Sri Lanka holiday, wild escapes

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Sri Lanka holiday, wild escapes

Environment

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is one of the least disturbed and biologically unique primary lowland rain forests in Sri Lanka, covering an extent of over 11000 hectares. Of international significance and declared a Man and Biosphere Reserve (MAB) in 1978 when UNESCO included it in its international network of Biosphere reserves. Of Sri Lanka's endemic birds, all 22 rainforest species are seen here, including the elusive Red-faced Malkoha, Green-billed Coucal and Sri Lanka Blue Magpie. Local expert guides ensure that guest understand the fragile nature of the environment and respect the wildlife, observing from a suitable distance so as not to infringe upon their habitat and upholding a 'leave no trace' policy while visiting.

Our accommodation in the forest is part of the Rainforest Ecolodge company, a joint effort at creating an idyllic holiday retreat that strives to conserve the environment and benefit the village community. It follows strict eco-friendly policies that aims to re-use, re-design, and recycle. The unique partnership of the Tourism Cluster was formed in April 2000 under the USAID Competitiveness Initiative. In August 2003, with support of an international ecotourism expert, local biodiversity experts and other specialists from USAID's Competitiveness Initiative, the project feasibility was completed and presented to the industry of investment. A number of companies subscribed to the offering and the Rainforest Ecolodge Company was set up to implement the project.

Other accommodation on the trip also adhere to strict environmental criteria:

"The Other Corner" hotel is the vision of Rahula Dassenaieke, a lover of nature in his own rights and a keen photographer. Rahula came up with the concept of “The Other Corner” as a place to relax with the idea of maintaining an unsullied environment for other avian and nature lovers to enjoy what is frequently termed the abundance of nature.

Ranweli is well known for its Corporate Environmental Policies and commitment to conservation and environmental practice. Their environmental conservation initiatives for example include the following:
Solar energy for water heating
Solid/liquid waste treatment technology
Maximum use of recyclables
Organic vegetable gardens

Ranweli company directors and officials fulfill their obligations to society by lobbying provincial and central governmental authorities whenever possible to introduce environmentally friendly and sustainable tourism principles in policy making.

During nature tours, clients are introduced to eco-friendly facilities and a detailed explanation of the eco-system is provided. Scientific information, written and verbal interpretation programs are provided to enhance the learning experience. A knowledge-based holiday with focus on conservation and sustainability of resources is thus achieved.

Community

Your Sri Lankan driver guide will become not only your local insider to the country but also your best friend. Clients always provide incredible feedback about all of our guides and knowing that they are supporting someone that lives in Sri Lanka is always really important for local knowledge and experience to get the best from your time in Sri Lanka.

All of the accommodations we use during the trip employ local staff and have a n active commitment to their local communities:

For example, Ranweli has been able to establish a relationship with the local village by use of primary building materials, contracting skilled and semi-skilled labour and purchase of vegetables and fruits, artifacts and arts and crafts.

In July 2004, Ranweli received a €500 grant from Ecoclub The Ecoclub Project, to create an organic vegetable plot and greenhouse in a neighboring girls' school. This encouraged the community to initiate home gardens and grow organic vegetables.

Ranweli believes that the degradation of the environment the vital resource base of tourism can be protected if the younger generation is actively involved in the protection of our natural and cultural resources.

Rainforest Ecolodge community development include:
empowering the tea worker community consisting which lived in extremely poor conditions at the time the ecolodge project began. It was imperative that the project initially invested in upgrading their basic facilities of the families on the estate while considering a longer term strategy to empower them to access opportunities that would be available once the ecolodge began operations.

By staying in places with an active community programme, guests can in turn gain a deeper understanding of both town and rural communities and are directly contributing to projects by staying at these carefully selected ecolodges.

Reviews of Sri Lanka holiday, wild escapes

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 28 Nov 2015 by

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


Rainforest, elephants and monkeys

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


Avoid kandy for any more than one night. Stay longer at the rainforest. Don't stay at the citrus...alledgelly a superior
room. Not! Take your paperwork with you so you can prove what you have booked as this happened 4 times. Be firm with
your driver and not to be taken to mates places! Also avoid spice plantation...rip off

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Not really. The amount of miles we did in the car was underestimated by the itinerary. Local people are employed in the
tourism business...and they just want money. There was no encouragement of local peoples well being. Environmentally
there was support esp conservation, however not sure how true it was.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


enjoyed it, but could have been much better by attention to details....better organisation...swap one night in kandy to an
additional night in the rainforest and not bother with nuweva elliya....and go to Ella instead.

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