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F.A.Q

1. Is Ahaspokuna suitable for children?

Yes. We want you to experience what’s offered at our camp as a family and make the stay a remarkable, educational, lifelong memorable experience for your children as well. However, due to the nature of the experiences, we would recommend that children be at least 8 years old. Our options for special kids’ meals will be limited and all walks are not suitable for children.

 

2. Is there a maximum age?

No. But you need to be up to it and reasonably physically fit. Walks are optional.

 

3. What kind of meals would I get?

You will mostly be offered traditional Sri Lankan food. Unless you request otherwise, our cooks will calibrate the degree of spicyness to the region you are travelling from (Europe/America/India/East Asia etc.).

You will be served mostly vegetarian food, cooked in traditional fire-wood fire places in clay pots. You are welcome to try your hand in the preparation of your food.

 

4. Can I buy alcohol?

No hard liquor is served or sold at Ahaspokuna. Complementary, good quality wine is served around the campfire and during meals.

 

5. Is smoking allowed?

We do not keep tobacco at the camp. But we have no objection to you being a “responsible smoker”. In some areas, smoking is not permitted to avoid disturbance to non-smoking guests.

 

6. Will I be able to communicate with the outside world once I checked into the camp?

We have limited mobile coverage from one mobile service provider and could get you connected with the world on request. However, we believe that one of the reasons for you to select us is to be disconnected with the so-called “outside world” at least temporally. Limited Wi-Fi facilities could also be made available on request.

 

7. What about safety and emergency situations? How safe is it?

We have looked at all safety aspects of this concept before launching. Safety audits are conducted quarterly. Our staff are very well trained on wilderness living, jungle treks, and first aid. We have 24x7 emergency evacuation readiness and standby medical teams.

We have encircled only the tents with an elephant fence to make sure that you are safe. Free moments of elephants take place and visitors must exercise due caution on this type of holiday.

However, you need to be aware that there is a risk factor in patronising a bush walking camp like this. Though we take all the possible steps to manage the risks, as a legal compliance, you are requested to sign a disclaimer.

 

8. Is there electricity in the tents and common areas?

We have limited solar and generator power for the tents and common dinning/relaxing areas. You are able to charge your basic electrical appliances. We discourage the use of playing music on speakers that will disturb other guests and the tranquillity of the setting.

 

9. Tell me about the walks

All walks are included for the price you pay. You are entitled for four walks for the two nights you are staying with us. All walks will be guided by a professional naturalist and experienced bushmen who have lived in this area. Though the forest we are in is a habitat for large mammals like elephants, sloth bears and even leopards, we do not want to raise expectations of seeing them, as they are very shy of humans.

However, elephants regularly patronise the waterhole we have in the land and we have heard leopards very close to our tents.

On walks, we will focus more on the birds, amazing scenery, history etc. We are happy to customise these walks to suit to your interests.

 

10. How long should I stay to get the best experience?

To get the best of what we offer, we recommend a minimum two nights.

 

11. What’s the best time to come? What’s the general weather like?

We are in the intermediate zone where the humidity is comparatively low most of the year. Hence, it’s easier to go on long walks.

The general temperature and rain pattern is given below.

However, please note that due to the fact that it is a small island, Sri Lanka’s weather is affected by many factors like depressions in the Indian Ocean. The weather can change suddenly and dramatically.

 

12. What else can I do there?

Though there are great walking trails on offer, it’s not a must that you do walks during your entire stay. You are welcome to read, relax, do casual wandering within the camp boundaries, or get involved with the camp cooks to prepare a meal.

Or else you could book a yoga or meditation teacher, or an Ayurweda massage therapist to unwind your soul and body.

 

13. Do I have an access to a swimming pool?

We have created a “waterhole” for humans too. It’s a spring water pond which is freely overflowing and the water is not treated with any chemicals. You are free to get in and cool yourself as and when you wish to. We ask you not to use soap or shampoo to minimise environmental impacts.

During the extreme Dry Season (generally September/October), this pond is used as a water storage facility and you won’t be permitted to get in. However, your tent comprises a wild bath (tub) to get into as you please.

 

14. What about tips?

Tips are not included in the price. If you had a good experience and would like to show your appreciation to the staff with a cash tip, please use the envelopes kept in the tent and put into the tip box. Most visitors prefer to tip their resident naturalist separately and provide a common tip to the other staff.  

 

15. Is Ahasokuna different to any other safari camp concept in Sri Lanka ?

When it comes to ambiance, service, and how the day's activities go by, there are a lot of similarities between Ahaspokuna Bush Walks Camp and a high-end safari camp concept. However, the main difference is with how we do safaris. In any other safari camp in Sri Lanka, you would be getting into a safari jeep and would do morning or evening safaris depending on the number of days you stay; but with us, your safaris are walking safaris. However, though 75% of our clients have seen even elephants on our walks, we do not call our walks "Walking Safaris"; to manage expectations. We call them "Bush Walks".

 

16. Is it possible to do a safari to a national park from Ahaspokuna?

Yes it's possible. If we measure direct, as the crow flies, Udawalawe National Park is located just about 15km away and it takes only about one hour and forty five minutes to get to it's entrance. Hence, it's very possible to do a safari in the Udawalawe National Park.
We recommend a morning safari, leaving the camp early morning, where you can get back to the camp for lunch, finishing a safari around 11 a.m.

 

17. What’s included in my price ?
 
The price you pay includes porter fees to get to the camp and back, accommodation in a suite tent with a star bed and a bush bath tub, all meals including tea/coffee and snacks, four guided bush walks for the two-night package, drinking water, and wine during meals. Basically, you do not have to pay for anything extra unless you specifically request something special.
Massage therapist, yoga instructor, and safari to Udawalawe National Park, are not included in the typical 2 night, 3 days program. You need to pre-book with an additional payment. Tips too are not included in the price.
 

18. Do the suites have air conditioning?

As we are in the intermediate zone, at 586m altitude, temperatures in this area are relatively low; humidity is also low and it’s advantageous for trekking as well. In the night, temperature could be low as 15C. Though the tents are equipped with fans, we have not fixed AC as there is no necessity.

 

19. Are there cleared trails to trek through the bush or are we trekking through thick underbrush and high grasses?

Treks are done through uncleared paths, mostly uses by animals. Though the visibility is good in most sections, there are some sections where the visibility is not great. We go with expert village trackers and they keep an eye out for all perils. Clients are given walking sticks (wooden) too. As long as you wear proper shoes and long trekking trousers, the risk is minimized.

By wearing gaiters you could zero the risk from serpents. We recommend long sleeves due to certain patches of long grass.

 

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A H A S - P O K U N A   

In the Sinhalese language (spoken in Sri Lanka), “Ahas” means “Sky” and “Pokuna” means “Pond” or “Pool”. Ahaspokuna is so named in reference to the lake here, high up in the hills, that is only fed by rain water. A former settlement that sprung up on its shores was subsequently also named “Ahaspokuna”. Today, the jungle tide has washed over where people once lived and the camp provides a wilderness retreat for those in search of something different.
Ahaspokuna by Eco Team


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