Explore a hand-picked selection of our favourite journeys, articles, experiences and special places to stay in Sri Lanka. Not one to be read in a rush, it’s time to grab a cuppa, and see where it takes you…
Visit a conservation project in the rich forests and grasslands of Wasgamuwa National Park in the Matale and Polonnaruwa Districts. They face an all too common challenge: a conflict between elephants transiting on migration paths to fresh water and the communities and farmers settled there, trying to produce a living through crop production. This is the number one conservation challenge facing Sri Lanka.
Melt in your mouth flavours - you’ve not eaten Sri Lanka cuisine until you’ve eaten in Sri Lanka
This wildlife and water adventure combines the island’s top wildlife crowd pleasers with some magnificent hidden gems.
The teardrop island is deeply in love with its natural world, and devotes thousands of square kilometres to its many National Parks - giving wildlife more space to roam. As keen travellers, we often seek out less-visited treasures along with the headline sights: an urge to get closer to the heart of each destination that’s in Selective Asia’s DNA.
Whether you’re searching for a rustic or luxury getaway, Sri Lanka offers plenty of tranquil resorts for you to escape it all.
The impact of the pandemic on wildlife and environmental conservation groups, and National Parks, is well known, so to open up a frank conversation about the situation on the ground (and how we can help going forward) we interviewed our partner, AB, who shared his invaluable insight about the state of things in Sri Lanka.
AB - The last year has posed many challenges for Sri Lanka's National Parks and wildlife conservation projects. The most pressing issues are that poaching has increased due to loss of employment and vocational opportunities; good wildlife guides have had to join other areas of work; and most research projects have halted, meaning more forest is being cleared for farming as it's the only economically viable alternative in some areas. Sadly, human/elephant conflict has also escalated due to this.
AB - Yes. Some tourism stakeholders are raising funds and making a difference even during these challenging times, and many tour guides are investing more time to learn and professionally qualify.
Although there is no scientific proof, many wild animals seem to be experiencing reduced stress with fewer vehicles going into the parks. There may be higher reproduction as well!
SA - What are the challenges to pursuing a sustainable ethos in operating safaris in Sri Lanka?
AB - Investing in the training and development of people is becoming increasingly challenging. Naturally, most stakeholders have had to look to their own survival recently rather than long-term sustainability.
Producing renewable energy and procuring sustainable resources is costly, and there is no focus from the government for this area. Stakeholders need to take the bullet on this and as a result the costs go up.
In addition, there is very little appreciation from the clients and tour operators of this aspect. How many travellers would pay 200 GBP more because our camp is carbon neutral? So, one of the biggest challenges we face is in educating the stakeholders effectively.