Sri Lanka is a pretty simple place. Blaring sun, golden sands, rolling surf – you know the drill. And of course, the beautiful temples and enthralling history. Oh – and the delicious food and fragrant tea. Then there’s the soaring green mountains of the hill country, the lush paddies and winding country roads. Phew. It’s almost easy to forget the island’s incredible biodiversity, with unrivalled bird life, leopards slinking through the undergrowth and elephants splashing in the rivers.
That wildlife, however, will soon be the buzzword on everyone’s lips, with the opening of Wild Coast Tented Lodge in September 2017. The third offering from the Resplendent Ceylon collection of resorts, Wild Coast Tented Lodge, will combine the pioneer thrill of a night under canvas with the indulgence of a luxury resort.
Sitting on a pristine beach on the fringes of the Yala National Park, the lodge will boast 28 tented ‘cocoon suites’, several with private plunge pools, and the rest clustered around water holes, attracting a host of local wildlife. Mirroring the surrounding habitat, the tented suites will be arranged in groups to form the shape of a leopard’s paw, while the open-air bar and restaurant replicates the boulders scattered across the golden beach below, and will wrap around the resort’s spectacular free form swimming pool.
Fancy spending your days traversing the wildest reaches of Yala National Park, spotting snoozing leopards, trundling elephants and kaleidoscopic bird life? Not a problem. The hotel will whisk you off to the most remote corners of the National Park with accompanying naturalist guides on hand to talk you through the exciting range of flora and fauna, making up some of the richest biodiversity in the country.
With a commitment to conservation and sustainability at its heart, Wild Coast Tented Lodge will also house a conservation station, dedicated to monitoring and protecting vulnerable wildlife, including the famed inhabitant of Yala, the Sri Lankan leopard. Part of a longer term project taking place across the Central Highlands at sister property Tea Trails, the lodge will work in partnership with the Wilderness and Wildlife Conservation Trust, aiming to better human-wildlife existence through education on how best to preserve local wildlife species.
Back at the lodge, you’ll able to get actively involved with conservation and assist resident naturalists first hand, by monitoring camera traps and tracking density zones of animal movement. Guests will also be able to take part in a range of workshops and lectures on everything from elephant behaviour to bird watching, giving further insight into the complex world of this diverse ecosystem. After all the day’s adventure, return to a hot bath, before cocktails on the sand dunes, watching the sun sink below the horizon. Dreamy.
To book: Rooms at Wild Coast Tented Lodge start from USD $924 per room per night, on an all-inclusive basis based on two sharing. There will be a two-night minimum stay. www.resplendentceylon.com/wildcoastlodge-yala /+94 11 774 5700.