Sri Lanka tours, beyond the tourist trail
Description of Sri Lanka tours, beyond the tourist trail
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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.
PlanetWildlife parks in Sri Lanka such as Yala are experiencing stress through high visitor numbers and a large number of safari jeeps. We advocate visiting more off the beaten track areas of the Yala region and provide awareness to clients on by doing this we are helping to avoid overcrowding in parts of the park which can lead to stress for animals. Block 5 at Yala is a wonderful and wild experience where few visitors venture. It is a thrilling experience and here the wildlife is much shyer but the possibility of seeing Leopard an array of other wildlife is still very much present.
Our local team support wildlife projects. One example is the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe which is visited on this tour and managed by the government Department on Wildlife conservation where orphaned/injured elephant calves are trained to obtain the skills of surviving in the wild before being released to the national park later when they are fit and ready enough. Travellers can visit this worthwhile project and see its work.
We also visit a project at Kanneliya Forest where we see the work of a local naturalist who rescues retiles from the residences and gardens of locals when they may otherwise be persecuted, checks on their welfare and then releases them back into their natural rainforest habitat.
Clients are asked when travelling on tour to use their own water bottles which are refilled safely rather than using small single use plastic bottles which have blighted the landscapes and beaches all over the world.
Our local team in Sri Lanka are extremely pro active on sustainability issues and are at the forefront of improving awareness of environmental issues in tourism all across Asia and have been instrumental in diverting tourists away from establishments that use captive animals to attract tourists which has been a problem in countries like Sri Lanka.
PeopleWe keep our tours to very small groups or private tours minimising our footprint on the local communities to which we visit. We never do large bus or coach tours. We also use local train travel for part of this tour.
Our local team source gifts for clients only from workshops which supports to empower marginalised local communities. One is called "Thimble" where all the handicrafts are produced by women from the fishing villages around Negombo which helps them to support their families.
Another such workshop is Rice & Carry which produces bags, pouches, laptop covers etc from recycled material such as rice sacks. Here also it's the ladies from poor villages in the East Coast that produces these items providing a valuable source of income.
For village tours tours in Sri Lanka we involve local people from the village itself instead of just having our guide. This way travellers can get an authentic and unique perspective on village life and again this provides villagers with a valuable source of income. One such example is the day where a retired tea plantation worker educates the travellers on his experiences working in the tea industry.