Sri Lanka eco lodge accommodation

Description of Sri Lanka eco lodge accommodation

Set within 25 acres of regenerated jungle and protected conservation forest, connected to Yala West National Park, this Sri Lanka eco lodge is part of a camp style set up with tented chalets and a central mud hut restaurant designed to work in harmony with the environment and the local community.

This is a unique and completely off the tourist radar experience and definitely worthwhile for any responsible travellers interested in becoming immersed in the real wilds of Sri Lanka rather than purpose built resorts and all-inclusive hotels.

The eco lodge is really remote and requires fresh water to be pumped from a well and candles and hurricane lamps to subtly illuminate the evening bereft of electricity.

A highly trained team of six local people provide individual service and help guests understand the true nature of wild Sri Lanka as opposed to what you might discover on a wildlife safari i.e. animals, by nature, are shy and want to keep undetected so don’t come expecting to see animals in abundance, just respect their survival instincts and you’ll get along fine.

Of course, there’s no denying the sounds of wild Sri Lanka and the early morning chorus of some 165 species of bird will leave you in no doubt as to their existence in the same way nocturnal grunting and calling will open your eyes wide with wonder.

Nature trails and birdwatching help you piece together the lay of the land surrounding the camp with organised safari tours of Yala National Park providing wildlife experiences which are much more proactive but none the less rewarding.

Day to day lifestyle

Here at the eco lodge we follow the rhythm of the jungle and adapt to the local lifestyle with siestas in the shade allowing guests to rest in the midday heat whilst walking and tracking activities tend to occur organically rather than following a strict plan.

We don’t have any extra guides or guaranteed itineraries and as there are just six members of staff, all of which are experienced jungle trackers, you’re just as likely to go on an early morning or late afternoon explore with the waiter or the steward just as much as the camp director or operations manager.

Rooms, food and facilities

The camp itself is situated on the wild side of a protective elephant fence, surrounded by tropical foliage and savannah style grasslands, with the emphasis on being at one with nature and experiencing a totally different lifestyle in the wildest location possible.

Accommodation comes in the form of three large tents raised on sand filled platforms which feature a covered veranda and living space complete with a couple of chairs, king size bed and folding tables. Tents also have running water as well as an inside toilet and shower.

The communal dining area consists of a traditional thatched mud hut restaurant with plenty of seating and viewing areas to encourage guests to socialise with each other and the camp team or just relax and scan the foliage for birds or signs of wildlife.

Local cooks serve up Sri Lankan curry style dishes which are mainly vegetarian although meat and fish is available upon request and when conditions are favourable.

Outdoor dining can be arranged depending on: guest wishes, the weather and the presence of elephants, with wine and more courses always available depending on pre agreed plans.

Map

Vouchers
Accepted

How to find us

Travellers are requested to make their way to the town of Buttala which is around 10kms from the eco lodge. Sri Lanka public buses provide an ideal means of getting to Buttala although the nearest train station is Ella which is about an hour’s drive.

Once you’re in Buttala you’ll be met by a member of the team and transferred to the eco lodge. More travel details and arrival procedures will be provided at time of booking.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Sri Lanka eco lodge accommodation

Environment

We have created our location to be a natural part of our wild surroundings.

Our operation is based on a philosophy of minimalism: the more discrete, the better.

A self-imposed restriction ensures that any hotel like development and expansion is avoided. The camp set up is kept small and special and with a maximum of 4-5 accommodation units.

This is the best way to preserve the original jungle experience as well as a precondition for managing the place without electric light (which would spoil the experience and discourage wild animals from moving close to the camp).

In January 2002 we opened for tourists and began using ecotourism as a way forward. A tool to conserve the environment through creating new nature based jobs. Simply by using the nature in a constructive – not destructive way in the local area which is a wilderness, forest as well as slash and burn cultivation area north of the Yala National Park.

By inviting tourists to come and live with the jungle lodge team in the wilderness it is our aim to create awareness amongst the local community and authorities about the special value of the natural environment outside the Yala National Park itself.

We do not follow any blue print project implementation program and we are economically 100% depending on the arrival of visitors. But we are always working to use our influence and network so as to preserve this unique piece of nature from the threat of destruction.

We are very passionate about preserving our local area as elephant habitat but also working for co-existence between humans and elephants. Through our local community based organization working for preserving biodiversity in an effort to pushing development planners to consider nature conservation as a modern, constructive idea.

Preserving wild, natural habitats and forests outside the national park is the most important way to solve the 'human-elephant conflict', the main threat to the Sri Lankan elephant population.

Deforestation and habitat fragmentation create conflict with problems of elephants raiding paddy fields etc.

The camp is situated in a border area between protected areas and human habitation as well as farming areas so this area is also a place to witness this part of life in remote rural areas. That is why we refer to our approach as ‘reality tourism’.

Community

All staff members are from the local area and trained and educated for tourism at the lodge, using their natural sense of hospitality.

We consider sustainable small scale nature based tourism an important contribution to the environmental threats to the area and work to build awareness of nature tourism as a tool to use the local environment in a constructive way as an alternative to using nature in destructive ways.

Small scale responsible tourism is generating a new type of income in the the local community and we have proven this is a different way to use the local environment in a positive way compared to traditional land and forest use. At the same time the management depend on the local knowledge of the jungle which the local staff team possess.

We are conscious about using simple technology only as it can be handled, repaired and managed by the local staff.

Reviews of Sri Lanka eco lodge accommodation

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 17 Feb 2006 by

My stay at this lodge in Sri Lanka was an absolutely beautiful experience. I don´t think that I've ever felt so relaxed. Staying in a simple (but clean and neat) hut in the jungle and listening to the sounds of birds and sometimes even elephants made me feel very, very, very happy and close to nature.

I can't tell you how grateful I am to have been able to do this trip, and finally one of my dreams came true when I saw an elephant..... I definitely felt that my holiday benefited local people, all the staff (except the host - Lars) was from the area and had a lot of knowledge about the nature.

Rating:*****!! Will travel with you again as soon as I can.

Reviewed on 18 Oct 2005 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The whole experience of staying here was memorable, from the incredibly warm welcome through to the amazing food prepared by local staff on an open fire. Unfortunately we arrived after the rains had started so we didn't see a lot of wildlife but if we had wanted guaranteed sightings we would have gone to a zoo.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go with an open mind and take things as they come. Lars and his staff will bend over backwards to accommodate your wishes but there are limits and visitors should recognise this.

3. Any areas for improvement?


Definitely. The accommodation is made from local materials and any timber is taken from trees that have already fallen rather than cutting down growing trees. Several of the local staff have been converted from abusing the environment e.g. poaching to protecting it.

Reviewed on 21 Jan 2005 by

It was everything we hoped it would be, so far away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Sri Lanka. Although there had been other quiet, peaceful times and places they were always punctuated by noisy travelling and so on. The accommodation is very comfortable and really well thought out. It's basic, washing with water from a well and lighting in the form of candles and hurricane lamps. This is as it should be, because the idea is to have as little impact on the surrounding jungle and its inhabitants as possible. Lars is a very good host and is a really dedicated to his cause. The local guys who Lars employs are very knowledgeable about the fauna and flora of the jungle. We went on three guided walks through the wonderful jungle and saw clues to elephant and bear and porcupine activities! They all made our stay very relaxing and enjoyable as well as interesting and we learned a great deal. We really felt part of it all. The food was really excellent, and the evening meal was prepared by torch, candle and hurricane lamp light! All in all everything was fantastic, the people the place and the atmosphere!

Reviewed on 13 Dec 2004 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Our overwhelming feeling after the holiday, is a great sadness for the loss of life and suffering caused by the tsunami disaster. Though, we very much enjoyed our stay at the Lodge, even though the monsoon rain curtailed the walking safaris.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


This is a real jungle experience far from normal comforts, such as running water.

3. Any areas for improvement?


I understand that the manager, Lars, intends to provide some running water in the accommodation, and an attached toilet which would be very good ideas.

4. Any other comments?


I think Lars is doing a great job and the project is definitely worthy of support. It would be good when Lars has managed to build more accommodation to allow more people to stay at one time.

Reviewed on 15 Dec 2003 by

Staying here was the most amazing experience! I stayed at an ecolodge on the edge of the jungle and learned how to track wild elephant and leopard. We had the lodge exclusively to ourselves. Bathed at a well - no electricity - watched displays by fireflies at night - food was delicious and cooked over small wood stove. Staff were wonderful - felt very safe yet living at one with nature. Altogether - a life enhancing experience.

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