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SRI LANKA ELEPHANT
AND WILDLIFE PROJECT

SRI LANKA ELEPHANT
AND WILDLIFE PROJECT

A place where wild elephants roam alongside local villagers, the province of Wasgamuwa is home to one of the highest levels of biodiversity in Sri Lanka – and is fast becoming a unique example of how humans and nature can coexist to achieve a more balanced and sustainable future.

Up close encounters don’t come much bigger than this, so immerse yourself in the local culture and ecology – working alongside the community to study and protect all types of endangered wildlife, in the heart of beautiful Sri Lanka.

From species surveillance to animal foraging research, there is much to learn and much to be done – so experience the trip of a lifetime and work with, not against, the natural world to unlock its full potential.

PROJECT DETAILS

Discover what exciting adventures await on our once-in-a-lifetime Sri Lanka Elephant and Wildlife Expedition.

ELEPHANT CONSERVATION PROJECT

  • Elephant foraging studies and health monitoring
  • Human – Elephant Interactions, and Human – Elephant Conflict (HEC) Surveys
  • Dung transects and trail mapping
  • Elephant Identification and photographic records - gather information on the physical features and markings of individual elephants​
  • Create an elephant catalogue for future reference​
  • Electric fence monitoring and maintenance​

BUTTERFLY CONSERVATION PROJECT

  • Maintain habitats and learn more about the diversity and ecological role of butterflies
  • Identify butterflies and help to create micro-habitats for specific species

CARNIVORE PROJECT

  • Study the presence/absences of carnivores and their relative abundance in the project area
  • Check on remote cameras and help set up new camera stations
  • Learn how to identify individual leopards based on their coat patterns

SMALL CAT WILD STUDY

  • Understand the ecological role of small wild cats and the threat to their survival
  • Conduct direct observations using night vision scopes and thermal cameras
  • Conduct pug mark surveys along stream banks

ITINERARY

Conservation research is a dynamic process, therefore expect the following structure to change dramatically – in line with the local situation. Gain an insight into all of the extraordinary activities you can expect below, but treat this itinerary only as a guide:

Day 1/2 - Depart from London, Arrive in Bandaranaike

This will be an overnight flight, where you’ll be greeted on arrival and taken to the hotel in Colombo. Afternoon and evening at leisure.

Day 3 - Transfer to the Project, Elephant Sightings

Transfer to Fort Railway Station to board Colombo-Kandy Intercity Express. Stop at Kandy before travelling to project hub at Wildlife Conservation Society for orientation, followed by elephant monitoring activity.

Day 4 - Elephant Foraging Transects & Monitoring

Birding and observation around camp site (optional), followed by elephant foraging transects and mapping trails. Afternoon/evening – elephant monitoring, road cruise to spot reptiles (optional).

Day 5 - Fence Patrol and Safari

Sunrise Rock and lakeside hike at sunrise (optional), followed by fence line checks and patrol, as well as a safari in Wasgamuwa National Park.

Day 6 - Birding and Human – Elephant Conflicts

Birding and observation around camp site (optional), followed by Human – Elephant conflict (HEC) surveys in local villages. Afternoon – tree-hut observation of HEC in ancient Elephant corridor.

Day 7 - Butterfly Sanctuary, Elephant Monitoring, Wild Cat Study

Birding and observation around camp site (optional), followed by elephant foraging transects and mapping trails. Afternoon/evening – elephant monitoring, road cruise to spot reptiles (optional).

Day 8 & 9 - Weekend: At Leisure

Do as you please! If you wish, we can suggest/organise something for you to see or do in the surrounding areas.
Visit the Golden Temple & cave temples at Drumbulla perhaps or the Unesco World Heritage sites of Sigiriya or Polonnaruwa, an ancient city dating back to the 11th century.

Day 10 - Sand Traps, Camera Traps, Elephant Monitoring

Birding and observation around camp site (optional), followed by sand traps and camera traps check, as well as data card collection. Afternoon - elephant monitoring, taking photos and other data. Optional road cruise to spot reptiles in the evening.

Day 11 - Elephant Foraging Transects and HEC

Birding and observation around camp site (optional), followed by elephant foraging transects, mapping trails, and looking for leopard and sloth bear signs. Afternoon/evening – tree-hut observation of HEC in ancient Elephant corridor and night safari to observe nocturnal wildlife (optional).

Day 12 - Pug Mark Survey & Elephant Monitoring

Sunrise Rock and lakeside hike at sunrise (optional), followed by pug mark survey along stream banks and elephant monitoring – taking photos and other data.

Day 13 - Birding and Human – Elephant Conflicts

Birding and observation around camp site (optional), followed by Human – Elephant conflict (HEC) surveys in local villages. Afternoon – tree-hut observation of HEC in ancient elephant corridor.

Day 14 - Holistic HEC Methods, Elephant Monitoring, Wild Cat Study

Birding and observation around camp site (optional), followed by observation of how citrus groves act as elephant deterrents around villages. Afternoon – elephant monitoring, taking photos and other data, before small wild cat study (optional).

Day 15 - Return Journey

Leave the project site just after breakfast and follow the same guided path through Kandy with a stop for lunch – taking the Intercity Express to Fort Railway Station in Colombo, where your transfer will be waiting to take you to Bandaranaike International Airport for your flight home.

WHAT WE PROVIDE

Accommodation

Your first night’s accommodation in Colombo will be a minimum 3 star hotel. From this point on, stay at a field house with dormitory style, gender-based shared accommodation and bathroom facilities – exactly what you need to fully integrate into an immersive experience.

Food

Receive three meals a day (including vegan and vegetarian meals), with access to the kitchen outside of meal times. Please let us know in advance of any dietary requirements so we can ensure you will be adequately catered for.

Included
• Pre-departure support and documentation
• Programme fee and contribution
• Return international flights
• All in-country road transfers
• All transportation on project
• 24 hour in country support
• Accommodation for duration of stay
• 3 meals per day*
• Advice and arrangement of extra weekend activities, if requested.

Not Included
• Personal travel insurance
• Any vaccinations as recommended by your GP
• *Lunches on days of travel
• Soft drinks or snacks
• Any essential visas
• Any additional activities outside of project itinerary

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Get in touch with any questions you may have regarding our Sri Lanka trip – leave your contact details below and we’ll be more than happy to help! 

If you’re interested to find out more, book an introductory presentation for your school or college group and we can visit to discuss our extraordinary projects in more detail.

Alternatively, if your group is now ready to enrol, click here to submit a booking form on their behalf.

 

GALLERY

Explore the fantastic memories we’ve captured along the way, to check out all the fun that’s to come!