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Jetwing Eco Newsletter – October 2017

JEH Newsletter final

Dear Friends,

The Jetwing Eco Holidays team has been busy over the last couple of months preparing for Sri Lanka`s traditional peak season, always a busy time of year for the team! While crafting memorable programs for our clients from all over the world we have also been working on many new exciting projects which will keep us busy well into 2018!

This year saw a very successful Palu” Season which brought out the sloth bears with the elephants following soon after during the annual “Elephant Gathering” season which runs from June to October. This time almost all our clients on safari were privileged to witness this amazing event, now an important part of Sri Lanka’s wildlife calendar.

We will also soon have the birds (Nov – Apr) followed by the whales in all their glory off the Southern coast of the island during (Nov – Apr). Many clients are already booked into experience this as a part of larger itineraries that cover most of what amazing Sri Lanka has to offer.

Our Facebook and Instagram pages along with the Jetwing Eco Holidays blog has updated information on what a typical holiday to Sri Lanka may look like including the diverse wildlife! Please do add us in!

Jetwing Eco Holidays has also now diversified from its specialist wildlife programs and will also feature and promote wellness holidays to Sri Lanka in fantastic locations making use of some of the best accommodation around to give you that long deserved break while also introducing you to our island home the Jetwing way!

We hope 2017 has been as successful for you as it has been for us and we thank you for all your support to us to continue to be Sri Lanka` premier Wildlife and Wellness operator. One that will always remain committed to sustainable and inclusive tourism working with communities and stakeholders in providing diverse, authentic and amazing experiences.

Gal Oya, Sri LankaAfter Independence, Sri Lanka’s first significant irrigation project was the Gal Oya Valley project. Within it was built the biggest reservoir in the country, the Senanayake Samudraya which is considered the key feature of the Gal Oya National Park and one of the best parks in the country where boat safaris are also
an option
Sighting elephants swimming across the lake on occasion is one of the most amazing aspects of these safaris if you’re lucky enough to see this. There are also many little islands on the Senanayake Samudraya and it is an eco heaven for numerous birds and other wildlife. During the drought due to reduced water levels some of these islands become more accessible to these elephants who then sometimes move from one to the other in search of food and as they are natural swimmers they do so quite easily!

It is also estimated that from 430 bird species on record in Sri Lanka at least 150 of them reside in the Gal Oya region – another reason for a visit!

Jetwing Eco Holidays Naturalist Kamal Nawfer and team have witnessed one of the most unusual sightings in Yala National Park during the month of July this year. A Sloth bear family (a female Sloth bear along with two Sloth bear cubs) has crossed the road near Mada Para water puddle in Yala National Park. As it is the leopard mating season currently, Nawfer and team had stopped near the Mada Para water puddle hoping for a leopard sighting as this water puddle is known to be a hot spot to witness the magnificent leopard as they frequently come here for water. Instead, they came across this spectacular sighting of the Sloth bear family which is considered to be one of the rarest sightings on record.

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U L Nawfer
Nawfer has been watching birds ever since he could hold a
pair of binoculars. Nawfer is a well-known Sri Lankan birdwatcher with a
life-long interest in natural history. He has a strong passion for both
bird photography and bird identifying.


Thilak was a widely loved iconic tusker whose familiar face enticed anybody who visited Yala over the past years. This famous tusker was attacked and killed by yet another tusker in the proximity of Attulla lagoon on the 14th of June 2017. Yala national park was once the kingdom of elephants and tuskers even though it is widely known for the leopards at present. Some of these beautiful forms of wildlife holds a very special place in our heart as they make Yala national Park what it is today.

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Due to prevailing drought in the country, the park was closed for two months and reopened to the public last month with the introduction of a new rule, which restricted the number of safari jeeps accessing the park to 450 a day—275 jeeps in the morning and another 225 in the afternoon.

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The dugong is a medium-sized marine mammal. It is one of four living species of the order Sirenia, which also includes three species of manatees. The dugong is the only strictly marine herbivorous mammal and is the most threatened marine mammal which is likely to disappear from our waters soon. A local tour operator Samith Ishan Fernando was able to photograph a group of five dugongs in Sri Lanka.

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A group of naval personnel attached to the Eastern Naval Command, Sri Lanka Navy, rescued an elephant caught in a current in the seas off Kokkuthuduwai, Kokilai during July 2017. According to the navy, the elephant dragged away by a strong current was initially spotted by a craft on routine patrol in the area.

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For the first time in world’s history an Omura’s whale has been discovered in Sri Lankan waters. This unusually colored, small baleen whale was documented off the southern coast of Sri Lanka in February 2017 during routine field surveys by Dr. Asha de Vos, Founder of Oceanswell.

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As a measure to make Sri Lanka polythene-free and find a sustainable solution to solid waste management, Central Environment Authority (CEA) of Sri Lanka has banned the use of polythene lunch sheets, rigifoam boxes and shopping bags, with effect from 1st of September.

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“Thilak” was probably the oldest and largest tusker in The Yala National Park and spent most of his time near the entrance of the park, where he was seen feeding and roaming around. This famous tusker was attacked and killed by yet another tusker in the proximity of Attulla lagoon on the 14th of June 2017.

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Jetwing Yala is a hotel which seeks to heal both the environment and the individual. Not only is the hotel situated next to one of the best wildlife destinations in Asia, the Yala National Park, it also hosts one of the largest privately owned solar park in Sri Lanka and features recently developed beach access complete with a mini-bar, lounge area and manned by internationally trained lifeguards. Their spa rejuvenates your mind, body and soul while the natural habitat will help you reconnect with nature. The food is superbly delicious and caters to diverse palettes. Come, see and enjoy.

Jetwing Eco Holidays has become the benchmark for wildlife travel in Sri Lanka. Created exclusively for the specialist eco and wellness traveller, expert naturalist and small customized tour operator. Jetwing Eco Holidays designs unique holiday programs to Sri Lanka using expert naturalist guides with many hours of field experience in introducing Sri Lanka to potential travellers. Working both with FIT clients as well as small niche agents and tour operators worldwide, Jetwing Eco Holidays operates as a small specialist company with an innovative and dedicated team of qualified wildlife enthusiasts and some of the most experienced travel and hospitality personnel in the country as its directors. A part of the Jetwing Family of companies, one of the largest tourism brands in Sri Lanka with a history of over 40 years also offers added benefits of economies of scale, available resources and competitive buying power and wholesale rates that can be passed onto all clients. We are also the expert on the ground resource for many internationally reputed film crews and brands such as Nat Geo Wild, BBC Wildife, etc having worked with them for many years and on many productions as Sri Lanka`s premier wildlife and wellness operator.