- THE SANCTUARY -
Here's some general information for you
Get your docs in order
- INSURANCE : For your personal safety, travel insurance is advised. In case of an emergency, we will assist you in contacting your insurance company.
- TRAVEL DOCUMENTS : Entry into Sri lanka requires a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival.
- VISA :You will need a visa to enter Sri Lanka. You can get a short stay visa online at: Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).. Tourist visas are normally issued for a maximum period of 30 days. Although it’s still possible to get a tourist visa on arrival, it’s better to get one before you travel. Please check with your embassy.
- CHECK-IN / CHECK-OUT : Check-in time: 2 pm. Check-out time: 11 am.
- PAYMENTS : The local currency in Sri Lanka is Sri Lankan rupee (LKR). Cash withdrawals can be made at ATMs in Tissamaharama. You can also bring foreign currency to exchange in Tissamaharama. At The Sanctuary we accept cash (only LKR), VISA and MasterCard. Unfortunately we do not accept American Express.
- BOOKINGS : A 30% deposit is due at the time of booking. Final payment is due 60 days prior to arrival.
- CANCELLATION POLICY : In case of cancellation, deposits and final payments are non-refundable. For cancellations received up to 30 days prior to date of arrival, payments can be credited toward a future trip within one year from date of final payment made. No refund or credit will be provided for cancellations within 30 days of date of arrival or No Shows. Please read TERMS AND CONDITIONS on our website.
- MOSQUITOES / MALARIA : Mosquito bites can bring several diseases, so personal precautions are suggested. Risk of contracting malaria is extremely low in Sri Lanka.
- FIRST AID KIT / DOCTOR : We have a first aid kit on premises, however we strongly recommend bringing your own medications. In particular, an antiseptic to clean cuts and antibiotics in case of infection. The Sanctuary does not have a doctor on site. There is a local hospital in Tissamaharama (half hour away).
Yala National Park and The Sanctuary camp is easy to access, there are many different ways you can decide to reach us depending on your trip itinerary. The main thing to note is that our host Dinesh will meet you in Tissamaharama town at a convenient location and time pre-arranged with you and escort you back by safari jeep to your little haven in under half an hour. So having arrived in Sri Lanka you have two options:
- Organise your own transfer to Tissamaharama where you will be greeted by our staff and transferred by Safari jeep to The Sanctuary.
- Book the TRANSFER PACKAGE and let us take care of everything for you. Please ask for details at the time of booking.
Hiring a private driver is a common choice for most people at some point during their stay in Sri Lanka and we would recommend this form of travel when organising how you will arrive to Tissamaharama. There are many private and public bus companies that head to the town which is also another option as the Sri Lankan Railway train line only goes as far as Matara town down the west coast of the country – so you will have to make your way from Matara which is about 2.5 hours by car to Tissamaharama if you take this train optioin.
To give you a rough idea Tissamaharama is about a 4.5 hour drive south from Colombo on the coast road.
- About 3 hours drive from Arugam Bay.
- About 5 hours from Kandy.
- About 2 hours from Ella.
Please note we are not able to accommodate drivers at The Sanctuary so they must make alternative arrangements. If you need any advice on a reliable and great driver please just ask we have many we can recommend!
The sanctuary safari camp came about first and foremost through a love for the wildlife that call Yala National Park their home. Dinesh your incredible host had been living and working within the park for more than 5 years learning about and loving his work and the animals daily.
He had grown to become an expert on all things Yala and felt it was his time to set up a space and create an experience that truly did justice to the rugged beauty and amazing wildlife of Yala National Park. Along with his business partner and friend they found their perfect 7 acres of wilderness and set about creating with their bare hands what can only be referred to as a place of stunning natural beauty with a very rare and hard to describe special feeling that we are sure will remain with you forever.
Having begun their journey building a space where people can really switch off, get back to nature and the great outdoors and immerse themselves in a true camping safari experience….they felt they wanted a little more help along the way… and so step in Dallas, Laura and their 2 boys Hunter and Beau.
They had met Dinesh a couple of years previous when visiting the park and had immediately fallen in love with the place, the wildlife, the vast starry skys, the open space and the whole sleeping under the stars safari package… struck by Dinesh’s hospitable grace and love for his work they were more than happy to become a part of making dreams come true and to create with others the beautiful memories they had made together on their visit years before.
The rest is history really as The Sanctuary family continues to build their happy camp day by day providing an authentic Sri Lankan safari experience and ultimately hoping to leave you with the same passion for the area and the animals they all share.