There are places that you say love and say ‘wow’, there are others that simply take your breath away and you remain literarily breathless for moments and ponder for years re-living those moments for ever!
Ahaspokuna- Bush Walk Camp is one of those !
I am not too sure how to explain my experience in writing. Frankly, I can’t put it in a box in point form, nor can I explain in a nutshell. If I do that I am simply doing injustice to my experience at Ahaspokuna. It is so much more than I can explain in words.
So let me try and pen down the those that took my breath away!
Bush Camping, bush walks in privacy and luxury!
Nothing more I could ask for from Ahaspokuna. I loved every moment I spent there. It is all about solitude and luxury, of course in the midst of the forest, in the hills of Sri Lanka.
(Go to www.ahaspokuna.com and you will find the exact location.)
I drove nearly 1 1/2 hours from the town of Balangoda in Sri Lanka,. One of the most picturesque drives that I ‘ve been on. Windy roads and untouched countryside with gushing waterfalls and an occasional glimpse of a village lad or a lass is all you see. Reaching the Bush camp is not for the faint-hearted. An upward climb ( one that is most rewarding of course in terms of calorie burnout – you will achieve your 10,000 steps for the day really fast) to the campsite takes around 15-20 minutes, You will be accompanied and assisted in case you need assistance. It is all very safe and I found the walking stick to be a comforting companion.
It is not Camping or Glamping .. It is so much more luxurious!
To me, luxury was just not the beautiful accommodation, but the beauty of surroundings, the absolute luxury of solitude and all the pampering by great staff and personalized service.
Just a little about accommodation. The accommodation unit is luxurious and beautiful. Set on an elevation, I had the most wonderful view in the morning, as well as the ability, watch the sunset from the upper deck.
It is always exciting
If you worry or wonder that it can get boring, it never does. Every day is special and such enjoyable things to do and new experiences.
- Although I have been camping and been in the jungles quiet frequently, it is the first time I heard elephants trumpeting close by . ( Don’t worry ! it s very safe ) In fact I was extremely fortunate to see a herd of elephants walking on top of a far away mountain . It was just amazing and beautiful site that I would always cherish.
The bush Camp is full of bird life. The naturalist on board Avinka , is knowledgeable and so vibrant. Even if you did not feel like getting up for a walk, his vibrant personality will drive you to walk miles. It was such a pleasure to walk around early morning hours simply enjoying the wildlife.
- One of my favorite things about getting pampered was the luxury of afternoon high tea in the jungles! It is definitely a highlight of my experience where evening tea is served with exquisite range of local sweets and savories in the most delightful setting.
And when I simply felt like doing nothing but embracing mother nature or loose myself in my favorite book, there was ample space and time for that. I was glad that star bed was not for just the stars but a place to chill during the day.
The mountain ranges surrounding the campsite was simply breathtaking. The more you look the more you want to see, simply creating ample opportunities for ‘clicking’.
I never missed the hustle and bustle of the city but needed to catch up on a bit of work and found the ideal spot to do that too!
Few things to remember
- You need to have your usual camping gear, including trekking shoes!
- It can get chilly in the night ( goes down to 15 degrees C) and warm during the day, so be prepared.
- Mosquitos were not in the vicinity, however good to carry an insect repellent
- The staff will give you walking sticks and leech socks ( if needed.. luckily there were no leeches)
- The nights are equally beautiful with campfire and dinner served elegantly.
- The camp offers day long bush walks, customized to your liking including less strenuous bird watching experiences.
- You can simply indulge and relax and do nothing if that is your wish.
You need around 5 hrs of traveling if you are coming from Colombo . However the camp is 2-3 hours from other major national parks like Yala and Udawalave..Just in case you are planning a round tour.