Chena Huts – Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
Right on the edge of Yala National Park, and moments from the beach, Chena Huts is tucked away amongst the forest. The park is home to an extraordinary and abundant array of mammals, reptiles and birds and a diverse range of habitats, from woodland to wetland and plains. And most famously, it has the highest density of leopard in the world. Turtles come to lay their eggs on the beach, and it’s not unusual to see elephant walking in the surf.
Amongst all this, the large wooden and thatched huts bring luxury and contemporary style with a large dose of privacy. Guests are looked after seamlessly by an enthusiastic and very friendly team, whilst the highly knowledgeable rangers can’t wait to introduce you to this very special corner of Sri Lanka.
At A Glance
Why We Love It:A safari experience like no other where the jungle meets the golden coast - Chena’s experience guides will introduce you to all of the wonderful wildlife of Yala.
Style:Tropical safari luxe.
Location:On the boundary of Yala National Park in the south east of the island.
Rooms:18 luxurious wooden & palm thatched cabins.
Swimming:A jungle pool & private plunge pools.
Children:A fabulous family adventure for all ages.
Accessibility:One of the huts is designed for guests with reduced mobility.
Open From:All year round.
Price From:On Request.
Totally secluded in the forest, and reached by wooden walkways, the luxurious and very spacious cabins blend in perfectly with their surroundings. And each one promises a unique wilderness experience. They come with open plan bathrooms, comfortable living areas and a large deck with a plunge pool and daybeds.
For somewhere as remote as this, the food is exceptional. The glass fronted restaurant looks out towards the ocean, and serve a delicious choice of Sri Lankan curries and international cuisine. Evening game drives often end on the beach with a sundowner, or sit back in the sunken bar with a glass of something chilled.
Yala National Park is one of the richest in biodiversity in the whole of Sri Lanka, and is a must for wildlife lovers. The list of species is astounding, from elephants and leopard to sloth bears and mongeese. Morning game drives set off before dawn and evening drives often see the sun set from the beach, where your ranger will organise a sundowner. (Please note that the sea is too rough to swim in).
Guided bushwalks enable you to see the natural habitat of all these species close up, and the rangers are exceptionally knowledgeable about all the species that live here. They are also on hand to help with photography – enabling you to take the best shots possible. Not far from Chena Huts, at Situlpawwa, is a beautiful Buddhist monastery and trips can be arranged with one of the rangers. At night, gaze up at the Milky Way – there is no light pollution along this stretch of the coast, and you’ll also see the light of the Basses lighthouse, 15 miles off shore.
A complete adventure for children, Chena Huts has all the ingredients for the ideal family holiday. Two of the huts interconnect, and for children between the ages of six and 12, there’s a Junior Ranger programme with a host of fun activities.
Chena Huts is committed to the environment, the local community and very importantly, the local wildlife. Built on stilts to minimize their impact on the animals that live here – tracks and waterways remain undisturbed – the cabins are hewn from recyclable material, with power generated from renewable energy. Wastewater is used for irrigation and energy saving systems are in place.
Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
On the boundary of Yala National Park and the edge of the Indian Ocean, in the southeast of the island.