The Tree Tops Jungle Lodge Buttala is the perfect choice for nature lovers looking for truly wonderful wildlife experiences in southern Sri Lanka. The low impact and off the beaten tourist path style of Tree Tops ensures that the camp lives quietly alongside the surrounding nature, assuring guests enjoy plenty of good sightings of both the incredible birdlife and the wildlife of Southern Sri Lanka. With just 3 luxury safari tents set amongst the wildlife and wilderness 10km from the provincial town of Buttala and about 8 km from the less visited northern block of Yala National Park, daily life at the Tree Tops Jungle Lodge is peaceful and uncrowded. Guests can enjoy guided forest walks near the camp, and go on safaris into the Yala National Park where regular sightings are made of the wild elephants, Indian sloth bears, the famous Yala leopards, deer, monkeys and wild boar. You may well see some of these amazing animals at the camp too as Tree Tops Jungle Lodge has a watering hole about 25m from their traditionally built mud-hut restaurant where every evening animals and birds come to drink. You could hardly get any closer to nature than this, and what wonderful sights, and sounds, to enjoy as you dine with friends every evening. This tented eco-camp is set within 25 acres of private forest and bush country which joins onto the Budugalena conservation forest, a part of the wider Yala National Park wildlife sanctuary, so wildlife and birdlife is abundant. The camp is also within the elephant fence, used to try and keep wild elephants away from farmland, so you are sharing living space with wild elephants when staying at Tree Tops Jungle Lodge, Buttala.
The goal of the team and owners at Tree Tops Jungle Lodge was to be as close to nature as possible while making as minimum an impact as possible, and as positive an impact as possible on guests and to the conservation of wildlife and their habitats. With that in mind, for the lodge’s restaurant which is the only permanent structure in the camp, it was decided to make this an environmentally friendly traditional mud and thatch construction. Development is prevented in the conservation areas around the lodge and Tree Tops Jungle Lodge’s 25 acres of private forest is set aside and conserved for nature. The accommodations are 3 luxury safari tents which at 35sqm are spacious and airy with comfy king beds or twin beds, en-suite bathrooms, and solar powered lighting. Guests are cared for by a professional team whether cooking up delicious meals from the freshest local produce, to guided walks with experienced and knowledgeable trackers who love to share the stories of the surrounding wildlife as they help you spot and identify the animals and birds you encounter along the way. Off the grid and off the beaten path, life at Tree Tops Jungle Lodge is simple and stylish, and richly luxurious in the experiences of Sri Lanka’s natural world that it shares with guests.
Mr Deepal Dissanayaka (Kamal) and Lars Sorensen
Your Hosts and The Team
“Situated in a forested and rural region Tree Tops Jungle Lodge pioneered the concept of wild bush camp living in Sri Lanka. From February 2002 we welcomed guests for experiential jungle stays in tree- and mud-huts with dinners in a thatched mud-hut. Later the rooms were converted to tents as it was more convenient to manage and also perfect for the guest experience. It all began, back in 2001, with my personal encounter with this spectacular and wild place. And a dream about a new kind of tourism, authentic as well as constructive. A vision about living in the wild itself and using tourism to help preserve the location in its wild condition. Each of our guests contribute to our efforts protecting our local ecosystem and it has been a privilege for me to welcome people from many countries to enjoy a different way of life, living with nature, in our camp at Tree Tops Jungle Lodge. Due to management duties it’s impossible for me to meet all our visitors but fortunately we have Kamal as a permanent host. He’s extremely talented and experienced and he’s happy to convey our values and explain our history. His own story is extraordinary, and he has been a central part of the Tree Tops Jungle Lodge journey since the beginning when he was just 16 years old, and today he is a director in our company.”
The Tented Rooms (3 units)
Facilities and Highlights
- Private and Off the Beaten Path: The Tree Tops Jungle Lodge imparts a rare luxury to wildlife safari experiences, with just 3 tents within 25acres of private wilderness, guests and nature live harmoniously side by side at Tree Tops Jungle Lodge.
- The Mud Hut Restaurant: the only permanent structure within the eco-camp is the restaurant. Constructed in the traditional with mud walls and thatched roof, the restaurant and lounge makes for a wonderful space to dine, read and relax, or simply sit and watch the surrounding nature. It is a great spot for birdwatching, and as evening sets in the local wildlife comes down to the watering hold, a mere 25m away from the restaurant, where you may see wild boar, deer and even on occasion elephants coming to drink.
- Dining at the Mud Hut Restaurant: Meals are prepared using only the freshest, locally sourced produce. Dishes are traditional Sri Lankan, curries rich in local herbs and spice, vegetable rich stir fries and soups, in fact the majority of the cuisine is very much plant based so vegetarian and vegan diets are easily catered for.
- The Watering Hole: located about 25 m from the Mud Hut Restaurant the watering hole attracts local animal and birdlife, and is a joy to watch as the evening sets in and animals and birds come to drink.
- Birdlife: The Tree Tops Jungle Lodge is a heaven for bird watchers. One can reasonably expect to spot at least 50species of Sri Lanka’s birds during a 3 night stay at Tree Tops. Keep your eyes to the skies and treetops for Pied Hornbills, Yellow Crowned Woodpeckers, Blue faced Malkohas, Hoopoes, Eagles, Black Necked Storks and the Lesser Adjutant to name but a few.
- Safaris in Yala National Park and Guided Walks in the nearby forest: Guests at Tree Tops Jungle Lodge enjoy the best of both worlds, with the forest around the camp and the famed Yala National Park on the camp’s doorstep too. Guided safaris to Yala are made into the lesser touristed northern side of the national park, which is about 35minutes drive from Tree Tops Jungle Lodge. And guests can enjoy guided walks in the forest near the camp too with Tree Tops’ team of very experienced and knowledgeable wildlife trackers.
GENERALTotal number of rooms: 3 rooms
Time zone: (GMT+05:30) Sri Jayawardenepura
Currency accepted: LKR
Electricity voltage: 240V
Electricity plug type:
CONCIERGEYour concierge is ready to assist you with planning and completing your reservation, contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org
ACCESSThe team at the lodge manage all guest arrivals and transfers. Please contact the Secret Retreats Concierge to make your booking and confirm your transfer arrangements.
Airport: Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) – 250km (4h30 drive)
Train Station: Ella Train Station – 245km (4hrs drive)
CONTACTButtala Village , Sri Lanka , Sri Lanka
By only recruiting from our local area and training the team in-house we believe that while this supports our local community it also results in a genuinely authentic experience for our guests that we think of as “living in the wild with the local community”. The vision was to create nature-tourism based jobs where we, as an ecotourism operator, could benefit from the knowledge of the wild nature that was a resource we discovered in the local community. The simple and original idea was to provide a tourism platform where locals were able to use their old traditional knowledge, experience and skills in a constructive way instead of destructive ways that were often need in the forest, in order to survive and make a little income. Our experiential concept is to operate as an eco-camp that facilitates a living experience in wild nature, potentially amongst the wildlife. In order to preserve the original camp experience, feeling and nature in focus, our credo is: basic, simple and minimal infrastructure. Keeping the camp small and for the exclusive few is part of this conscious strategy. Our camp property is landscaped through natural rewilding combined with planting of trees as prior to our purchase of the land parcels that make up our 25 acres the property was largely used for slash and burn (‘chena’) farming. Our use of the property takes place through self-imposed restrictions and a philosophy of minimalism: a tiny camp set up and the lower impact and the more discrete, the better. Today the biodiversity on our land is quite significant and the natural vegetation makes a favourite habitat for wild elephants. They can feed on most of the plants and trees growing at our property that borders, and is unfenced merged with, mature tall dry zone conservation forest. A forest which is connected with Yala National Park. Re-wilding is facilitated by constant planting of native trees grown in our nursery run by company director Kamal. His 2-acres of family land is situated at the Kumbukkan Oya river where he pumps water for the nursery plants. This land is also an organic pepper plantation producing Sri Lankan pepper of a very high quality that is used for cooking at Tree Tops Jungle Lodge.