A safari is not one of those things that pops into mind immediately when searching for a family-friendly excursion. Taking your kids out on a wilderness expedition appears somewhat risky, especially if you have young ones. You might ask yourself several questions such as where you should go, if suitable accommodation options are available, would it be safe, and should you even take your kids on safaris. You may not want to be on the road for days with your kids covering vast expanses of land with multiple game drives as you would in the Serengeti or Mikumi National parks in Tanzania.
This is why Sri Lanka is a better alternative for your little family adventure. While the tiny island is renowned for its golden sandy beaches and rich history and cultural diversity, the country is also home to over 25 national parks covering 5,734 km2 in total. Hence, visiting a park in Sri Lanka isn’t going to keep you on the road for hours on end, and it does not require a week-long trip to see most animals in their natural habitat.
Additionally, there’s no need to take internal flights to reach the parks, so you do not have to worry about luggage space, as we all know that packing light is not an option when travelling with young ones.
Where to Go on Your Sri Lankan Safari
Situated in the south of Sri Lanka, the Yala National Park is the country’s second-largest park. It is also the most frequented by tourists due to the wide variety of wildlife, including the Sri Lankan elephants, leopards, sloth bears among many others.
The Park borders the Indian Ocean, allowing you to select a lovely beachfront accommodation for your stay.
When to Go on A Yala Safari
March through to October are considered the best months to visit Yala National Park as those are the dry months in the region. As the water tables get lower, most species come out in search of a watering hole, allowing tourists to catch a glimpse of some of the rarest species in the region.
Where to Stay on Your Safari
There are various types of safari accommodation options available in the area ranging from campsites to lodges and luxury hotels. While the campsites may be the most authentic means of experiencing the wilderness, you don’t want to skip out on the little luxuries that arrives with a hotel stay when it comes to travelling with family.
Wild Coast Tented Lodge situated adjacent to the park facing the pristine oceanfront provides the perfect combination of the two worlds. The uniquely designed luxury tented camp perfectly blends into the surroundings due to its careful craftsmanship using natural materials.
You can easily book a 3-hour game drive through the hotel, where their experienced rangers accommodate you in a safari vehicle with vetted drivers. As they guide you through your expedition, you’ll learn how to spot creatures hiding in plain sight.
Another benefit of staying at the Wild Coast Tented Lodge is their specially curated ‘Three-night Family Package’. This special package which includes a Junior Ranger Program, presents an array of educational, fun, and adventurous activities for your kids aged 6 to 16.
Health & Safety
According to the recommendations of the CDC and WHO, travellers to Sri Lanka are recommended the following vaccines apart from other routine vaccinations.
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Yellow Fever
- Japanese Encephalitis
Additionally, it is be best if you always carry mosquito repellent as mosquito-borne diseases like Dengue and Chikungunya are present in the country.
Some Useful Safari Tips
➔ Dress in comfortable attire made of lightweight and breathable fabric as the daytime heat levels can be high.
➔ Binoculars or field glasses would be ideal to spot an array of endemic birds
➔ Sunscreen, lots and lots of sunscreen!
➔ Always carry insect repellent.
A safari at the Yala National Park in Sri Lanka is an experience your family would cherish forever. Not only will it be highly educational for your children, it is one of the most convenient safari expeditions available for families. Make sure to take tonnes of photographs to document your journey so you and your kids can reminisce on the beautiful memories you created for years to come.