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The Selective Edit

Be inspired by Sri Lanka

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…

Taste Sri Lanka

Melt in your mouth flavours - you’ve not eaten Sri Lanka cuisine until you’ve eaten in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka food
Sri Lanka Experience foodie
surfing at Arugam bay

Sambol & Surf

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.

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Sri Lanka Journey Wildilfe Adventure

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LONG READ

Local lowdown on Sri Lanka's Wildlife & Conservation

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.

SA - What are the most pressing needs for National Parks and conservation projects?

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.  

SA - Have there been any benefits to animal welfare due to the reduction in tourist numbers over the past 12 months? 

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. 

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