Sri Lanka culture and wildlife holiday
Description of Sri Lanka culture and wildlife holiday
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetWe work with selected local providers who are very committed to give guests the most authentic and original travel experience in Sri Lanka while leaving a lighter footprint on your trip. Our excursions maintain small-group sizes to limit the negative environmental impact in accordance to the carrying capacity of the visited site.
When traveling to Sri Lanka, you support a country that puts a lot of effort into sustainable tourism and good environmental management practices related to energy, water, waste water and solid management practices. For example, around 70 to 88% of Sri Lanka’s hotels use solar power and energy efficient lighting methods.
- Accommodation & Environment
We select the most exclusive and responsible resorts for you. In this tour you will stay at Nine Skies and The Fort Bazaar, which are part of the Teardrop Group, a family-run, personal, small and single-use plastic-aware hotel company. The Fort Bazaar for example uses LED lightbulbs, filtered water (to cut down on plastic water bottles) and monitors their energy/water usage. The hotel is also a sponsor for the new Greener Galle recycling centre in Talpe.
A top eco-performer for you is also Noel Rodrigo's Leopard Safaris, with its location on the fringe of Yala National Park. The operator is firmly committed to reducing their carbon footprint, conserving nature reserves in which they operate and protecting the delicate balance of wildlife that thrives within them. The resort campsite was built in respect of its surroundings, and materials such as palm leaves for the roofs and the recycled timber furniture in the Luxury Lodge Tent are all sourced locally. Noel Rodrigo's are actively involved in various community and environmental projects including a tree planting campaign and collect vital information on Sri Lanka’s leopards for various local wildlife conservation organisations. They use renewable energy in their campsites, solar hot water pumps and solar powered heating for the shower in the Luxury Lodge Tent. They use organic toiletries, source food locally and also upcycle; currently they are using recycled bottles to construct their new staff quarters.
In general, we are trying to keep the extra unneeded waste to a minimum in all our tours through our “bring it in, bring it out” policy for litter and rubbish such as food packaging and recycling wherever possible. In our UK and local offices we re-use or recycle the information booklets we provide to every client on arrival wherever possible. We also concentrate on providing information online via our website and electronically rather then producing a glossy brochure, hence reducing the use of paper and inks.
Our partners are currently conducting audits with clients on how to make the journey more sustainable and include less plastic. There are plans to remove all single use plastic bottles from the vehicles.
Wherever possible we will try to include non-motorized ways of transport to limit your impact, in this tour we can offer you for example guided walking tours in Galle Fort and Colombo, train rides in the Hill Country, walks in Ella to Little Adam's Peak, Ella Rock or along the Nine Arch Bridge, and bicycle rides in the rice fields. When we use vehicles, we make sure that sizes are as small as appropriate and proper licensing on vehicles and certifying to national emission standards are maintained.
- Culture & Buildings
Your entrance fees to visit Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Dambulla will all contribute to the conservation and maintenance of those precious UNESCO listed World Heritage Sites:
- Sigiriya is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning. Being sometimes called the 8th wonder of the world, this fortress-palace was built atop a towering rock in the 5th century and is one of the most dramatic, inspiring and beautiful historical locations in the world.
- Polonnaruwa was Sri Lanka’s medieval capital from 1073 until the late 1200s, and the ruins of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa are incredibly well-preserved and include magnificant granite sculptures of Lord Buddha.
- The ancient Dambulla Cave Temple is the most famous cave temple complex in Sri Lanka, boasting the largest number of Buddha statues to be housed in one place, as well as stunning ceiling paintings.
- Anuradhapura offers majestic remains of Sri Lanka’s first capital, originally built in the 4th century BC, the ruling place for over 100 Sri Lankan kings.
You will also visit Kandy and the Temple of Tooth. Your entrance fee helps maintain the conservation and maintenance of this Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy. It houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a World Heritage Site mainly due to the temple.
Also visiting Dhowa Rock Temple, a protected heritage site, will help preserve its large unfinished Buddha image, carved into the rock face, which is considered an example of Mahayana sculpture, dating back over 2000 years.
Visiting the Peradeniya Botanical Garden will help the Division of National Botanic Gardens of the Department of Agriculture to grow and conserve more than 4000 species of plants, including orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees.
You will be able to see animals in their natural habitats. You will visit Yala National Park, it has one of the world's densest leopard populations (less than 50). Expect to see elephants, sloth bears, sambar deer, spotted deer, wild boar, crocodiles, monkeys and buffalos. Or you can spot wild Sri Lankan Elephants in its natural habitat at the Udawalawe National Park, a park that covers almost 31,000 hectares. You can also see Minneriya National Park, that protects the catchment of the Minneriya tank and the wildlife of the surrounding area. The tank is of historical importance, having been built by King Mahasen in third century AD. The park is a dry season feeding ground for the elephant population dwelling in forests of Matale, Polonnaruwa, and Trincomalee districts. You will be able to see large gatherings of elephants during certain months. Along with Kaudulla and Girithale, Minneriya forms one of the 70 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) of Sri Lanka.
Your visits at all these National Parks will contribute to the Department of Wildlife Conservation, who is the primary entity responsible for the maintenance of the national parks and wildlife reserves and the Sri Lankan Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe.
PeopleWe strive to help our clients connect with Sri Lanka and its local population in interesting and insightful ways. Our partners have a reputation for possessing an intimate, in-depth knowledge of Sri Lanka, with purposeful dedication towards enabling guests meaningful experiences. This has benefited not only clients and operators, providing more fulfilling trips, but is also positively impacting our host communities, providing immediate income and making their lives more sustainable and productive.
- Supporting the community
Our local partners have helped many hosts to develop their experiences from a product development and pricing perspective, elevating their experience and its value. They have developed experiences from scratch with many hosts and communities to provide jobs and income to local populations e.g. The Sri Lankan Garden (also incredibly sustainable operation) and most recently with the new East Coast Project., working with an Australian NGO to develop experiences on the East Coast of the Sri Lanka, employing local staff and hosts in an area where there is a significant need. We choose our partners carefully and are constantly on the lookout for grassroots conservation projects and fair trade initiatives.
There are many of the hotels we work with that employ the majority of their staff from the local area, many have community initiatives in place and offer lucrative employment options in comparison to other trades.
- Campaigns & Charity
For many years our partners have worked with a small collection of schools where they have arranged for clients to help construct toilets, paint classrooms and have worked with charities such as The Foundation of Goodness and Child Action Lanka.
When staying at the Wallawwa, you can contribute to the gift shop, whose sales go to Wallawwa CARE, that raises funds for the local community; this includes donating to schools, sponsoring the education of local children, donating medicines and helping families with losses.
- Local culture. tradition & connection
When you visit the Loolecondera tea estate, you will help preserve ancient tea culture and promote local employment. It is not an ordinary tea plantation, as famous James Taylor, a Scottish cultivator, made the first successful attempt to grow and process tea in Ceylon there in 1867. This famous and old fashioned tea factory has a historical significance and still generates fine tea leaves featured in upcountry with an exceptional global demand. You can have a greater look at several ancient pieces of machinery built by British planters including a massive generator installed in 1935, which is even used in present day.
James Taylor was a nature lover, and had smoothly fabricated the Loolecondera tea estate with a minimum harmful consequence on the marvelous natural beauty unique to this panoramic land and its environment. The Loolecondera estate is a miraculously found natural model for its fabulous ecosystem integrity existing for longer years. You can also talk walks in the natural virgin forests at the estate, and explore the surprising fauna and flora and all the immense biodiversity.
We invite you to connect with the local community as much as possible, for example in the "city on the plein" Nuwara Eliya where you can visit local farmers or experience the Sinhalese and Tamil New Year celebrations in April.