The Secret – Yala

General Overview

The Secret Yala enjoys a spectacular seaside setting in a sandy, dry zone jungle inhabited by monkeys, numerous birds and even the occasional elephant. The campsite consists of five mobile tents with attached bathrooms surrounded by wilderness; rustic beach huts with thatched roofs set at the edge of the cliff for taking in the fabulous sunrise; and a main lounge-cum-dining tent where guests can mingle and share their wildlife experiences.

Rise early to the chatter of birds and sip a cup of coffee in your own beach hut looking out to sea. Those heading off on a morning jeep safari to the Yala National Park will leave at 6am while others might wish to spend a more leisurely morning enjoying the immediate wilderness and even head off on a bicycle to the village of Kirinda nearby to visit the ancient Kirinda temple. The stretch of ocean in this region is not safe for swimming but, ideal for early morning walks and even beach side BBQs under a starlit sky. The Secret Yala follows strict eco-friendly policies ensuring environmental conservation and protection of the wildlife. There is no electricity in these areas, but a silent generator is run at nights to run a few lights and the pedestal fans in each tent.

This camping experience can be booked on a FB basis which includes the tented accommodation; breakfast, lunch and dinner, bottled water, fresh juices, tea and coffee. There is also an `all inclusive’ rate which provides additional services such as one game drive per day accompanied by an experienced guide and park entry fees; snacks and bottled water on game drives; chilled beer and wine served at the campsite. Families with children are welcome.


Accommodation is in five well ventilated waterproof tents with zip up entrances. There are four double tents and one triple with spacious interiors and floors covered with coir carpeting. The sleeping area and bathroom of each tent is separated with another zip up flap making it convenient especially at night. The bathroom is equipped with a bio-degradable flushing toilet, sink, mirror, toiletries and clean towels. The outdoor open air shower is just a few feet away from your tent. The sleeping area opens out to a private verandah surrounded by wilderness. Each tent has access to its own private beach hut that is located just a short stroll away towards the edge of the cliff overlooking the sea. Tent interiors have twin beds fitted with comfortable mattresses and clean white linen; a writing desk, luggage rack, clothes hanger, outdoor camping chairs in the verandah, and two wooden sun lounges in the beach hut. The tents are also equipped with a pedestal fan and a few lights that are powered by a silent generator that is turned on in the nights; plug bases to charge your phones and camera batteries; binoculars, guide books on Sri Lanka’s birds and mammals, mosquito nets, rain coats, rechargeable torch, drinking water, and a mobile phone with numbers to the staff members in case of an emergency. Any valuables that require safe storage can be handed over to the camp manager upon arrival. There is room service if you wish to have your tea, coffee, and fruit juices in your verandah.


Bicycle hire   Beach access   Room service   Child friendly   Eco friendly   Bird Watching

The Lounge Tent is centrally located and is equipped for dining as well as lounging on bean bags and hammocks. The Secret Yala team is happy to serve your meals in the dining tent, on the beach or even on your private verandah. Sri Lankan cuisine, continental breakfasts, and BBQ dinners are on offer. A beachside BBQ by a roaring bonfire is a memorable experience here. The Secret Yala has a team of experienced staff including naturalists who are every ready to share their knowledge on Sri Lanka’s wildlife with guests. Go on a nature trail within the campsite’s immediate wilderness or a bicycle tour to the village of Kirinda accompanied by one of the naturalists. For those who are on a `All inclusive’ package, a naturalist will accompany guests on the jeep safaris into Yala National Park. The team has also undergone first-aid training at the Sri Lanka Red Cross. In case of a medical emergency, there is a doctor on call.


Bird watching is utterly rewarding at The Secret Yala. Go on a nature trail or a guided bicycle tour to nearby Kirinda. The ancient Sithulpawwa temple set on a rock boulder and bordered by the Yala Park is also an interesting excursion. Dating back to over 2,000 years this is an interesting excursion that can be done on route to the fascinating jungle shrine of Kataragama and the ancient temples of Tissamaharama. Go on a jeep safari into Yala National Park. Game drives are usually done at dawn around 6am and in the afternoon around 3.30pm when the wild animals come out to the waterholes and are more visible. A safari can take up to three hours. Transport around the National Parks is done in a safari vehicle complete with driver and expert guide/tracker.

Yala National Park: With a total protected area of 126,768 hectares Yala has varying habitats which consist of scrub plains, jungles, rocky outcrops, fresh water lakes, rivers and beaches. Several species of animals inhabits these jungles including the sloth bear, herds of elephants, sambar, deer, crocodiles, numerous birds and the elusive leopard. Yala has two entrances – one from the Kirinda side and the other from Katagamuwa. The Secret Yala is located on the Kirinda side of Yala Park.

Bundala Bird Sanctuary: Explore the dry zone wilderness of Bundala which is an internationally important sanctuary for migratory water birds in Sri Lanka. About 195 species of birds including the Greater Flamingo can be spotted here during the migrant birding season. Bundala was the first wetland to be declared as a Ramsar site in Sri Lanka and in 2005 was designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, the fourth Biosphere Reserve in Sri Lanka.

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