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“Go on Safari on the couch ” –Wild Life streaming in Sri Lanka National Parks draws attraction from the Turkish travel community

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Mr. Mohommed Rizwi Hassen , Sri Lanka Ambassador to Ankara ,Turkey

Adapting to the new normal of the global travel and tourism industry, due to the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau has established a strategic initiative to connect with the latest technology, and bring the amazing experiences and world renowned tourist attractions which the country has to offer, in collaboration with leading wildlife experts. This process is carried out under the continuous guidance of Ms. Kimarli Fernando, Chairperson, Sri Lanka Tourism, encouraging both local and international travellers, wildlife enthusiasts to experience the natural and cultural resources on a virtual basis, mostly on social media platforms, within the comfort of their homes. As the first step of this effort, Sri Lanka tourism conducted a Virtual safari tour, showcasing Sri Lanka’s exotic wildlife live, before the very eyes of its viewers.

The virtual safari event was held in four national parks, Minneriya, Kaudulla, Udawalawe and Yala, of Sri Lanka at the Embassy of Sri Lanka, hosted by Sri Lankan Ambassador to Ankara,H.E Mohammad Rizvi Hassen. The Live Streaming was organized by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and the audience included Turkish Travel Agents and Journalists who were very much impressed by this experience.

A virtual safari was held in Minneriya National Park at the event, which was attended by a limited number of people due to the Coronavirus outbreak and health restrictions.

Adhering to the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s slogan ‘stay home and travel tomorrow’, Sri Lanka has not yet opened its natural beauty to foreign travelers. Using Modern digital technology, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau has launched Sri Lanka’s first virtual safari in Sri Lanka’s national parks for interested travelers at home. The virtual safari focused on the unique species that inhabit Sri Lanka’s four main national wildlife parks named “Minneriya”, “Kaudulla”, “Udawalawe” and “Yala”. The programme will be relayed by Dr. Prithviraj Fernando, chief environmental expert at the World Bank’s South Asia environment and Resource Unit, and wildlife expert Chithral Jayathilake.

The aim of the “Go on safari on the couch ” initiative is to show the beauty of the country to passengers planning to travel to Sri Lanka and passengers unable to visit Sri Lanka due to the pandemic.

Each program was registered for free via the virtual stream given below: /https://srilanka.travel/wildlifestream /

Virtual Program Flow

On 04.11,2020 at 11.30 (Turkish Time) – Minneriya National Park

On 05.11,2020 at 11,30 (Turkish Time) – Minneriya National Park

On 08.11,2020 at 11.30 (Turkish Time) – Kaudulla National Park

On 09.11,2020 at 04.30 (Turkish Time) – Uduwalawe National Park

On 10.11.2020 at 12.30 (Turkish Time) – Uduwalawe National Park

On 11.11,2020 at 04.30’da (Turkish Time) – Yala National Park

On 12.11.2020 at 04.30’da (Turkish Time)-Yala National Park

On 13.11,2020 at 12.30’da (Turkish Time) – Yala National Park

“Minneriya” National Park – originally was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1938 in Sri Lanka. It mainly houses 24 species of mammals, 160 species of birds, 75 species of butterflies. Viewers will have the opportunity to see the “elephants,” the majestic gentle giants in Minneriya, in an exciting way.

The “Yala” National Park, home to 44 species of mammals and 215 species of birds, is also one of the places with the highest density of leopards in the world.

“Kaudulla” National Park – designated as a national park in 2002 and contains 24 mammal species, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of Fish and 160 species of butterflies.

Declared a wildlife National Park of Sri Lanka in 1972, “Udawalawe” National Park is home to Sri Lankan leopards and Sri Lankan ‘Sloth” bears.

The Embassy will arrange similar sessions for the upcoming Wildlife streaming as well in this regard.

Contact: Public Relations Division Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau 80, Galle Road, Colombo 03. +94 112 426 900, sureshnie@srilanka.travel