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All reviews bbq night his team on the rocks air con sri lanka tea and cake sloth bear wild boar an amazing experience huge success my husband and i spent nights usual fare water buffalo driver guide living area walked right colombo airport
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Reviewed 22 March 2018

Ruhunu Safari Camping is definitely Glamping!!!
It provides an experience to live in the wild, with a premium service and comfort!
We stayed 2 nights at Ruhunu Safari Camping and stayed in the Tusker tent. Our tent had hot water and AirConditionning, which is just amazing as you are definitely in the nature!!! At night, you can hear animals walking by, or even on the tent for the smallest.
We were the only ones in the camp and I have to say the level of service provided is as good (or even better) than most luxury hotels I've been around the globe!
We went for the Safari experience and had a super early start of the day (4am) to enter the park among the firsts to try to see as many animals as possible.
The whole day, we drove around the park and we got super lucky: we saw 3 leopards and 6 elephants!!! It was just amazing seeing the animals in the wild! The trip is very bumpy but it's worth it. The park has very different landscapes that are just gorgeous and you can see a lot of buffalos, eagles, wild boars, crocodiles, owls, land monitors, dancing peacocks, deers...
Everything is taken care of during that day: water, sodas, breakfast and even having lunch on a proper table by the sea (while all the other tourists with other hotels have a sandwich or a lunch box sitting on the ground).
Service is super nice and driver and a great guide Dinesh. They knew perfectly where and how to spot the very discrete leopards!
The only tiny piece of advice we might have would be to put mosquito nets around the bed to avoid few mosquitos we had (which is normal being in such a wild environment).
Overall: yes, Ruhunu is a pricy place, but it is definitely worth every penny spent!

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank marcohager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SimonCharlesNapier, Owner at Ruhunu Safari Camping, responded to this reviewResponded 24 March 2018

Hi Marc-Antoine, we're very happy you & your family had a great time at our camp & thanks for your kind review. Come again. Cheers Simon, insure & Dinesh

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Reviewed 19 March 2018

Lovely welcome on arrival by the Manager. All those who worked at Ruhunu were very friendly and helpful. "Our Room" took camping to a different level entirely: very luxurious "Glamping": tent had every facility necessary and was very comfortable. Good food and plenty of it. Safari was a joy too: beautiful birds, elephants, crocodiles, buffalo, etc but so lucky to see a Leopard too.

  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank white464
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SimonCharlesNapier, Owner at Ruhunu Safari Camping, responded to this reviewResponded 20 March 2018

Thanks for your review. We're really please you had a great time, enjoyed the "glaming" experience & got to see a leopard. Thanks Simon & Isuru

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Reviewed 18 March 2018

This is a much belated review of a stay at the Ruhunu Camp in Yala National Park. My husband and I traveled in November 2017. It was a completely unexpected stay because we had originally booked our stay at the other Ruhunu Camp in Uda Walawe. On the morning we're leaving our yoga retreat to travel to Uda Walawe, I got a phone call from Isuru, Ruhunu's manager, telling us that recent heavy rains had flooded the Uda Walawe camp site. He suggested that we stay at the Yala camp instead and we ended up having a wonderful experience. Even though we were the only guests at the camp and this was a last-minute arrangement, the staff and Isuru couldn't have been more welcoming.

Our guide was Dinesh, who was extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife and history of Yala. On our multiple game drives, we spotted leopards, elephants, amazing birds, and best of all, a sloth bear digging through a termite mound looking for breakfast! This was by far the most memorable sighting of the trip.

Even though we didn't expect to visit Yala, this accidental stay at the Ruhunu Yala Camp turned out to be an amazing experience.

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank ngodeia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SimonCharlesNapier, Owner at Ruhunu Safari Camping, responded to this reviewResponded 20 March 2018

Thanks for your kind review & we're very pleased you enjoyed your stay with us in our safari camp. Simon & Isuru

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Reviewed 17 March 2018

My partner and I stayed at Ruhunu Safari camp for two nights in early January. We were travelling through Sri Lanka for 2.5 weeks and this experience was the most expensive by far. We paid USD$600 per night for 2 people. We assumed we'd be in for some 'glamping' or at least a comfortable and relaxing stay but that could not be further from the truth. Not only were the conditions well below that of a budget hotel even a hostel, the communication from staff was poor and we never felt we were clear on what was happening.

Our tent was very dated, all furniture and linen was old, stained or damaged in some way. The tent netting had big patched up holes in the netting. The security lock box was useless because the lid lifted straight off, allowing access to belongings inside. The 'European standard' en suite was nothing more than a flushing toilet, a sink and a completely basic outdoor shower with no hot water and varying levels of water pressure. During our 2 night stay, we experienced everything from a dribble, low pressure to no water at all. Toiletries were not provided besides one tiny bar of soap. There was no drainage in the shower so if we could get the water running, the dirty water pooled and stayed on the floor during our entire stay. Hardly Luxury.

We advised the camp leader, that some of the stains on our linen looked like blood stains and they had the linen replaced. However it seems they did not have the correct size available so they used multiple pieces of flat sheets to cover our bed. The “sheet tapestry” did not even cover the sides of the mattress, just the top. Sleeping on multiple pieces of sheets added to the discomfort of sleeping on an old foam mattress. Again, how can this be called luxury?

The food ranged from average to very basic. The traditional Sri Lankan food was nice but it lacked the flavour we had experienced in our travels through Sri Lanka. The western meals were so basic, they were a bit insulting to be honest. On our 2nd night we were supposed to have a bbq night which did not occur with no explanation from the staff. Instead we had a western style dinner consisting of a watery pumpkin soup with stale white bread for entree. Oily spiral pasta for main with sides of eggs and white rice (No meat). Under ripe bananas covered in chocolate sauce for dessert, which were inedible. The breakfast provided on safari was very basic too and consisted of a cheese sandwich, egg and a highly processed sausage. The food was not gourmet and based on the prices we paid to eat really good local good elsewhere, the food provided at Ruhunu would have cost next to nothing.

As part of our 2 night package we were promised 4 game drives. We wrongly assumed that all would be within Yala National Park. On arrival we were advised that due to changes to NP policy, they were unable to take us there, that afternoon. Instead they took us to Bundulla National Park. This park is an hour's drive from the camp and we spent more time travelling to and from than on the actual game drive. Furthermore we shared the 4wd with 2 other couples as they didn't have enough cars available. NO GUIDE joined us to help spot or explain the animals we were seeing. Instead the driver whose English was limited to a few words, was doing the jobs of driving the 4WD, spotting animals and advising names of animals/birds. There was no commentary what so ever.

For day 2 we were told we needed to be ready at 4am. We were also advised we could not return to the camp for lunch (as advertised on their website) but would have to stay in the park all day if we wanted to do the evening game drive. No option to return to camp as per their package details upon booking. We specifically asked the previous night if we would get a guide and Ruhunu staff confirmed this was part of their standard offering. However, again we had no guide for our full day safari, the driver did all the driving, spotting and minimal commentary.

We were later advised that it was our fault that we did not have a guide for the day. The driver had tried to organise a National park guide for us but since we left the car to go to the washroom, they allocated the guide to another client of theirs. The driver provided no instruction that morning; instead he walked off and left us in the dark without a word. Had we known, we would have stayed, just one example of the poor communication we experienced during our stay.

The one positive was that our driver worked very hard to get us away from other jeeps and helped get a great vantage point to see a leopard. We saw a good number of animals and birds. However considering we spent approx. 18 hours in the park over 2 days, our sighting count surely would have improved if a guide joined us and was actively searching along with the driver.

This was an adventure but definitely not a luxury experience, unless of course you stay in the 'Tusker' tent - the one luxury tent they have with hot water. The camp leader kept reminding us that the guests staying in that tent paid more for their stay, this is why we were not getting the luxury experience. He also reminded us that they’re in the middle of nowhere so we can’t expect too much. This would be totally fine, if we weren’t paying for a luxury experience that they claim to provide, and paying USD$600 per night.

We left Ruhunu feeling exhausted, dirty and completely ripped off. We definitely had an adventure but we did not get nowhere near what we paid for. Being on safari all day was taxing, the roads were bumpy and dusty, the weather was hot and humid. We were spending all day keeping an eye out for animals to assist our driver. You want to return to comfort so you can be refreshed by the next day and Ruhunu did not provide this opportunity.

The price of USD$600 per night would get you Western-standard 5 star experiences in expensive countries elsewhere in the world. Ruhunu did not even provide the basics. I provided Ruhunu and the agency I booked through (Safari Camping Holidays) with my feedback after we returned, asking for a refund. After two months of follows up, they agreed to provide a partial refund but no apology nor explanation.

Room Tip: Stay in the Tusker tent if you want hot water
  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Cath_N_82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SimonCharlesNapier, Owner at Ruhunu Safari Camping, responded to this reviewResponded 19 March 2018

Hi Cath, thanks for you lengthy, candid review of our safari camp. As you can see from our long list of reviews we usually score very highly with our guests on all scores (97% Excellent or Very Good rating), however, we appreciate that not everyone has the same expectations or experiences. We are very sorry that you did not enjoy your stay in camp although we are pleased to note that you loved our location & really appreciated our wildlife/safari skills. One point to note is that you did not book directly with us & therefore the tour agents don't always have the most up to date information on our camp.

You stayed with us in early January & since then we have begun an extensive upgrade programme to our tents so that they all have hot water, water pressure increase & air-conditioned.

Kind regards

Simon & Isuru

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Reviewed 8 March 2018

Myself and my friend came to sri lanka as two solo female travellers. On our way to safari our taxi driver got lost, and when he contacted the camp they drove nearly an hour to come and meet us to ensure we got to the camp correctly. When we got to camp we were told we were the only guests for the night, and for two female travellers in a camp of male hosts we were slightly apprehensive. However we could not have been more welcomed or felt safer. We were given a royal treatment, the food was amazing, they set our table up on top of the rocks and climbed our food up and down so we would have a good view. Dinesh was an incredible guide, so knowledgable and friendly! We stayed up until nearly 2 am just sitting in the 'grand hall' of sorts just talking to him and learning everything we could about sri lanka and its culture. 1000000000% would recommend this camp and these staff. We saw a sloth bear which is super rare!! It was the highlight of our trip & I will be back to see a leopard!!

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Melissa C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SimonCharlesNapier, Owner at Ruhunu Safari Camping, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2018

Hi Melissa, many thanks for your great review & we're really happy you had a great time. Come back any time to see a leopard. Thanks Simon, Isuru & Dinesh

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