Tea Trails launches pioneering leopard conservation centre
Sri Lanka’s first tea resort partners with The Wilderness and Wildlife Conservation Trust to introduce first-of-its kind conservation research and Tea Trails nature tours
Oct 2016 – Budding naturalists and wildlife enthusiasts can rejoice as the world’s first tea bungalow resort, Tea Trails, introduces two innovative wildlife initiatives; the creation of a dedicated leopard conservation station in partnership with The Wilderness and Wildlife Conservation Trust (The WWCT), and the introduction of Sri Lanka’s first night safaris in the tea country.
The Dunkeld conservation station is located adjacent to the Dunkeld tea factory where the complimentary daily tea experience for Tea Trails guests takes place. The initiative is part of a longer term project taking place across the Central Highlands, with the partnership aiming to better human wildlife co-existence within the tea garden villages which are currently undergoing livelihood and land use change.
Guests are invited to join resident naturalists and conservation experts to track high density zones of animal movement with the option to actively get involved with conservation activities, including monitoring remote cameras and observing data collected.
The launch of the centre comes as the resort is also the first tea resort in the country to offer night-time safari-style trails across over 2,000 acres of tea country.
After a day with the conservation team, guests can fuel up on a tea-inspired dinner at their respective bungalows before joining the resort’s leading naturalist, Anuradha Ediriweera and his team on a night-time trail across the valley. Trails will lead guests from bungalow-to-bungalow where they can spot different types of amphibians, sleeping lizards, snakes and wild boar plus three different types of cats including fishing cat, rusty spotted cat and jungle cat. In the right conditions, guests can also spot fire flies as they flit above the tea fields. Upon arrival back at their bungalow, guests will be met by a refreshing cup of Sri Lanka’s finest Dilmah tea and a rewarding bath run by their butler in residence.
Dunkeld Bungalow, View of Pool and Lake
A hallmark of luxury accommodation in Sri Lanka and Resplendent Ceylon’s first hotel venture, owned by the Fernando family of Dilmah Tea, Tea Trails opened in 2005 as the country’s first Relais & Chateaux hotel, successfully setting the precedent for luxury hotel accommodation in Sri Lanka. Comprising five very distinctive colonial style bungalows, each named after past tea planter occupants, Tea Trails allows its guests insight into the working estates of one of Sri Lanka’s most celebrated tea brands. February 2016 saw the opening of the resort’s newest bungalow, Dunkeld, alongside the more exclusive one-bedroom Taylor Owner’s Cottage.