John spent most of the 90s travelling extensively around Asia. Whilst backpacking in Kandy, Sri Lanka, for the millennium New Year, he bumped into local lad, Pathi. They quickly became close and Pathi introduced John to his whole family. A decade later, the two friends still speak every day and share a successful company offering intimate tours of Sri Lanka that really get under the skin of this beautiful, diverse country. John operates from the UK, providing customers with a bespoke service, and Pathi, in Kandy, arranges a welcome team of fully trained chauffer guides who are proud to show off their home.
We actively encourage responsible and sustainable travel to Sri Lanka. By working closely with our associate company in Sri Lanka and other partner organisations, we are endeavouring to promote cultural exchange, social awareness, self-employment and self-development.
Guides: We only employ English-speaking Sri Lankan chauffeur guides who are all licensed by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board. Experienced guides for trekking, safaris and other specialist activities are hired locally and have extensive knowledge of their chosen area of expertise.
Restaurants & accommodation: We encourage travellers to eat at traditional restaurants, roadside eateries, street vendors and market stalls in order for them to enjoy and experience authentic Sri Lankan food. We actively promote small family-run guesthouses that employ local workers, or in the case of larger hotels, locally owned establishments.
Community-led projects: The Asian Tsunami highlighted the plight of coastal communities in Sri Lanka and our initial projects were targeted at Sri Lankan individuals and communities devastated by the tsunami (please ask us for details). However, many other communities away from the coast also lack essential materials and services and our objective is to offer long-term support to such Sri Lankan individuals and communities. By channelling all donations received by Forgotten Village Sri Lanka (a charitable organisation currently applying for charitable status with the Charity Commission) into community-based projects on the island, we hope to provide sustained assistance to these communities in their endeavour to improve their lives. We make a contribution to Forgotten Village Sri Lanka for every holiday booked.
Behind the success of Angsana Ihuru lies the untold story of a steely faith in the power of environmental conservation. Environmental considerations were taken into account long before the resort was actually built. It was imperative that the villas on this fascinating island surrounded by shallow crystalline waters were built without damaging the beautiful coral reefs surrounding it. The solution was to transfer thatched roofs and other pre-fabricated building materials brought in from Indonesia to small boats and barges that could navigate the shallow waters without threatening its delicate marine life.
Such dedication to eco-conservation has since extended to the many marine conservation projects initiated by Angsana Ihuru, which pioneered marine biology research initiatives including turtle and coral projects particularly well received among resort guests. The resort was honoured with the first Maldivian Environment Preservation Award in 1996 and the President of the Maldives Green Resort Award in 2002. Indeed, in every aspect of the resortís operations, the effects on the environment are given due consideration. For instance, to prevent oil spillage into the sea, fuel to power the resortís generator is pumped directly into the storage tank via a 300-m long oil pipe installed along the jetty so that oil tankers would not have to come too close to shore.
To preserve the ecological balance on the island, scarce water is not extracted from the underground water table but obtained by the ecologically friendly alternative of desalination. And instead of using environmentally harmful pesticides in the resortís thriving herb and vegetable garden, chickens are reared to control the islandís insect population. It is precisely such a holistic approach to conservation that makes Angsana Ihuru truly eco-friendly.
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