Naturalists, Adventurers and Wanderlusters

PRICE: Punchy but doesn’t blow the budget

RATING: Wow factor

Thamaravila is a spectacular luxury tented camp. In fact, it is more accurately described as tented villa accommodation which sits in 8 acres of its own reserve just 15 minutes by jeep from the gates of Wilpattu National park.  

The thought and design process that went into creating Thamarvila must have been all encompassing. The villas, each raised on stilts have air conditioning, a hard wood deck at the front and a paneled bathroom at the back with a vast polished concrete bath. If you want to hear the sound of nature whilst washing off the dust from your epic safari, you can do so in the outdoor shower at the rear of every villa with your modesty protected by giant bamboo. The bedrooms are beautifully appointed with cotton drapes hanging below the coconut thatched roofs, super comfortable beds and plenty of bespoke occasional furniture of cameras, binoculars and wildlife books.  And saving the best will last, the floor to ceiling sliding doors on to the deck at the front and at the back from the bathroom to the outdoor shower mean that there is an inside out feeling in the rooms where you have views, light and nature all around. 

The dining experience at Thamaravila is second to none in Wilpattu. Organic produce, grown in local villages, is used throughout the kitchens and super fresh seafood comes from the bountiful lagoons and waters just a short distance away in Kalpitiya. The Sri Lankan food is sublime and if you fancy putting yourself at the top of the food chain their safari BBQ, cooked under the stars, is a feast. The western food served from the a la carte menu is excellent and if you have any special desires or requests the chef is very happy to accommodate them.

The experience at Thamaravila is unquestionably brilliant. Attentive service, beautiful views and superb accommodation all come as standard. But it is the little things, those touches that required thought and attention to detail that really set this place apart. The fresh fruit and Sri Lanka sweet treats that are made in local villages are given to guests to sample. The bespoke picnic boxes that can be ordered to go out on safari packed with tasty surprises. And the hand picked naturalists who accompany guests on safari are amongst the most experienced in Sri Lanka.

Yonder Insight

It's a great family option as the hotel has a policy of ensuring that any one sleeping in a triple has a proper bed rather than flimsy camp bed.

On your doorstep

The largest wildlife sanctuary in Sri Lanka! Get in your private jeep and experience the sights and sounds of the untouched jungle.

Thoughts on a postcard

We ate sublime Sri Lankan food throughout our holiday but the slow cooked curries at Thamaravila was something else. The use of traditional clay pots created mouth watering aromas which then turned into flavours of with such delicate intensity that we were left wowed.

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Thamaravila: The Map


Gal Oya Lodge

Set in 20 acres of forest, this luxury hotel is a triumph of sustainability, with a beautiful swimming pool and pavilions and bungalow suites made from natural materials. Rooms have four-posters, stunning views and alfresco bathrooms. Cuisine from organic gardens.