Jetwing Yala ~ where environmental consciousness meets luxury

Green Global Trek was invited to a stay at Jetwing Yala and we jumped at the opportunity to experience and write about this hotel.

What we know ahead of time about Jetwing Yala is two-fold:

Firstly, the location is right next to Yala Natural Park, which is the largest of the many protected wild parks in Sri Lanka, known for sightings of leopards. It has been a while since we visited an elephant park and we have not yet been to Yala, so we are eager to go.

Secondly, we know that Jetwing Yala is the greenest most sustainable hotel in Sri Lanka, and that fact alone is a great drawing card for us.

We drive about 3.5 hours to get from the Galle region to Jetwing Yala, which is on the East Southern coast.

The understated elegance of Jetwing Yala

The hotel is in a very unusual location. It is nestled right next to the largest game park in Sri Lanka, (Yala National Park) and it is on the ocean.

As we walk into the entrance of Jetwing Yala, it is clear that this hotel is something special. One immediately gets a feel of spaciousness and tranquility.

This is one of the restaurants and seating areas with a gorgeous view over the sand dunes to the Indian Ocean, which is a few steps away. The thatched roof combines well with the modern glass structure to create a very enticing area.

Ahh what a vista!


Tables outside the bar area ~ a great blend of nature and good architectural design.

Chilling in a big comfy swing chair, looking out to sea.  Jetwing Yala exudes understated elegance, relaxation and takes maximum advantage of its proximity to nature.


Everything at Jetwing Yala has a spacious feel…. and the dining deck is no exception.  Dining al fresco enhances the whole food experience.  In the evening, this same patio is strung with little lights making for a romantic setting for dinner.  Due to their location right next to the elephant park, we are told that it is not that unusual to see elephants come right up to the deck.

In fact, fairly recently, an elephant walked right through the lobby, captured by the hotels security cameras and seen by a few of the night shift staff.  Obviously a rare event, and appparently no damage was done… the pachyderm was just “checking out the facilities”.  This elephant’s got good taste!

It’s a short path through the sand dunes to the ocean. And a reminder that we are in  elephant country!

It would be easy to forget that people come here invariably to see Sri Lanka’s magnificent wildlife namely the elephants and leopards.  The wide beach, with it’s peach colored sand, in and of itself, is worth the trip.

The ocean here can be rough for swimming, but even so it is is great for strolling on the beach.

Pre-breakfast skip and a hop between the rocks on the windy beach… (But not for too long… A delicious breakfast awaits!).

Breakfast is quite a production at Jetwing Yala! Our favorite of the plentiful offerings of both Western and Sri Lankan fare, is the hopper station. Hoppers are a classic Sri Lankan crispy rice flour “crepe” with an egg in the center, that finds its origin in ancient Tamil country. It is called Appam in Tamil  but is more often referred to by its anglicized name: the hopper. A must try!

The String Hopper is a traditional Sri Lankan food consisting of rice flour pressed into noodle form and then steamed. Also known as Idiappam in India, where it was first recorded in the first century A.D. It makes a perfect base for Sri Lankan spicy curries.

Buffalo curd is another delectable Sri Lankan specialty. Buffalo curd is a variant of yogurt, although more tangy and slightly bitter. It is always stored and served in red terra-cotta pots. Best eaten with a generous portion of Kithul ~ similar to maple syrup, but made from the Sri Lankan kithul tree.

Jetwing Yala augments its beautiful architecture, with a culinary offering that surprises. Beyond the bountiful breakfast buffet, we discover the intriguing smaller, more intimate restaurant, The Thambapanni, that features a cross section of Asian flavor profiles.  Coral cod cake with mint and watermelon or Mutton leek soup – now THAT’s the kind of hard choices we like to have to make! We ask to meet the Chef and are delighted to learn that he worked, for several years, as an executive chef in one of our favorite cities in Asia, Luang Prabang, Laos.

The bedroom is super spacious and luxurious, we could have easily spent a week staying in that lovely room, with the view towards the ocean and its uber comfy beds.

The sweeping views are not limited to the common areas. The balcony of our bedroom is simply blissful. A perfect spot to read the newspapers or just enjoy the view and fresh air.

A beautiful and airy outdoor sitting area has a great view and is perfect at sunset.

 Environmental Best Practices role modeled at Jetwing Yala


This glass water bottle is the first hint we get that Jetwing Yala does things differently. Indeed, Jetwing Yala we learn, has its own water desalination and bottling plant on the premises of the hotel. Seeing this first indication of forward thinking eco practices leaves us thirsty for more!

(Before we launched into the Asian chapter of our Green Global Trek, nearly 3 years ago now, we lived in Nicaragua, Latin America. There we were determined to have positive environmental impact. We launched bamboo plantations and created a social impact business that tackled directly climate mitigation and climate adaptation by building low carbon bamboo houses for victims of hurricane rendered homeless.  Ever since, we have had a vested interest in discovering climate mitigating business practices wherever we can.)

The obliging management team at the hotel accommodates our request for a deep dive into their environmentally sound choices. The range of practices instituted at Jetwing Yala covers the gamut. Renewable energy (solar), water desalination, solid waste management, composting, biogas for steam generation…

Jetwing Yala has received many awards and accolades for their green initiatives. We are eager to see firsthand what the fuss is all about….

Jetwing does a great job of educating its guests. It would be commendable even if they did all this behind the scenes, but the fact that they go out of their way to inform and educate their guests, is a valuable dimension. This sign is on the path from the hotel to the ocean front.

When one hears of solar panels, the mind goes to a handful of solar panels on a rooftop. We did not expect to find an entire field of solar panels. Quite a dramatic and impressive sight. This installation makes Jetwing Yala the single largest private solar panel installation in the country of Sri Lanka!

Solar panels close up.

The way it works: The energy generated by Jetwing’s solar panel field is directed into “the grid” and the total consumption of energy by the hotel is netted by the Ceylon Energy Board, such that not only does Jetwing Yala have a positive environmental impact, it also benefits financially by having a reduced electricity bill. This graph shows real time solar energy production that goes into the grid.

Not every guest will want to take a stroll atop the grey water/ solid waste management plant but Ben is definitely interested in how this all works. A highly regulated process, the water once   purified is then  re-used to irrigate the gardens. A great way of conserving water in an area that experiences frequent droughts. The engineering team is knowledgeable and forthcoming in its explanation of the process.

Coconuts are plentiful in Sri Lanka and many dishes make copious use of coconut milk and coconut meat. Hence a literal mountain of coconut shells are discarded. They would normally go into landfills, but Jetwing Yala smartly accumulates these shells and uses them as fuel in the bio mass oven for heating water and generating steam for the laundry.

Wood from the cinnamon trees (a fast growing tree, endemic to Sri Lanka) is used as bio mass fuel for the furnace which generate steam for the hotel for things such as washing sheets and towels.

The furnace uses both cinnamon wood from the commercial cinnamon industry (the byproducts from making cinnamon, which would otherwise be discarded), and as well the husks of the coconut.

The desalination of salt water to potable water is another critical eco operation. With the world’s continuing challenges around the issue of potable water, we are pleased to learn how Jetwing Yala converts salt water into drinking water, using a  process known as reverse osmosis.  This is a major contribution by Jetwing and one that serves as a role model to be replicated wherever possible around the island.

Yala National Park 

One of the best things about Sri Lanka are the numerous national parks ~ protected areas administered by the department of wild life. So far, we have been to Wilpatu National Park, Udawalawe, and Bundala. There are over a dozen major parks and many smaller ones throughout the island. Yala National Park, is the oldest and largest park in Sri Lanka and we are excited to visit!

In the lobby there are three chalkboards which list the recent sightings of elephants, leopards and bears.

There are plenty of monkeys scampering around the bushes of the hotel. This black face langur posed for a picture on the side of the road.

On the road from the hotel to the National Park, we stop to watch a baby water buffalo at the milk bar with its mom.

Yala National Park covers 979 square kilometers, (378 square miles) and was designated as  wild life sanctuary in 1900 and is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan Elephants and Sri Lankan leopards and aquatic birds.

There are 215 bird species within Yala and it has one of the highest leopard densities in the world. The elephant herd at Yala numbers around 300.

The entrance to Yala National Park. One needs to be in a park approved jeep in order to gain entrance.

Even though this region has not experienced much rain lately, there are several natural bodies of water which are currently sufficiently full to provide a good water source for the animals.

Water buffalo and wild boar enjoying their day wallowing in a mud bath.

“Elephant Rock” on the horizon ~ a large elephant shaped rock is surprising in its resemblance to the many elephants that roam freely in these parts.

We are extremely lucky to watch a tiny baby elephant, not more than a few days old, enjoying playing in the water with its mom.




Yala is also full of a variety of birds both endemic and migratory. Sri Lanka is a bird lovers paradise.

The park closes at six and even though we have not had the pleasure of a leopard sighting we have had good elephant sightings and have enjoyed the natural surroundings.

Upon leaving Yala National Park we drive through the nearby Tissa Lake region. A large white stupa rises on the horizon in contrast to the lush green of the fields.

Tissamaharama Dagoba was built by King Kavantissa in the 3rd Century B.C. located between Tissa town center and Tissa wewa rain water reservoir. It was the largest dagoba on the island at the time. Today, for Buddhist pilgrims, it is one of the 16 most sacred sites in the country. The dagoba has a circumference of 165 m and stands 55.8 metres high and is enshrined with a sacred tooth relic and forehead bone relic of Buddha.

Sri Lankan school girls in their white uniforms with omnipresent long black braids coming out of school.

The South of Sri Lanka is predominantly Buddhist and yet, we still come across a small Hindu temple, suggesting there is a small population of Hindu Tamils in the area.

This region is where most of the buffalo curd is made. So it’s no surprise that we see herds of water buffalos alongside the road and in the fields.

What IS surprising is to see an elephant at the side of the road strolling along! But in actual fact, it is not that unusual around these parts.

You can best appreciate the size of the elephant next to the car passing it by. Not an every day sight… at least, for us!

Thanks to Yala Jetwing for hosting us!




73 thoughts on “Jetwing Yala ~ where environmental consciousness meets luxury

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Darlene. We did not see any leopards at Yala, but seeing that baby elephant was a definite highlight for us. There is a wonderful baby elephant transit center at the Udawalawe Park and we have seen baby elephants there, but it is different to see them in the wild.

      Amanda, your globe trotting literary character would have a wealth of stories to tell after a trip to Sri Lanka.


  1. Sharon Rosenzweig

    This is the most interesting hotel you’ve ever written about. The behind the scenes shots particularly. Very clean and beautiful. Crazy about the wandering elephants.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Sharon, glad you too found the behind the scenes eco “tour” interesting. When we can if we stay in hotels, we have a preference for selecting environmentally conscious hotels and Jetwing Yala is obviously a leader in the field. By their nature hotels consume a ton of energy, produce a ton of laundry and generally are natural pathfinders for innovative green technologies.

      P & B

  2. Patti

    Well, I for one love a luxury resort with special accommodations such as what you found at Jetwing Yala.Lucky you. And, image enjoying a meal and having an elephant stroll up to the dining patio!

    I love the elephant caught on camera, that’s a priceless moment in time!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Patti, imagine the surprise of the night guards when the elephant entered the lobby of the hotel! I think they held their breath until the elephant was safely done with his visit. There is a history of human elephant conflict in Sri Lanka due to shrinking habitat as human populations encroach on traditional elephant territories. In multiple parts of Sri Lanka, while they are protected areas, they are not all hermetically sealed with fences and so you get roaming elephants in search of food and or water.


  3. Joanne Sisco

    A beautiful location with the bonus of elephants … and baby elephants too! Sadly you didn’t get to see leopards, but that just gives you a reason to return 🙂

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Joanne, I was definitely excited at the thought of seeing leopards but as you say, that is definitely a reason to return and hopefully see them next time. Watching the mom and her little baby playing in the water, was a memory that we will not forget for a very long time. The baby was discovering its trunk, much the way that human babies discover their feet or hands. Absolutely amazing experience to watch and Jetwing Yala’s location is so near the main entrance that it is an ideal location, especially for the pre dawn safaris.


  4. Jacqueline Bell

    I think that you are amassing a treasure trove of magnificent memories . What an incredible rich life you are living!!!!!!!???‼️‼️‼️‼️

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Madame Bell that is exactly the idea!!! Your son promised me a life that would not be boring and indeed he has more than surpassed that threshold!! The more countries we visit and or live in, the more we want to travel and add to our “treasure trove of magnificent memories.” Sometimes when I look through all my photos from the past few years I cannot actually believe how many wonderful and rich experiences we have had. It is amazing to live one’s life’s dream and have a partner who feels the same way!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Aaron! Oh I do hope you both come to Sri Lanka and get to stay at the magnificent Jetwing Yala. Time to check the box on your Asian travel bucket list!!


  5. Sur

    I want to stand up and cheer for this amazing hotel!

    When in so much of the world tourism is bringing harm to the environment, to see such a vast and dedicated effort toward the opposite is heart warming. The solar panels, the re-use of water for irrigation and the re-use of coconut shells rather than being sent to the landfill, all are such amazing efforts.

    Besides that the hotel looks beautiful and a place where one can truly connect with nature. Perhaps literally in the lobby! Loved this place Peta, and now on the list for a trip to Sri Lanka in the future. Thank you!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Sue, we are so glad to have inspired you to consider Sri Lanka as a destination and as well, Jetwing as your hotels of choice!

      Thinking about your recent blog post about your efforts towards garbage beach clean up, I am happy to report that the beach at Jetwing Yala was one of the very few in the world that we have seen that had almost zero garbage! A novel sight indeed.

      Peta & Ben

  6. gabe

    What an amazing trip!

    I’ll admit to an easy eagerness to visit fascinating places based on temptations prompted from great blog posts, but we’re going to have to go to Sri Lanka.

    I would love to wander around the park, playing with the critters and the dirt and the surf, while I’m sure my wife would love to hunker down on those cozy swing chairs for a few hours to enjoy the humid breeze. The whole trip sounds idyllic.

    And really impressed with the eco practices of Jetwing Yala. Especially what appears to be substantial reverse osmosis capacity. Thanks so much for bringing us along!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Gabe, we are very happy that this particular blog post about Jetwing Yala and Yala National Park are serving as inspiration for you to visit Sri Lanka. You will definitely not be disappointed as there is SO much to see and do from a nature point of view.

      In fact, for a repeat of your 6 month Appalachian Trail hike, what about hiking the island of Sri Lanka with its 11 Unesco World Heritage Sites and hilltop coffee plantations? 🙂

      Thanks for the thoughtful comments.


      1. gabe

        I’ve already done a bit of preliminary research. Looks like there will be some logistic challenges to overcome, but if I can arrange a support team, this might be a great idea!

  7. Lexklein

    What an absolutely stunning and fascinating place!

    Even without all the environmental consciousness, this would be amazing, but having all that and being so responsible is icing on the cake. And the elephant wandering into the lobby? A testament to the way this place fits right into its setting, I guess!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Lex, precisely our thoughts! It was definitely the first time we have been in a hotel that combines luxury and environmental consciousness in such a harmonious way. Jetwing Yala is no doubt a role model for other hotels all over the world. We look forward to visiting other Jetwing Hotels to see if this unique blend of luxury plus eco is reflected in other hotels in the group!

      Your comment about the elephant in the lobby…is spot on! The hotel has such an open feel and blends so well into the environment. When we were standing on the beach we could barely see the hotel even though it is of significant capacity. Pretty impressive design!


  8. James Vance

    Wonderful post Peta, and what an attractive, comfortable place. Love the elephant in the lobby.

    The owners have certainly covered all the bases and what a fabulous location. It’s certainly win-win for your being able to stay there and then write a post to publicize such a eco-friendly, and fun resort. We spent a few weeks in Sri Lanka and enjoyed every day. And after visiting and reading all your posts, I’m surprised that it still isn’t on more travelers’ radar. ~James

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks James. Interestingly Sri Lanka was named one of the top travel destinations in Asia for 2017 and tourism is definitely growing but at a manageable pace. Thankfully.


  9. Robyn Quint

    Thanks Peta for this post. I continue to live vicariously through you and Ben. Keep the posts coming!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Robyn, so glad you are enjoying reading us. I firmly believe in vicariously living through others travels tales and enjoy doing the same for places I have not been to. Thanks for the lovely comments.


  10. Anita @ No Particular Place To Go

    The more I read of your Sri Lankan experiences, the more I fall in love with your adopted country and think “Someday.” You two keep introducing me (and all your readers) to new aspects of Sri Lanka and the wildlife, beaches, Indian Ocean and temples keep me enchanted.

    And wow – a gorgeous luxury hotel with an environmental conscience! It was especially interesting to learn about the desalination plant, the massive field of solar panels and how wastewater is treated. Not the usual things you’d read about when coupled with a beautiful hotel.? Looks like paradise lost and found!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Anita, the more we live here and the more we discover, the more WE fall in love with Sri Lanka. We love being good ambassadors for our adopted country.

      You are absolutely right, typical travelogue type reports usually address the picturesque side of hotels, but we find that an increasing share of global travelers want to do the right thing for the environment and are hungry for specifics beyond green platitudes. By showing concrete steps taken by Jetwing Yala we hope to demonstrate that there is plenty of action here, behind the words!

      Peta & Ben

  11. Liesbet

    What an amazing location! It is a mix of all the best in the world: wildlife, beaches, nature, tasteful design, eco-conscience and wonderful food, luxurious relaxation… Wow! And, you look like a model on the beach and those rocks, Peta! 🙂 Those elephant sightings beat it all, though.

  12. Laurel

    What a fabulous resort — the fact that it’s eco conscious makes it even more appealing.

    You are the perfect people to be reviewing and offering your personal reports on such special places. These kinds of resorts redefine the concept of “tourism.”

    And I love the baby elephant!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      It is so great that so many of the people that read our blog value green practices, as we do. If we can support hotels that are environmentally conscious over ones that are not, it is yet another way of practicing our green ethos.

      Isn’t that baby elephant the cutest? He was so sweet with his tiny little trunk and figuring out how to use and move it. I could have watched them for hours. In the video you can see how he is moving in-between his moms legs. So swwet.


  13. Shari Pratt

    What an amazing hotel – I can’t name one hotel in the US that practices so many environmentally conscientious practices, though I’m sure there are many. (Certainly not at the Hotel 6 chain we can afford on our very rare jaunts away from home.) It does take space to accommodate the solar panels, sewage reclamation, and water desalination plants. Land is so expensive where most premium US hotels are based and that’s gotta go to the golf course, you know.

    All your posts of Sri Lanka have me returning to scroll down the photos and stories a second time.

    Do elephants bathe in the ocean? They must have been brave enough to have crossed the sea at one time to get to Sri Lanka from India – or was there once a land bridge? Maybe they don’t care for the feel of salt water on their skin?

    Thank you for letting me travel with you, Peta and Ben – always an enriching experience.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Shari thanks for your thoughtful and interesting comments.

      Ah yes, those golf courses that use not only space but an obscene amount of water! TI is interesting that land prices are just as high in Europe as they are in the U.S. and yet because of the European environmental mindset, somehow they manage to prioritize lower carbon footprints. It is all a question of defining priorities and in the U.S. carbon neutrality is still an at best “nice to have” and most of the time and unappreciated dimension whereas in Europe it is part of the core requirements of any operating business on par with achieving zero waste.

      Yes elephants do bathe in the ocean. In fact, there was a wonderful story in todays newspaper about the Sri Lankan navy coming to the rescue of a full grown male elephant that got washed to the sea while crossing shallow waters and was unable to get back to shore. They used a military naval ship to put ropes around the elephants body, ensuring his trunk was above the water and they slowly dragged him back to the shore where he was released and went off into the nearby jungle!

      Yes, there was once a land bridge between India and Sri Lanka and in fact Sri Lanka was once physically connected to India (several thousand years ago) and there was a sandbank which British explorers called “Adams Bridge”. Over the years this natural bridge started to sink and today there only remain dotted lines of small islands between the two countries. This bridge connected Jaffna in the Northern most part of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu on the Eastern coast of India.

      Thanks for the lovely compliment.

      Peta & Ben

  14. Mabel Kwong

    What a wonderful invited experience to Jetwing Yala. Doesn’t seem too far from where you are based. It must be amazing to have elephants wander around so near where you stayed – it seems like they are very friendly, very lovely and the one caught on security camera looked very tame, just passing through 😀

    So heartening to see a hotel have a desalination plant and solar equipment, and actually put them to good use. It all starts with education about creating a sustainable environment and it is lovely to hear how the staff at Jetwing Yala are so enthusiastic about showing you and Ben around, and explaining the hands-on technology created. It all sends a lovely message. Happy travels 🙂

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks for all your comments Mabel. Elephants are known as the “gentle giants” because they are by nature gentle. However, they are wild animals and by no means “tame”. We have written other posts about the human/elephant conflicts that ensue as a result of humans encroaching on the elephants natural habitat. Often with disastrous results for both humans and elephants. It is definitely a complex situation.

      Yes we enjoyed the enthusiasm of the staff at Jetwing Yala and their willingness to show us around so that we could appreciate the extent of their green efforts.

      Peta & Ben

  15. Louise Terranova

    I could have sworn I commented on this post. The hotel looks very nice and LUXE. The beaches look a lot like Australian beaches, they look lovely. Love the elephants photos.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Louise for stopping by to read us and comment. The hotel is indeed “luxe” and one really feels pampered when staying there. So glad you enjoyed the photos of the elephants…Wild elephants are the reason we first came for a visit to Sri Lanka.


  16. My Inner Chick

    So Excited to see these photos, Peta.
    A M A Z I N G.
    The elephants. OMGGG. They are majestic and like precious jewels.
    I mean, girl, I go nutso when I see a squirrel…
    what would I do seeing a great elephant?
    Your life is beautiful, reflective, educational, fascinating.
    thank you for sharing w/ us.

    xx from MN.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Kim for your lovely comments!! Ha ha. Seeing an elephant in the wild is an incredible experience which bears little resemblance to seeing elephants in a zoo. Of course I grew up in South Africa and so for me, seeing elephants in the wild is more the norm ~ which is not to say that they run wild everywhere but as children we went almost every year to the large game parks to see the animals.

      I do hope you get to see an elephant in the wild one day as it surely is a great privilege to do so!


  17. Johanna Bradley

    You lucky pair, Peta! I try not to be a jealous person but you’ve got me with this one. 🙂 🙂 I even had designs on that swing seat. I have a very humble version on my sun terrace in Tavira and it’s seen better days.

    Can I ask why you don’t use social media, Peta? I often would like to share your posts.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Ha ha thanks Johanna, lucky indeed! (Ben says not only luck but also a case of “life sculpting”…. and conscious choices as to how we want to live.) That swing seat was SO very comfy!

      I do use social media and we are on instagram although I have yet to put a link up on our blog, but you can find us there GreenGlobalTrek and I am on facebook but under my name Peta Kaplan.

      Please do feel free to share any of our posts that you wish to! With pleasure…


    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Dee it really is gorgeous and the views are spectacular. Such an unusual combination of being right on the ocean and right next to a game park. Not everyday one stays in places such as Jetwing Yala.


    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      J.D. thanks for stopping by to read us… Jetwing Yala is indeed a paradise and our stay there was definitely memorable. Pretty crazy to think of a huge elephant walking through the lobby!


  18. Cheryl

    I simply adore and admire elephants. They can be gentle or intimidating — if they want to. I truly appreciate these little getaways that you’re taking me on, Peta. I love the soothing waves of the beach, blue sky, and earth wooden shelter. Looks like a dream. I’m glad that they’re tapping into solar energy (I understand it can bequest expensive to instal the panels and any damage can prove to be quite a dent on the wallet) and doing their bit for the environment.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Cheryl glad that you are enjoying our getaway posts. Sometimes when one is actually living in a place one can forget to take those small trips to new local destinations. So we are slowly trying to see as much of Sri Lanka as we can, slowly, at our own pace. We have all these wonderful natural parks with elephants scattered across the island, but still one has to make the effort to get out of the usual routine and go and spend the time there. It is always worth it for us. Even if the only animal we see are elephants, we are perfectly happy with that!



  19. Amit

    Loved this post!

    Gorgeous, nature, architecture, food, ocean, the works.

    Most of all, I loved seeing how freely those elephants roam – even promenading through your hotel’s lobby. Now THAT’s the way I like to see pachs being treated.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      That’s funny Amit. One of the best things about Sri Lanka is the fact that there are so many elephants that live in the wild. (Of course, there are many human/elephant conflicts for a myriad of reasons, which we have addressed before in other blog posts).

      Thanks for your positive and enthusiastic feedback!


  20. Caroline Helbig

    This place seems to have it all — gorgeous coast, wildlife, culture, stunning accommodations, fine dining….and, it’s great to hear about the environmental practices.

    While you’ve introduced me to lots of other wonderful parts of Sri Lanka, I’m getting the sense that there is much to explore and keep you busy (and relaxed) along this southern coast.

    I’m sold yet again!

    Cheers, Caroline

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Caroline, the Southern coast is indeed chockfull of destinations for travelers, but then again our bias to the Southern Coast is no doubt because we are based here and so it is easy to do short jaunts.

      Yes, we have to agree that Jetwing Yala, as YOU say, “has it all”! What is interesting for us about seeing a larger hotel group like Jetwing is that it leads us to look where they are located and to consider destinations that we otherwise might not have known about. Many travelers choose to hop from one Jetwing property to another and if you have the budget to do that, you can be assured of a high quality hospitality experience across the island.


        1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

          Caroline we are delighted that due to our blog post you have selected Jetwing for your future trip. We will be writing more about some of their other beautiful locations in the South near Galle.

          Ben & Peta

  21. Kirt Tisdale

    Incredible place…thank you so much for sharing…love the environmental practices…the park looks incredible and of course my favorite is the elephant parading through the lobby! Thanks for sharing!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Dahlia. Glad you enjoyed this post. I personally prefer seeing elephants in their natural habitat, but this definitely was pretty cool and most unusual.


  22. Pingback: The bounty of food markets of Asia ~ Viet Nam – Empty Nesters on a Green Global Trek

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Agnes, that is a lovely thing to say.

      Here are some tips for visiting Yala National Park in Sri Lanka:

      * Select a hotel close by for ease of getting there at dawn.
      * A driver in a jeep is required. You can hire one via your hotel or near the entrance to the park.
      * Do take binoculars with you for viewing animals in the distance.
      * Go with few expectations of what you will see…. there are no guarantees.
      * Remember to be respectful of wildlife by speaking softly, and turning off your phones so as not to disturb the environment.
      * There are also many other smaller parks in Sri Lanka, and all are worthy of a visit. For example at Uduwalawe National Park there is a daily feeding schedule where baby elephants that have been rescued from dire situations are given milk twice a day. A beautiful sight to witness.

      Peta & Ben

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