Yala Wild Safaris based out of the Hotel Tissa provided a perfectly acceptable half day tour of Bundala. Jeep was in good condition, competent safe driver and a guide who knew just enough - that is slightly more than us, but only in terms of knowing the names of birds. He delivered us successfully to the lagoons where the birds spoke for themselves! We had our own binoculars and if you don't, then you'll not see much unless you find a tour operator that will provide some. I would say Bundala is a paradise for birdwatchers, and we had a fabulous morning there. But if you aren't into birds you will likely wonder why you bothered.
We stayed here in October and I am still telling friends about it! Malith runs the tidy and comfortable hotel and is a charming host with excellent English.
A Scandinavian couple put us on to this and we followed their advice not to go to Yala but to ask for a tour of Bundala instead. We were not at all disappointed! Malith is an excellent guide and knows a tremendous amount about the wildlife and flora in the reserve. Where other wildlife parks are packed with jeeps and drivers vying for spots to see elephants and racing around after leopards at Bundala we were treated to a gorgeous landscape filled with beautiful birdlife, wild elephants undisturbed by hordes of people. There were crocodiles, wild buffalo, monkeys and reptiles. Malith followed his senses and drove us quietly about providing an excellent interpretive tour. He would spot birds and animals hidden in the foliage and gave us good binoculars to view them. Truly a wonderful trip - I recommend it highly and would happily go again with either Malith or his partner. Thank you for an exceptional memory :)
Both trips were of really good value and cheap for wat we got.
In Yala, we have seen the most important species that you can find there,
unfortunely it started to rain at 10.30 so we missed our breakfast on the beach. The Bundala trip was our favoured: a very attentive driver who took care of our wishes and was very familiar whith the park, so we saw marvelous birds all over the place. Jan and Mieke, Belgium.
We loved our half day private tour to Yala National Park with our guide Malith. We were worried that the park would be overly busy (from reading other reviews) and that we wouldn't get the chance to see much more than other jeeps, and sure enough it was very busy in the queue into the park, but with Malith we got to see a very quiet side of Yala as he took us off the busy roads and really took his time to try and find rare birds and other wildlife. We are into birds and Malith took time and care to find species we wanted to see as well as finding ones we had never heard about. He also stayed an extra hour in order for us to get the best chance of seeing a leopard and at the very last minute we did! It was an amazing moment and I feel if our guide had not been so patient we would never have been able to. We also saw elephants, crocodiles, wild boar, deer (2 kinds), jackals and like I said lots of beautiful birds. We also went on a half day tour of Bundala National Park with Yala Wild Safaris and it was amazing - again Malith really knows his stuff so we saw lots of birds as well as a flock of elephants and it's a beautiful park well worth a visit. Couldn't recommend this company enough if you are really into wildlife (and especially for bird lovers!)