Experiential/Responsible Tourism Program
Elephant & Leopard Research and Wildlife Conservation Excursion.


Join Eco Team ( ) and Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society ( in the field to participate in community based efforts to help conserve elephants, leopards, other wildlife and their habitats around the Wasgamuwa National Park in the Central Province of Sri Lanka.



Campsite set for a large volunteer group organized by   Biosphere Expeditions

Pick up: There are several options and you can select the one that is the most convenient to you.

  • If you are coming directly from the airport we can arrange for you to be picked up and taken straight to Wasgamuwa from the airport. There is an additional cost for this service.
  • If you are already in Sri Lanka then we can pick you up from whatever hotel you are staying at. There will be an additional charge for this, which will be based on the distance to the hotel you are staying at.
  • You can independently make arrangements to come directly to Wasgamuwa.
  • You can arrange to meet us at our Colombo office from where you will be taken to Wasgamuwa. There is an additional cost for this service.
  • You can come on your own to our rendezvous Hotel: The Ranweli Holiday Village at Waikkal. A SLWCS researcher will pick you up at 6 am from Ranweli and you will travel to Wasgamuwa via the Knuckles Mountain Range. On your trip you will stop for a short swim and a packed breakfast in the Knuckles Mountain Conservation Area. This is depended on the weather. There is an additional cost for this service.


Elephant Dung collected from the Wasgamuwe buffer zone to analyze Elephant Food consumption patterns.

You will arrive at the SLWCS field house in time for a short orientation and lunch.After a short rest you will go in the evening to the Wasgamuwa National Park with aresearcher to conduct a Road Transect and help in a photo identification project of elephants.

At night, you will have the opportunity to stay at a field base or on a tree hut watching for elephants as they go to the village reservoir for water and foraging or to the villages to raid crops.

After breakfast, you will either join a local field researchers to conduct a trail transect and set up a remote camera to study the elusive leopard, or join a team conducting human elephant conflict surveys, electric fence monitoring or survey village tanks for presence of elephants.

If you have come only for one night you will return to the field base for a late lunch and debriefing before departing to your next stop.

If you are staying for additional days then you will cycle through all the research and conservation activities and also participate in additional activities such as biodiversity surveys at least once.

Sri Lankan and foreign volunteers share their experiences.

Wasgamuwa Field Accommodations: The Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society maintains two field bases/stations in the Wasgamuwa area for field research, wildlife conservation and community development programs. These field stations are also where experiential/responsible travelers stay when they are at the field sites.

The Pussellayaya Field House:

This field house can accommodate up to 8 individuals and any vehicle can access the field house. From the turn off to the village where the field house is located the roads are all unpaved motorable roads. The field house is only 15 minutes from the entrance to the Wasgamuwa National Park .

The Pussellayaya Field House is situated on a scenic hill overlooking a large irrigation tank (reservoir) known as the Karawgas Weva. The design of the Pussellayaya Field House is the first thing you will notice and it can be quite a surprise. The walls and room partitions consist of short adobe half walls with the rest of the walls made of wooden slats and the roof is made of corrugated galvanized sheets. You really feel you are in the wilderness! The house is very open to the outdoors. It will be quite a culture shock at first, but rest assured the friendly nature of the villagers and staff and the beautiful scenery will soon make up for the basic nature of the accommodation. The design of the house is perfect for the climate and terrain it is situated and it helps to keep the house relatively

Presentations and discussions

cool during the hot days and nights and dry during the rainy season. The house has two modern bathrooms with flush toilets, showers and sinks. There is only cold water - but it comes out at a nice temperature as the water pipes have been in the sun most of the day. There are five bedrooms sectioned off for privacy and they are situated around the two communal social areas of the house. The rooms are very basic but have comfortable beds for 2 or 3 people to share. Mosquito nets, pillows and clean bed-sheets are provided, but please remember to bring your own towel. Most GSM phones with Dialog and Mobitel Sri Lanka service providers will work around the project base camp.

The Irriyagasulpotha Field Camp:

This field camp can accommodate up to 20 individuals. Access to this site is only by 4WD vehicle and it is 45 minutes from the entrance to the Wasgamuwa National Park .

The location of the Irriyagasulpotha Field Camp is what will captivate the nature lover immediately. The field site is located in a shaded property situated adjacent to the Himbiliyakada Forest Reserve and the bufferzone of the Wasgamuwa National Park .

Time to chill out !

Massive trees shade the property from the hot tropical noon day sun and heat. A perennial spring flows through the camp site. The bubbling sounds of its flowing waters is a soothing salve to the mind. The spring which never stops flowing even during the driest and hottest season is the permanent water source for the camp as well for wildlife in the area during the dry season. The camp is visited by elephants and other wildlife and on numerous occasions sloth bear and leopard have been spotted in its vicinity. Due to this reason visitors to the camp site are advised against wondering about the property especially at night without the presence of a staff member. It is also advisable to carry a powerful flashlight with you during the night.

The Irriyagasulpotha Field Camp consists of a large dormitory-style lodge with sleeping facilities for 8 people. Additionally there are six large double tents that can accommodate 12 people. The camp site has a large central dining/meeting shed, a kitchen, a series of modern toilets separated for men and women with showers open to the sky. There is Dialog and Celltel GSM coverage at certain points in the property. All meals will be prepared for the visitors at the field camp and vegetarians can be catered for. Clothes can be hand washed at the base.

Dinnr Time.


Both the sites have no electricity or generators. Lighting is by solar and kerosene lamps.There are no refrigerators or fans.


All guests must strictly adhere to the SLWCS Code of Conduct and Rules of the House.


Most of the meals are local vegetarian meals. Tank and river fish provided sometimes. The Cooks will prepare any meats you provide them with which can be purchased from a store 15 minutes away. The meat and necessary condiments should be handed over to the Cook and the Cook should be tipped for this service.

Information board at the camp.


Shared double or triple occupancy tents or rooms. If you are participating in the SLWCS Conservation programs there is a $130 charge for this for up to 3 days plus the following.


Full board - US$78 / per person per night

Half board - US$72 / per person per night

Bed and Breakfast - US$65 / per person per night

A 50% confirmation payment must be made at the time of reservation and the remaining balance paid in cash when you arrive at the field site.

Bank wire transfers, credit card payments , cash payments at our office are the available payment options.

Getting ready for the BBQ   

Please make sure to take a stamped receipt which you need to give the housekeeper or the Project Manager to check into your accommodation.

You should always receive a signed receipt from the Project Manager for any payments you make at the site.


A group can stay for additional days. The more days you stay the per day rate become less. The daily rate also reduces depending on how many members are in your group.In addition to your stay at the field house, excursion tours and special visits can be arranged to Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, the Minneriya National Park , Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Kandy or to any part of Sri Lanka as part of this program. These activities will be at an additional cost.

The following will be included in the cost of the program:

  • A Field Biologist Leader and trained/experienced local researchers.
  • Transport from Ranwelli Holiday village to Wasgamuwa and back.
  • 4WD jeeps in the field and bicycles for the research activities as needed
  • Accommodation in the field house or in tents on a sharing basis
  • Day 1 breakfast to Day 2 lunch
  • Entrance fees to Wasgamuwa National Park
  • All Sri Lanka government taxes


This excursion is not recommended for families with infants or children under 12 years old. Special programs will be arranged for children between 12 and 16 years old, as they will not be able to join the parents in all activities. Cost for children is 20% less than adults.

The cost of the program does not include:

  • Any tips to staff
  • Any additional beverages or food
  • Any personal effects not mentioned
  • Special hotel supplements


The above amount is the minimum contribution required from a person for the SLWCS to sustain its research, conservation and community development programs at Wasgamuwa and in other parts of Sri Lanka . The money earned from the Experiential/Responsible Tourism Program helps to provide employment to local stakeholders, maintain SLWCS projects and programs and help develop other programs in other parts of the country.

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