Leop­ard con­ser­va­tion

Action Asia - - REAL DEALS -

SIT­U­ATED ON A BEACH ON THE FRINGES OF the renowned Yala Na­tional Park, the new Wild Coast Tented Lodge, built by the Re­splen­dent Cey­lon Ho­tel, adds lux­u­ri­ous touches to the backto-na­ture el­e­ments of a wilder­ness sa­fari camp. Ve­hi­cles whisk guests to quiet cor­ners of the park, while na­ture guides are al­ways on hand to talk guests through the di­ver­sity of flora and fauna in the park, in­clud­ing ele­phants, sloth bears and – the species for which Yala is famed – leop­ards, which are most ac­tive in the morn­ing. A va­ri­ety of lec­tures and work­shops, with fo­cuses rang­ing from wild ele­phant be­hav­iour to bird watch­ing and na­ture walks, will of­fer an in­sight into the sur­round­ings. The ho­tel is now gear­ing up to launch a leop­ard con­ser­va­tion sta­tion in July at the camp, the first of its kind for the area. De­signed as an in­for­ma­tion cen­tre for guests and a place for re­searchers to work from, the sta­tion aims to make an ac­cu­rate cen­sus of the park’s leop­ards and, in the longer term, photo-id their cubs. Note that the park is closed an­nu­ally for in­fra­struc­ture re­habi lita­tion usu­ally from Septem­ber to Oc­to­ber. Dur­ing that time, game drives will take place to ad­ja­cent parks. Rates start from US$445 per night on a fullinclu­sive ba­sis in­clud­ing food and bev­er­ages, and two game drives per day. In­ter­ested par­ties can book at www.re­splen­dentcey­lon.com

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