Sri Lanka cycling tour
Description of Sri Lanka cycling tour
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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.
Sri Lanka is famous for its wildlife such as elephants and leopards and our visits to the national parks at Udawalawe and Yala help to support the conservation of the animals and their habitat, both through the financial benefit of entrance fees but also through the interest shown by our visits that incentivises the government and local people to continue the preservation. While we recognise that visitor numbers are placing environmental problems on the big game of Yala National Park we haven’t seen this as a reason not to visit. Instead we ensure, through our local partner, that our drivers are respectful of the animals and we access the park through the less frequented Kataragama entrance.
While in Udawalawe NP we visit the Elephant Transit Home - founded to help rehabilitate juvenile orphan elephants, return them to the wild and monitor their progress. Sri Lankan elephants are an endangered species and their survival is threatened due to human encroachment. When wild elephants are killed, their calves become orphans and require support to survive. Born Free have recommended we keep visiting with our cycle groups as the sanctuary have really improved their standards in recent years and are the shining light of elephant issues in Sri Lanka.
To limit the use of plastic we have facilitated the use of glass water bottles so our cycling clients can by recyclable bottles inexpensively and refill their water bottles each day. This has been made possible with the help of our Sri Lankan partners who have invested in the deposits for the glass bottles and return them to the factory to be cleaned and refilled after each trip.
Cycling holidays are a relatively sustainable way to travel as they have less negative impact on the local infrastructure, environment and people while encouraging positive interaction with local people. We cycle on routes that are removed from mass tourism, creating less pollution, noise and traffic. When using motorised transport we work with small, locally owned transport companies.
As a travel company we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key, and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage.
PeopleA fair deal:
We have worked with the same locally owned partner company for over 30 years and both companies have grown together. They serve as a trustee on the board of the Federation of Environmental Organizations (FEO) in Sri Lanka. Among other things the FEO is involved in the training of jeep drivers and safari guides that accompany visitors to the National Parks in Sri Lanka. Our Sri Lankan partner is also a member of the Rotary club and Responsible Tourism Partnership – together we helped to provide relief after the devastating 2004 Tsunami by giving building materials to help locals repair their houses. Our partners have also helped set up a traditional lace making centre to revive a traditional craft and provide support to widows of Tsunami victims. This lace centre continues to help secure the livelihoods of lace makers and helps support some of the poorest women.
When we launched our cycle trip in 2012, small group bicycle tourism was a new concept in Sri Lanka and we used European leaders at first. Before long we had recruited and trained local Sri Lankan Tour Leaders, imparting all of our expertise, to lead our cycle trips with great success. Our visitors give glowing feedback about the love for their country and the passion these local Leaders show when sharing information about its rich culture, traditions and natural wonders. Our Leaders seek out opportunities to show and involve you in every day Sri Lankan life; for example stopping at the roadside to watch toddy tappers at work, visiting a village brick kiln or passing around exotic local fruit to try at a local market.
Local crafts and culture:
We visit a tea factory and nearby village where visitors can learn about the daily life of a tea picker.
As a company we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of the UK travel industry body AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.