Luxury Sri Lanka 12 day tour

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

Responsible tourism: Luxury Sri Lanka 12 day 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. 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.

- Responsible Accommodation
With your stay at Ulagalla Resort, you contribute to a hotel group who cares about environmental conservation and sustaining the local communities in ethical ways. The eco hotel group has earned LEED certification (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) from the Green Building Council of the United States. In fact, Ulagalla was the first boutique hotel in Sri Lanka to receive it. They didn’t cut down trees to build, but planted more.

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 for you, part of the Teardrop Group, a small, family-run, personal and single-use plastic-aware hotel company. Your stay at Wallawwa 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.

Another top eco place where you will stay is Leopard Trails, who practices Responsible Tourism to its best. "Everything that comes with us leaves with us." They aim to minimise their impact on the environment whilst retaining western standards of comfort. They are here to show-case a true wilderness experience and prioritise above all else, the protection of nature. To reduce dependency on plastics, they discourage the use of plastic water bottles unless specifically requested by guests. They use reusable stainless steel thermos flasks filled from reusable American Water 5 gallon containers. All garbage is removed and disposed of outside the National park through the local council. Garbage is locked and sealed at camp each night. They encourage guests to help them conserve water by reusing towels and bedsheets should they choose to do so.

Also Tea Trails by Resplendent Cylon is a unique example for a group that went from Ethical Teas To A Culturally-Conscious Luxe Hospitality Brand In Sri Lanka. A significant amount of the earnings goes into the Dilmah Conservation, which focuses on the environment through a four-pronged approach: sustainability, biodiversity, heritage and communications. They have, for example, a climate research station on their tea plantations and got involved in leopard conservation. Just behind their Wild Coast resort is the first national leopard research station, which is a full-time center. It will bring all the research under one roof and then advise the government. In addition, with the department of wildlife, they helped rebuild the elephant transit home, which is an orphanage with 100 baby elephants there at one time. The elephants come into the center from the Udawalawe National Park six times a day for milk and then they go back to the park on their own. Tourists can see them when the elephants come in every three hours.

- 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 visit the Yala National Park and see animals in their natural habitats. Yala 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. Your visit 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 in Udawalawe.

You will also 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.

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.

- Supporting the local Community through your hotel stays:
Leopard Trails works hand-in-hand with the local community. The campsite staff and drivers have been handpicked from the local community. Fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood and other provisions are sourced from local suppliers. Transportation and logistics providers are from the area. Where possible equipment is manufactured and maintained within the local area including the use of local welders, carpenters, plumbers, and garages.

A special example of a family-run house devoted to philanthropy and giving back before business is Resplendent Cylon (Tea Trails Bungalows Castlereagh). They give back in a structured manner through the creation of foundations. The MJF Charitable Foundation focuses on social justice. The small Entrepreneurship Program has about 2,000 entrepreneurs - such as watch repairman, cobblers, tailors, beauty salons workers - who they help with grants, and basic business education, as opposed to giving handouts. We found that one entrepreneur helps 17 in their immediate circle, whether in their family or their community.

They have a program with the prisons, they have helped 400 parolees get back on their feet, and reduce ostracization, which happens when they go back to their communities without a job. The relapse rate went from something like 65% to 5%.

They operate 90 daycare facilities in the Tea Country. When the women go out into the fields, they leave their young kids at the center where they are cared for.

In Weligama, the Foundation funds a community center, which offers free school for kids three to five years old, and, for kids doing their secondary education, there are classes in math, dance, English, and so forth. They train the fishermen’s wives to make handicrafts and other goods that can be sold to hotel guests. Any family within a one-kilometer radius can benefit from that center.

They have a program where they worked with women who were sugar cane cutters - a business that had died out here. We had some of these women train with a master potter. Now they are creating some fine pottery. They also teach the village women to make handicrafts at Mankada Pottery near Udawalawe that they can sell in the gift shop at Cape Weligama or the guests can go there. They are going to expand the shop to have a gallery to show artwork done by the local community. All profits would go towards the running of the center.

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