2 independent reviews for Sri Lanka wildlife and whales tour

Reviews for Sri Lanka wildlife and whales tour

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review 14 Apr 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

There were many, but it had to be finally seeing a Leopard in the wild, it was not without its stress as there were too many jeeps trying to populate a very small space but eventually we were lucky and had wonderful views as an adult female came down to drink at a waterhole.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

It is extremely hot in early April, ensure you use plenty of sunblock, and be prepared for very early mornings, and quite tiring drives and boat rides, in the end though it is worth it.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

yes, but I was concerned that we were taken to two events that exploited us, one was the stilt fishermen, and the other a Turtle hatchery. The fishermen was blatant tourist exploitation, and I resented being treated like a fool. The turtle hatchery claimed to be a conservation concern, but was not. They were using turtles and turtle eggs to attract tourists. The turtles themselves looked awful, longing for the sea that they could clearly hear

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was a wonderful trip, providing many new sightings, Sperm, Bryde's and Killer Whale, and of course the Leopard. The country was wonderful, and beautiful. The people very friendly. Our guides were very attentive. I would definitely recommend to any one to go to Sri Lanka, it was excellent, and we have the perfect reason to go back, as we never did see Blue Whale!

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for your feedback and the concerns you have raised over certain aspects of your trip. We have investigated these as clearly they are a concern to us as well. The turtle Hatchery you visited was an optional excursion and we have been looking at the release data and discussing the practices here with our local leaders and operator. Historically the local population have used Turtle eggs to supplement their diets and this has been a practice that has been going on for hundreds of years, the aim of the hatchery is to facilitate the release of Turtle after they have been dug up and the nest disturbed. There is a large amount of conflicting data and whether the hatchery actually encourage s the disturbance of nesting sites for the Local population to remove the eggs and be paid by the hatchery. I will personally be going to visit this in November and we will make a decision then. As to the stilt fishermen being a blatant tourist attraction I am sorry you felt this way again itís an ancient practice and I have been there at 6am in the morning and the only tourist in sight and they are there and its an iconic element of this coastal stretch. I am glad there as so many other positive aspects to your trip with us and that you had some spectacular wildlife sightings there is always something else on the list to see like the Blue whale.

review 11 Apr 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Seeing what I went to see - leopards and whales!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

They need to know that there's an early start every morning of the vacation and not much free time for R&R.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Not really ...

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It promised things that it didn't provide - e.g. naturalist / knowledgeable person(s) about Sri Lankan wildlife - and that affected my enjoyment of this vacation.

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