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Wilderness camping at a remote location in sri lanka’s jungle

Okkampitiya (bandarawela), Sri-lanka



The Activity

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Camp and unwind at a remote place in Sri Lanka’s jungle
  • Sleep in a comfortable canvas-tented chalet
  • Have the chance to see wild elephants walking in front of you
  • Contribute with your stay conserving the forest and reducing poverty in the area
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Maximum group size is 6 people

DESCRIPTION

Do you want to have a different experience? Enjoy a remote place, off the beaten track? I invite you to experience Sri Lankas wilderness and live for a few days at a peaceful location amidst forest and mountains near Yala National Park. Living in the tropical bush jungle next to elephants, chital deer, marsh crocodile or maybe even a leopard!

Start your day with an early morning walk to watch the variety of birds, the sunrise and to see nature awaken. After this early walk you can enjoy a savory healthy breakfast with fresh juice and fruits. Between breakfast and lunch you can have a walk with the jungle team on a 1.5-hour hike in the local area. Some days the walk is inside the forest where we might encounter footprints of the wildlife, listen to birdcalls and maybe get a glimpse of chital deer, giant squirrel and monkeys or other animals. The forest is the habitat and home of animals but do not expect actually to observe wildlife because animals here wild and naturally shy. They will hide or flee as all natural wild animals in the world will do when they encounter human beings.

At lunchtime a typical Sri Lankan lunch will be served after which you can relax and enjoy the sounds of nature. At the end of the day, around 4 o’clock, a cup of tea will be offered and we go out for a final walk to the nearby lakes with hopefully a very good chance to see the local wild elephants that are taking some refreshment.

At night you will enjoy a local curry style meal (3-4 courses) that can be served outside depending on the weather and the wildlife. There is some flexibility so do let me know how you would like your meals.

You will sleep in a comfortable canvas-tented chalet with bathroom and toilet with a large double bed. It has a verandah with folding chairs and tables where you can sit and relax. Be aware that the camp location is in the wilderness and that there is no electricity. Charging of batteries is possible. It is done in our storehouse a few km away from the camp.

My goal is to contribute to conserve the forest and wildlife through reducing poverty in the remote area of Weliara / Illukpitiya. Therefore all the staff is recruited in the local area so that they generate an income and are not dependent on hunting and logging anymore.

Walking is planned from day-to-day, but is not guaranteed. It is depending on the given situation on any given time. We may determine to walk in more open areas only - outside the tall forest.

During the dry season (March-October) wild elephants sometimes visit the camp. An amazing experience I can tell! Do understand that, as we are situated in wilderness and not inside a safari park, observing wild animals is not an easy task.

Remarks:

Staying with children below the age of 10 years is generally not recommended. We only book family stays exclusive of jungle walks. Other excursions can be offered. The minimum age for walking in the jungle is advised to 18 years. Alternative walks are possible (trip to a river for a bath, local community, home visits, farmers etc.).

If you have a driver and you want to arrange his stay as well, that is possible. A driver will stay in the Buttala town, not in the camp itself. The guesthouse where drivers are accommodated has a safe parking place. The same guesthouse is the meeting point from where we will pick you up and handle transfer to our camp location 10 kilometer from the town.

Additional costs for a drivers stay: ‐ per night US$20 / LKR 2500 incl. of room, all meals, tea.

Price includes:

  • Accommodation in tented chalet with private bathroom in the room
  • Transfers between Buttala town and camp location (Pick up and drop off)
  • All meals and needs
  • Drinking water, refreshments, tea/ coffee, fruit / fruit juices/ soft drinks
  • Sundowner drink in the evening
  • Costs for the 6 man staff team
  • Location fee
  • Night watching. Tracker team on duty on site during the whole night
  • Any cost involved for the Forest Department or government tax and charges
  • Local area walks with the 4 man tracker team. Typically 1.5 hours walks morning and afternoon

Price excludes:

  • Beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks. They are available for a reasonable price.
More information

Meet Lars

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Sri Lanka’s wilderness and wildlife made a lasting impression on me when I came to Sri Lanka in the 1980’s as a 20-year-oldtraveler. I returned again and again on several long stays. Exploring jungles on foot and watching wild elephant from trees were among the most astonishing opportunities I experienced in this country. I had the idea to create a place where one could experience an old-fashioned jungle adventure in the most authentic way possible. Around 2000 I started to develop a pioneering community based eco lodge. Based on the attitude that real wilderness is a luxury in itself, I introduced a vision about blending a simple camp without electricity with the service level of a luxury hotel without the luxury.This concept was creating a new, authentic, way to experience a local community and to do it in style without harming the local people and nature, but letting them benefit. In 2008 we were honored with the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Award.


Location


The camp is very well set-up with three tents and a central permanent structure for eating and relaxation. It’s very tastefully done and with great respect to the local environment. Also, all the work is done by local people so the lodge provides work opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise exist. The staff at the lodge, led by Kamal, is amazing! The food we had at the lodge was the best Sri Lankan food we had during our three week tour around the country. All cooked on site, using mostly local ingredients. We even had seared tuna one night which was the probably the best tuna we ever tasted. Needless to say, we didn’t expect THAT in the midst of the Sri Lankan jungle... Another memorable experience was going for a walk and visit the local villagers. This was not a scheduled tourist-trap style ‘village experience ‘ but instead a visit to some of the locals to see how they live. We were amazed by their ingenuity (especially how they work to keep the elephants out of their crops), their farming techniques and most of all their warmth and generous. Lars and his team have created something truly special at and I warmly recommend this experience to anyone who is interested in nature, wildlife and to see a genuine side of Sri Lanka that you don’t get from more ‘manufactured’ operators.

18 Mar 2019

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$ 450.00 p.p.
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