there’s a danger with being close to the river, there are no babysitting facilities if you want to go off on a drive and leave them, and sitting in a jeep being quiet for 3 hours isn’t fun with a bored child. You may also need to bring food if your child won't eat curry. Bear in mind too, there are no cots for babies - usually parents sleep with their baby in their bed - or extra beds. There is a 10% discount on prices for children aged 14 and under
Teens (over 12)