Welcome to the Jungle
We are situated 9 kilometer from Buttala town. 3-wheeler transfers between the town and the lodge take about twenty minutes. Arrival details provided with the booking. For easy access guests arrive in coordination with the lodge.
A Transfer Into Nature
The transfer from town to lodge, on a local sand track, is a journey into the wild, step by step leaving civilization and then discovering an area of great natural beauty.
Finally you end up as a guest in elephant country, in a camp that is set in a natural environment and carefully fitted into the surroundings of animal and elephant tracks as well as in coexistence with the local community.
Arrive In Daylight
As this is elephant country, we recommend that you plan arrival at the lodge before 4 pm. Or, at least no later than for 5 o’clock tea. Ideally,arrive for lunch and spend a few hours tuning in on the local environment and atmosphere before an afternoon walk with the team.
Night arrival is not recommended. Elephants might be moving on the access track. Furthermore, it just feels more enjoyable to get there in daylight, with time to make yourself comfortable, before the night falls.
The vast Yala jungles is the neighborhood of the lodge with the national park boundary around 8 km south of the lodge. Between our camp property and Yala NP, it is all forest and semi-wild areas. There is no direct access by road into the nearest block 4 part of the national park.
The local district is sparsely populated with a mosaic of semi-wild expanses, irrigation lakes, paddy fields and slash-and-burn farming plots on the edge of the forest. Seasonal rain-fed farming takes place from
October and ends with the harvest period in February-March.
We are keen wildlife enthusiasts and photographers and do safari tours with great passion. We obsessively recommend tours in alternative northern regions of Yala National Park while also open to the advantages, (and potential disadvantages) of safari in the classic southern part of Yala.
Ruled by the Rhythm of the Jungle…
The complete package of vision and concept, camp infrastructure, management and the staff team, is tailored for a real deal experience with the world of the wild as well as a sustainable way to co-exist with the surrounding environment.
This is Sri Lanka in the raw and may certainly not be for everybody’s taste.
A stay with us is about living in tropical bush forest with the rhythm of the jungle and with only ‘… natural … entertainment …’ amidst stillness, bird calls, sounds of wild nature and once in while the trumpeting of wild elephants. Roaring of a leopard has been heard, not often but sometimes.
A Real Deal Wilderness Camp
Getting the … Basics … Right
Tree Tops Jungle Lodge was created and is operated with passion and pioneering spirit. It may seem purist and rough.
Yet, our service is presented as an art of contrasts with a fine balance of basicness, immaculate service and illusions of luxury like the bush ambience of a candlelit dinner in a mud-hut before spending a night under canvas in the jungle.
Living in the Bush
With Native Trackers
We strive to convey a most authentic experience of the local area, community and wilderness. Tree Tops Jungle Lodge is run by a 6-man staff team, recruited in the local area. Another 10-12 persons are working part time behind the scene and as part of the resource pool of team members working directly with the tourism hospitality service.
All staff team members are trained on the job. What they lack in hotel school certificates is compensated by their genuine hospitality and know-how in their jungle.
Local Landscape Walks
The team takes guests on foot in the local landscape. Walks are part of the service package we provide. On all walks guests are led by our tracker team. A primary aim of the lodge is to employ locals and utilise their knowledge of the jungle to provide our guests with a safe and enjoyable experience while sharing their wealth of knowledge of the local fauna and flora.
Walks in the morning and late afternoon take around 1.5 hour. Morning walks typically start after breakfast at approximately 9 am, while the afternoon walk will start at around 4.45pm when the heat of the sun ceases.
Living with Wildlife
The wild landscape is part of the greater ecosystem of the national park. It doesn’t mean that wildlife is easily observed. Especially mammals are hard to get sightings of; in fact not that easy even inside national parks.
Still, wildlife might be around and we expect guests to listen to our advice and respect the wild nature. We request guests to contribute to their own safety. Behaving responsible is essential and please use basic instincts while keeping this in mind:
Most prominent amongst our wild visitors are the elephants. Yala National Park and bordering regions accommodate several hundreds of wild elephants. They can frequently be observed at our property itself. During dry seasons more elephants appear near the lodge. It can be lone male elephants but groups of elephants may also arrive in the area.
The local area provides ideal conditions for elephants; open landscapes and forest with secret shaded places to relax during the day. After the farming season and harvest they feed on the fields, bushes and grass in the open areas. They can find water at numerous water holes and a river.
Night in Elephant Country
Night in the jungle is an experience of darkness and defining sounds of the forest. Owls and Night Jar are common background sounds. Occasionally animal sounds are heard, often made by Samhar deer. Sometimes a Spotted deer make alarm calls … if a leopard is on the move …
An elephant may also be heard or seen near the lodge. On full moon nights in the dry season, they may be visible as huge shadows gliding over the landscape. More common April – October where they might move at the lodge property itself, mostly after the day light fades around 6.30 pm.
Elephants move and behave silently. Sporadically silence is broken by the sounds of breaking a branch, peeling bark and breaking grass with the trunk. Once in while, sounds of trumpeting may break the silence.