YOUR SAFETY, SUPPORT AND BACKUP:
Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.
Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.
WHAT THE PROJECT GAINS FROM YOUR VOLUNTEERING:
The volunteer program is an integral
component of the sustainable initiatives we are implementing in Sri Lanka. There
has been a completely new economic development at the local level just based on
the volunteer program. You can observe this in the growth and development of so
many of the local stakeholders who are directly and indirectly benefiting from the
Even for the Wasgamuwa National Park we provide their biggest revenue. Ravi Corea, President and
ABOUT WASGAMUWA NATIONAL PARK:
The location is amazing, with breathtaking scenery and wildlife set in the remote
hinterland of the island, given the accolade – by natives – as the most beautiful
part of Sri Lanka. This placement is ideal if you enjoy wildlife and the outdoors
- there is plenty to keep you occupied in this beautiful region. The surrounding
jungles and villages can be explored easily by foot or bike and trips to other parks
in the region can be arranged.
This beautiful and untamed region is full of photo opportunities - outstanding rivers,
lakes and wildlife that make for a photographer's paradise. There is no other entertainment,
thus you'll enjoy serenity and spending time alone.
The Maduru Oya National Park, which is about an hour away by jeep, is renowned for
its Elephant population and Elephant sightings during an organised safari are very
common - the amount of wildlife in this area of Sri Lanka is just incredible! This
is a remote area with very basic facilities but will give you a true Sri Lankan
This project is run by one of Sri Lanka's top Conservation Societies and is enormously
beneficial to the local people and environment. They have won the United Nations
Development Programme's prestigious Equator Prize. The Award honours community-based
projects that represent outstanding efforts to reduce poverty through conservation
and sustainable use of biodiversity.
The teaching project in Wasgamuwa was initiated as a way of reducing
the human-elephant conflict in the region. Through community participation the Project
aims to resolve this conflict over the coming years. The on-going goal is to increase
the level of English amongst villagers.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT?
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome
Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet
where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put
together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator
for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well
as while you're on your placement and on your return home.
The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide
and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching
Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all
we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome,
elegant and beautiful country.
On Your Arrival: When you arrive you
will be welcomed by a member of staff who will take you to your accommodation and
introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction
you can learn about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information,
like how to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.
25 November, 7.00 p.m.: Night observations of elephant behavior WG Tank, Wasgamuwa, Sri Lanka
It seems dominant bulls undergo a Jekyll and Hyde transformation in the darkness of the night. By 7 pm night has descended and with no moonlight the entire area was in total darkness. We were in the Land Rover which we had parked as close as we could get to the elephants. As we stayed quietly in the vehicle the grazing elephants gradually advanced and were all around us—some just touching distance. As darkness engulfed us we could barely discern the elephants. They disappeared from view and only their sounds were there to keep us company.
Turning on the night vision we observed the elephants. The night vision observations gave an amazing insight into elephant behavior especially of the dominant bulls. We observed that the large dominant bulls had undergone a remarkable change in their behavior. The normally placid and sedate bulls became boisterous big bullies chasing cows and trying to separate the young calves from their mothers.
Several times we faced a tensed situation as some of these cows came running towards the Land Rover with a towering massif of a bull chasing after them. In the darkness we were concerned whether the elephants would crash into our vehicle. Fortunately every time the elephants managed to evade the Land Rover and run past us without causing any mishaps.
LOCATION | SIGHTSEEING:
We cannot BEGIN to tell you how beautiful this paradise island is! Nor how cheap
to live and get around. It is almost too good to be true! But it is true.
Towering Pagodas, Hindu temples and ancient fortresses to holy rivers and sacred
mountains. The local people are very welcoming and friendly, especially in the rural
areas. The tea plantations are a must, the lace making, monuments and architectural
splendours, etc., but the most appealing is the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawala.
Not to be missed! It's an emotive sight that you'll never forget!
Mawanella, which is located along the Colombo – Kandy road, is a town that belongs to Kegalle district. While the town area of Mawanella has some modern characteristics, the inner areas are rural in nature. The locals living in the inner areas of Mawanella lead simple lifestyles.
Mawanella is also a town with historical significance and has many temples that are visited by the locals throughout the year.
Some of the places to visit during your weekends could include:
• Aluth Nuwara Dedimunda Devalaya, which is an ancient temple visited by the locals from all over the Island.
• Saradiel village, a location which is built to depict the traditional setup of a village. This is located in the birth village of a person who was known as the Robin Hood of Ceylon.
Climate: In the lowlands the climate is typically tropical with an average temperature
of 27OC in Colombo. In the higher elevations it can be quite cool with temperatures
going down to 16OC at an altitude of nearly 2,000 metres. Bright, sunny warm days
are the rule and are common even during the height of the monsoon - climatically
Sri Lanka has no off-season.
SRI LANKA'S FANTASTIC BEACHES!
Sri Lanka has miles and miles of amazing beaches. Some of our favourites are:
MIRISSA: Perhaps a contender for the most beautiful beach in the
world. Long, deserted and hot. You know you have got away from it all as you sit
and watch the sunset over this horizon…The snorkelling is also incredible here.
NEGOMBO: To the north of Colombo lies Negombo, a busting fishing
town with golden beaches and a pallet of colour provided by sails and boats against
the deep blue of the ocean.
UNAWATUNA: A sleepy peaceful cove with deep still water and a temple
overlooking the bay from the protecting cliffs.
HIKKADUWA: A long stretch of beach with plenty of hostels, restaurants
and some nice bars, not forgetting the impromptu beach parties held on the beach
front bars blaring Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Led Zeplin and many other classics!
Sri Lanka is a conservative island brimming with culture and Hikkaduwa offers an
exciting opportunity to holiday for the odd celebratory weekend! Many a volunteer
birthday has been seen in over Hikkaduwa cocktails. You can also body board and
even surf on this beach.
ARUGAM BAY: This tiny fishing village is Sri Lanka’s newest hot
spot and hosts the best surfing and an easy going happy party atmosphere. With its
wide sweeping beach in front of the village and year round gorgeous swimming it
is no surprise that this bay has developed into a low budget travellers haunt.
White Water Rafting:
Sri Lanka’s boulder stream rivers are the ideal setting for white water rafting.
This is the best way to see the stunning environment what this region has to offer.
Many tours are available and many begin with days of action, rafting the white waters.
This high adventure is suitable for fish time ‘go for it’ rafters and experts alike.
Rafting has become a very popular exciting yet safe adventure sport option.
Rock Climbing and Mountaineering:
Mountaineering is an adventure sport that requires skills and levels of fitness
that few other adventure sports can match. The mountain ranges in Sri Lanka offer
breath taking, enthralling, climbing routes. Climbing is all about discovering the
natural world around and with you.
Hiking and Trekking:
There’s no better way to explore the natural scenic beauty of this island with diverse
climatic zones. Trekking is an excellent way to explore a country, people, their
traditions and beliefs. Paths and campsites have been set up to give nature lovers
the experience of a lifetime. All possible steps are taken to ensure local community
benefit and nature conservation in keeping with all international camping guidelines.
Canoeing & Kayaking:
This relatively new sport is rated as the most adventurous of all adventure sports.
It involves descending a stream as it drops over waterfalls and boulders. In Sri
Lanka they have low waterfalls for beginners and some as high as 700 feet for the
very experienced - all surrounded by breathtaking scenery.
The coastal stretch south of Colombo is filled with palm-lined sandy expanses as far as the eye can see. The Kandyan dances, a procession of elephants or the masked devil dances. Then there are the ruins, ancient and inspiring architecture in the cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa to satisfy any archaeologist.