1. Is Ahaspokuna suitable for children?
Yes. We want you to experience what’s offered at our camp as a family and aim to make your stay a remarkable, educational, and memorable experience. However, due to the nature of our 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, you just need to be reasonably physically fit. Bushwalks are optional.
3. What kind of meals would I get?
You will mostly be offered traditional Sri Lankan food. Unless you request otherwise, our chefs will calibrate the degree of spiciness to the region you are travelling from (Europe / America / India / East Asia etc.) and tailor your menu accordingly.
You will be served mostly vegetarian fare, cooked in traditional clay pots. You are welcome to try your hand in the preparation of your food as well.
Prior to your arrival, mainly due to logistical reasons, we require a list of your food preferences and allergies. Hence, we’d appreciate you filling the attached brief questionnaire for us.
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. However, 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 check-in?
We believe that one of the reasons you’ve selected us is to reconnect with nature. However, we have limited mobile coverage from one mobile service provider, and could get you connected with the world 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, forest treks, and First Aid. We have 24/7 emergency evacuation readiness and standby medical teams.
The tents are encircled with an elephant fence to ensure your safety at night. However, elephants might walk through the camp during the day and visitors must exercise due caution on this type of holiday.
Of course there is a risk factor in patronising a bushwalking camp like this. Though we take all possible steps to manage the risks, as a legal compliance, you are requested to sign a disclaimer.
8. Is electricity provided in the tents and common areas?
We have limited solar and generator power for the tents and common dining / 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. As we are eco-friendly accommodation provider, we encourage “lights out” past 10pm. You are provided with lanterns and candle jars in your suite-tent at night.
9. Tell me about the bushwalks.
Privacy – Instead of being amongst hordes of wandering tourists, you will only share your magical moments of seeing Sri Lanka’s pristine wilderness with the other lodge guests.
All-inclusive Package – All walks and refreshments for the walks are included in your stay, with up to 4 walks for every 2 nights you stay at Ahaspokuna.
Safety – We invite you to walk in the shoes of a bushman with leopards and sloth bears on prowl in the area, though much too shy to confront you. However, elephants are an entirely different story, thus our expert trackers keep their eyes peeled for these gentle giants. To ensure your safety, an advance party is sent out prior to bushwalks so that we wouldn't startle them en-route. Our Walking Safari Specialists have your safety as their primary concern, making your experience in the bush as safe as it is fun. All walks will be guided by a professional naturalist and experienced Bushman who’ve lived in this forested area for generations.
Night Walks – Our walks aren’t limited to the day, experience our night walks and access to the “hides” to see animals visiting the waterhole after sundown. Elephants regularly patronise the waterhole and we have heard the roar of leopards very close to camp.
Bespoke Experiences – Our regular bushwalks focus more on the birds, scenery and the history of the ground you walk on. However, we are happy to customise these walks to suit 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 of two nights.
11. What’s the best time to visit Ahaspokuna? 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. 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 go on bushwalks during your entire stay. You are welcome to read, relax, wander within the camp boundaries, or get involved with the camp cooks to prepare a meal.
Alternatively, you could book a yoga or meditation teacher, or an Ayurveda massage therapist to unwind in body and soul.
13. Do I have 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 off. 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 an alfresco wild bath (tub) for you to soak in all day.
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 drop it into the tip box. Most visitors prefer to tip their resident naturalist separately and provide a common tip to the other staff.
15. Is Ahaspokuna 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 Bushwalks 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 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 hesitate to call our walks "Walking Safaris" to manage expectations. We call them "Bushwalks".
16. Is it possible to go on a safari to a National Park from Ahaspokuna?
Yes. If we measure direct, as the crow flies, Udawalawe National Park is located just about 15km away and it takes only about 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to its entrance. We recommend a morning safari, leaving the camp early morning, where you can get back to camp in time for lunch.
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, 4 guided bush walks for the 2 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 therapists, yoga instructors, and a safari to Udawalawe National Park, are not included in the typical 2 night, 3 day programme. Pre-booking with an additional payment is required. Tips, too, are not included in the price.
18. Do the tent-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 as low as 15°C. Though the tents are equipped with fans, we have not fixed an A/C as there is no real 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 used by animals. Though the visibility is good in most sections, there are some sections where visibility is not great. We go with expert village trackers and they keep an eye out for all perils. You are given a walking stick (wooden) and leech socks for ease. As long as you wear proper shoes and long trekking trousers, the risk is minimised.
By wearing gaiters you could zero the risk from serpents. We recommend long sleeves due to certain patches of long grass.
20. What do I pack?
There is no motorable road access to Ahaspokuna Bushwalks Camp. Though our staff will be carrying all that you bring, it’s advisable to pack light, only with essentials for the number of days you are staying with us. This ‘day bag’ could be a separate bag from the large luggage which you generally carry to a hotel.
We would recommend that you wear track-bottom pants or a comfortable long trouser and a t-shirt or cotton shirt for walks. It’s important to wear long trousers, mainly due to the long grasses you come across during the treks.
You may also bring along trekking or walking shoes with a good grip and a pair of sandals / comfortable shoes for the evening. Personal belongings in preparation for warm and sunny, rainy and windy weather conditions (considering that the temperature at night may drop down to 12 - 15°C) are essentials you should not forget.
Please make sure that you bring along a good brand of sunscreen (above SPF 30) and enough insect repellent. We provide leech socks at the time of pickup and on walks.
21. Please give me directions to get to Ahaspokuna.
Our pre-designated pick-up point is not in a populated area; it is located on a less-frequented motorable road. Hence, it’s absolutely essential that you have precise directions on how to get there.
We recommend that you or your driver talk to us on the previous day and clarify the pick-up time / place. Once you get the location sorted, it’s very easy to find us. Please insist that your sales agent get you the directions or get your driver to contact us for written directions.
Please do not depend on Google Maps as mobile signals may be very weak from time to time.
Furthermore, if you arrive at the pick-up point unannounced or without a pre-agreed meeting time, there won't be anyone waiting for you; the camp is a 20 minute trek into the wilderness from where you can park your vehicle.
22. What’s my check-in and check-out time?
We will meet you at the designated pick-up point at 12:30 pm to accompany you to our campsite. After the initial briefing, check-in will be at 1 pm. On your day of departure, your check-out will be at 10 am. If there are no other bookings allocated for the tent you are staying in, we are happy to extend your stay with a late check-out.
23. Any other locations near Ahaspokuna?
1. Nearby affluent Glamping Experiences
Mahoora Tented Safari Camps are an affluent glamping concept based in Mini Nature Reserves bordering the National Parks of Udawalawe & Yala. They provide a chance to experience adventures that will impress you; Mahoora ensures the preservation and sustainability of the environment takes precedence in all the activities and services at the Camps. The team continuously works to maintain the benchmark for carbon-neutral safari camping in Sri Lanka, which they have set for others to follow.
2. Nearby Budget-friendly Glamping Experience
Big Game Camps is an authentic, budget-friendly forest campout in Sri Lanka’s most iconic wildlife zones on the borders of Yala, Udawalawe and Wilpattu National Parks. Indulge in wild adventures and safaris with affordable and comfortable options that bring you closer to nature and allow you to explore the park’s wilderness with amazing scope.
3.Nearby Hostel Experience
Funky Leopard safari hostel, just bordering the Yala National Park in a beautiful wild setting, has easy access to the less-crowded Katagamuwe entrance of Yala via the sacred city of Katharagama. This Yala hostel is a laid back and economical hostel that gives you great flexibility to enjoy your stay while making the most of your Yala Safaris.
24. Is WIFI available at the site?
YES. But however, this is limited to two-time slots which are from 10.00 AM to 01.00 PM and from 06.30 PM to 10.30 PM. We kindly request that you limit your usage during these times so that all guests can have access to the WIFI service.