Sri Lanka Eastern explorer tour

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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 Eastern explorer tour

Environment

We 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. 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 local 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.

- Accommodation
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.

With your stay at Jungle Beach and Uga Resicence, you contribute to the Uga Escapes group, who cares about environmental conservation and sustaining the local communities in ethical ways. The eco hotel has earned LEED certification (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) from the Green Building Council of the United States. They use environmentally friendly, biodegradable materials in the structures. Their use of solar energy and bio gas, along with a water-treatment plant are some of the major ways they invest in the environment, but in small ways, they conserve energy with LED light bulbs, use clay and glass instead plastic, and they maintain an organic farm, which means they use only natural pesticides and fertilizers.

We have also chosen Wallawwa and Camellia Hill for you, that are part of the Teardrop Group, a small, family-run, personal and single-use plastic-aware hotel company. Your stay at Wallawwa for example will support a resort that uses LED lightbulbs and filtered water to cut down on plastic water bottles. They monitor their energy/water usage and use solar water heating. The Wallawwa’s own extensive fruit and vegetable garden supplies fresh produce where possible to the hotels’ restaurants.

- Transport
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 Colombo, and bicycle rides in the rice fields or in Anuradhapura. 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 Kandy with its Temple of Tooth 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.
- 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.
- The Temple of Toothes in Kandy is a Buddhist temple that 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.

- Nature
You will have a special and personalised learning journey with botany, the science of plant life, through a guided tour with our unique local botanist. 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 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 the National Park 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.

You will also witness Castlereagh Reservoir, a unique area in Sri Lanka, surrounded by verdant mountains and vibrant tea plantations, featuring lush green terrain lined with remarkably bright shades of orange shores separating the azure water and the land. The natural artistry of Castlereagh Reservoir is complimented by the Castlereagh Dam that, in fact, creates the Reservoir by amassing water from Kehelgamu Oya. Water in the Reservoir is used for generating hydroelectricity, a main source of electricity in Sri Lanka. Castlereagh is a place where one can see the human ingenuity seamlessly mingling with the nature.

Community

We 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.

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 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.

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.

Both through your stay at Wallawwa and Camellia Hills, you support the Teardrop Hotels CARE (Creating A Rewarding Experience), a charitable foundation set up to give back to the communities they work in. Over the last year alone they have donated more than quarter of a million (330,000) rupees to charitable causes in the area surrounding our properties. These range from providing food, medicine, reading glasses and stationery to local low income families as well as helping mend a nearby temple roof, equip the playground at a primary school and sponsor 3 disabled children through a special needs school (Volunteers to Assist Children with Disabilities Limited). They have strong ties to a local orphanage and are helping some of the older children find work, with 1 currently being trained to work at the Wallawwa. When staying at the Wallawwa, you can contribute to the gift shop, whose sales go directly to CARE. All the staff are very proud of the commitment to help sustain the local communities and as they grow as a company they look forward to increasing the involvement even more.

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