Leading the visitors on the tour, Tacugama’s Tour Guide, Moses kappia said the Sanctuary was commissioned by Bioclimate Research & Development, to develop and implement the first phase of the Biodiversity Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (BMEP) as part of their Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) Programme.
Bioclimate, he went on, is working with local communities to sustainably manage their community forests, in order to protect important natural resources on which they rely, and so they can perform as a refuge for high value biodiversity in the region.
He said the BMEP is designed to capture a baseline of impacts on biodiversity within the community forests, and to measure if the community forest management plans that have been developed with the community are successful in improving biodiversity.
Speaking on the facilities of the Sanctuary, Aram Kazamdjain, Development Manager said they have the Yoga Retreat, which is a weekend of relaxation under the canopy Rescued Chimpanzees and incredible fresh food. He said Sunset Yoga is an evening under the canopy adding that yoga retreats happens once monthly in Tacugama’s eco-lodges.
“We invite you to join us for an intimate weekend of 3 yoga classes on our forest platform, all meals provided, a sanctuary tour and a night in our eco-lodges. Reserve early to secure a spot,” he said.
Curry Night Aram Kazamdjain went on, is an evening of spice to nourish the soul. He said: “A sell-out event, Curry Night promises not to disappoint! With over 15 Sri Lankan curries and associated dishes prepared by our founder himself, your tastebuds will be in for a treat. Combine the evening with a stay in our eco-lodges and digest your meal in the peaceful forest atmosphere.”
The development manager concluded that they also have the Story Night in the Forest, which he said: “Traditional African Tales Under the Stars, nourish your belly with a delicious meal, followed by a traditional African storyteller entertaining you with tales by a bonfire on our forest platform under the stars. This evening promises not to disappoint, and often includes audience participation – be it singing, dancing, drumming or more! A family-friendly event to which all are welcome”.
The last facility Aram Kazamdjain stated, is the Birds & Breakfast, which he explained: “Sunrise Birdwatching & Heartwarming Breakfast, spend a few hours on a guided hike into the Western Area Peninsula National Park, seeking out many birds only found in this area, at the best time of day to spot them. Return to Tacugama for a feast for the champions. Stay overnight to make your morning experience that much more enjoyable. Held on the last Saturday of every month.”