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Dear Trade Colleagues,

Greetings from sunny isle and welcome to another episode of ‘Journeys’!

It’s the latter part of the dry season now in our beautiful island and with that, we would like to introduce a truly interesting brand new place of accommodation of our own and you can read all about it below under experiential accommodation.

This time for our ‘real local experience’, we would like to take you back in time when you visit an age old temple in Belihuloya where you will also have the opportunity to meet the meditating monks and even practice and get to know the true Buddhist lifestyle.

This times ‘local event’ is Deepawali, also known as ‘Diwali’ which is celebrated by Hindus in the Indian Subcontinent. If you are in Sri Lanka during this period of time, you can witness how the Sri Lankan Tamil community celebrates the festival of lights with their unique rituals.

While you’re down in Sri Lanka, why not head down to Galle where you will be introduced to our Galle Cycling Guide! Under our ‘local hosts’ segment we are pleased to introduce this special gentleman to you and tell you about our latest initiative towards environmental sustainability which we will speak under ‘our efforts on sustainability’.

I am proud to say that Eco Team became an official PATA member this year and participated in the travel fair held in Malaysia which turned out to be a huge success! Read all about it under ‘news from the group’ along with our new and exciting launch of the Junior Explorer Kids Club.

Happy reading!

Anuruddha Bandara (AB)
Experiential Journeys


Our policy in discouraging Animal Cruelty, Tourist Traps and Staged Tourist Shows

Animals Are Friends Too: Discouraging Animal Cruelty, Tourist Traps and Staged Tourist Shows

We at ExJ stay away from tourism experiences that are staged and involve animal cruelty and shopping traps that are contrived to exploit and deceive clients.

Even though some of the popular ‘attractions’ are not included in our programmes due to the above reasons, we have no objections in our clients making their own arrangements with our Drivers to visit these places.


Why we do not promote following attractions


Turtle Hatcheries

As this concept has serious negative aspects in terms of conservation, we do not encourage our visitors to patronize the turtle hatcheries, as not all of them are really turtle-friendly. We instead encourage them to observe turtles in their natural habitats.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

When we became aware that the animal welfare standards there were questionable, we stopped encouraging our clients to visit the orphanage. We are pleased to observe that the Born Free Foundation has now adopted similar measures.

Elephant back rides – Habarana

There’s uncertainty surrounding the attitude of this place towards animal welfare. There may be a few ethical operators, but in general, we are not in agreement with how the place is run. We all would love a photo of us riding an elephant, but is a lifetime of pain caused to these magnificent mammals really worth a few fleeting likes on social media?

Traditional Village Tour with a Canoe Trip and Bullock-Carts – Habarana

This is a tourist trap where a lot of the trip is ‘staged’ for commercial purposes. Such fake touristic experiences will not give our visitors an idea of what life in the country is really like, so join us as we show you the real side of Sri Lanka. And at the end of every vacation, always ask yourself, “Did you feel that your holiday was ethical, eco-friendly, and reduced environmental impacts?”

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