AN EXOTIC SRI LANKAN SAFARI EXPERIENCE

UNTAMED AND UNTAINTED

Yala National Park has one of the highest densities of wildlife per square kilometer on the island; it is often described as the finest safari destination in Sri Lanka (a country of immense biodiversity). The park is home to a vast variety of wildlife that each and every day presents new and exciting interactions.

Our bespoke safaris take place in the morning and late afternoon – moving into the early evening. The reason for this is that it is when the wildlife is most active due to the temperatures being the most moderate. The game viewing is consistently good all year round and the only change in seasons is the arrival of the monsoon rains. They bring about their own unique and special sightings within the park; spectacular green landscapes, cooler temperatures and a lease of new life for grazing herds of herbivores.

Drives are conducted in 4wd vehicles that have been specially adapted for safari use with comfy seats, pockets to stow your gear and bean bags to steady your camera for those all important photos. Drives can last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours depending on what’s seen and the requirements of the guests. At Leopard Trails, our specialty is adapting to your needs and tailoring the Safari experience accordingly.

Join us on an adventure!

Meet the dream team

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We believe that any safari experience is greatly enhanced by high quality guiding. The Game Rangers at Leopard Trails are employed for their knowledge of Sri Lanka's jungles and their ability to communicate with people from all over the world. These passionate and qualified individuals are fascinating company, and are the ideal ambassadors to teach you the seemingly invisible language of the bush. Apart from conducting informative game drives, the ranger also acts as a host within camp, discreetly reading the needs of our guests whilst at the same time sharing his stories, knowledge and passion of the wild. We believe that our game rangers play a massive role in enhancing the guest experience at Leopard Trails.

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Jerome Kiel

An experienced guide and tracking expert working with Leopard Trails since 2013, Jerome has been a wildlife enthusiast since childhood. He has been a member of the Young Zoologists Association, Ceylon Bird Club and Field Ornithology Group. Jerome has worked as a field assistant on numerous projects including Elephant behavior, habitat usage, elephant translocation and human-elephant conflict projects across the country, Ecology and feeding behavior of the Sloth Bear in Wasgamuwa NP, contributed to the Human Crocodile Conflict Mitigation Project on the Nilwala River, Awareness and Education program to minimize conflict between Humans and Leopards in the central hills of Sri Lanka and a host of other nature based programs. Jerome recently took a leading field coordination role in a research project on Animal Anti-Venom in collaboration with the University of Peradeniya. He is also a contributor (among many others) to the latest book on Sri Lankan mammals, “The Mammals of Sri lanka” by Asoka yapa and Gamini Ratnavira. (Pub: Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka. 2013.)
Jerome's passion for Wilderness Survival and Animal and Human Tracking led him to becoming an instructor and consultant to several branches of the Sri Lanka Army,Navy and Police Special Task Force. Jerome developed several specialist programs that he continues to conduct for new recruits, when called upon by the military. He also conducts training on Jungle Survival Techniques and basic Animal Behavior for the Department of Wild life Conservation. At Leopard Trails Jerome leads safari game drives and specialist walking safaris, imparting his vast knowledge to our valued guests.

Arran Sivarajah

Arran's obsession with wildlife started since he was able to walk. He was born in the United Kingdom but moved to Sri Lanka when he was 8 years old and discovered the wonders of the tropics.
Arran received professional training in the field of game ranging from The EcoTraining Company (South Africa), a passionate environmentally-conscious organization specializing in the training of nature-guides and those with a deep appreciation of the natural world.
EcoTraining is the pioneer and leader of professional Field Guide and other nature training programmes in Africa. This training gave him the opportunity to study a variety of wildlife related subjects such as big game, trees and grasses, navigation, insects, birds, animal behavior, rifle handling, trails guiding (nature walks), anti-poaching, game reserve management, geology, soil etc.
Arran has had countless unforgettable experiences as he trekked the Savannah of Southern Africa during his training, and subsequent employment at Vuyani, a private game lodge in South Africa. This exposure has given him a fantastic insight into high-end lodge operations and he is able to offer our clients at Leopard Trails a high standard of service.
Arran spends his free time volunteering to handle reptiles at the Dehiwela Zoo and surfing the country’s top surf spots.

Indika Nettigama

To Indika, the key to making someone's safari a success is in the detail: taking into account people's varied interests, ages and nationalities to make the trip truly personal. He has more than 6 years of experience in the guiding industry and is an accomplished, well regarded guide and camp director within the industry. Indika has an intimate knowledge of the natural fauna and flora that surrounds him, which inspires him to learn as much as there is to in this complex and ever changing natural world.
Yet there is more to Indika than meets the eye! After completing his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, Indika embarked on an MBA in the United Kingdom. Returning home to Sri Lanka, he began a successful career at a top local conglomerate. His passion for the wild increasingly led him on expeditions into the Jungle, where he volunteered during his free time on conservation and research projects. This soon led to Indika leaving the corporate world and taking over as camp director of a leading wildlife tourism operator in Sri Lanka, before eventually joining the Leopard Trails team. He hasn't looked back since, and in his own words is "living the dream"!
Indika's wealth of experience is too long to mention, and he has guided countless numbers of guests on Safari . He is softly spoken and humble, belying his fantastic interpretive, tracking and photographic skills. A safari with Indika will be enthralling, but at nature's gentle, spiritual pace: the way it should be. Indika is a life member of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society and a former member of the Young Zoologists Association. He is extremely passionate about Wildlife Photography and counts 15 years of experience in the field.

Avijja Fonseka

At the age of three Avi was introduced to the wilds of Sri Lanka by his parents. This passion that was established at an early age has resulted in a life-long obsession with wildlife. Avi literally spends any spare time exploring our island rich bio diversity.
Upon completing high school in Colombo, Avi completed a bachelor's degree in Biodiversity and Conservation from the Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia), commenting a future careerin a subject close to his heart.
Avi has worked on the Umkwali Predator Conservation Project (South Africa) and it is here that the learnt art of tracking, during his field work with Big Cats. Avi has also been involved in Leopard identification work carried out by the Wilderness and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Sri Lanka. He is an active member of Wildlife and Nature Protection Society of Sri Lanka. He is always keen to share stories about his experiences in the bush both in Africa and Sri Lanka and is secretly an avid birder.
Avi can be found pursuing his hobby of wildlife photography whilst at Leopard Trails and during his free time. He is the ideal person to speak to if you need any tips on improving your photography skills during a safari with Leopard Trails.

Dinal Samarasinghe

Dinal's interest in wildlife began at a very young age and over the years he has conducted many an awareness programme on snakes and wildlife mainly for rural communities. He continues to lead many biodiversity surveys including surveys on herpetofauna in vulnerable forest areas in Sri Lanka. Some of his noteworthy contributions include studies on amphibian vocalisation describing advertisement calls of several shrub frogs of Sri Lanka, studies on water monitors in Sri Lanka, as well as the taxonomy of the South Asian water monitors. He currently leads a study on the human-crocodile conflict in the Nilwala River, working extensively towards finding long term solutions to mitigate the conflict. He is currently a part of numerous societies including the Young Zoologists’ Association, Sri Lanka Association of Anthropology, IUCN/Species Survival Commission (SSC)/Crocodile Specialist Group, IUCN/SSC/Amphibian Specialist Group, IUCN/SSC/Monitor Lizard Specialist Group and serves as the chairman of Society for Conservation of Amphibians and Reptiles (SCAR). He is currently nearing completion of his Bachelor’s degree in Zoology. Offering a twist to the experience at Leopard Trails, Dinal will guide you into his world - the intricately complex world of amphibians and reptiles!