Ahaspokuna Bushwalks Camp, located in Sri Lanka’s hill country, is a new experience for adventurers wishing to explore the best of what Sri Lanka has to offer. Only accessible by foot, this luxury tented camp provides experiences that are all about bushwalks in an environment that provides new experiences around every corner. Enjoy Sri Lanka’s famous warmth and hospitality at its finest and make your walking safari dreams come true.
Safaris and Tours
Ahaspokuna is a luxury tented camp located in a remote area of Sri Lanka surrounded by protected forest. It provides an exclusive bush walk and wilderness living experience; spend time exploring on bush walks, soak in a wild bath, stargaze from your bed at night and enjoy authentic local cuisine.
Start/end:Start/end in 14 & 1/2 Post, Watawala, Ahaspokuna
3 Days from$570 p/p in USD
Departures: Year Round
Ahaspokuna Bushwalks Camp
- Is the only high-end tented accommodation in Sri Lanka where there is no motorable route, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the pristine, untouched wilderness.
- There are only three large en-suite tents each with living room setting on a deck, sleeping tent bedroom, washbasin lounge with beanbags, a tent with a flushable toilet, an indoor shower with hot and cold water.
- Each tent has an elevated bush bath tub overlooking the grasslands and a romantic four-poster star bed in the private garden for you to use during the day or night.
- There is a dining tent and we offer outdoor dining around a central campfire. Before dinner sit by the campfire with a bottle of wine and talk to our naturalists about the day’s bush walks and experiences.
- Our executive chef carefully prepares truly local, authentic Sri Lankan cuisine and Ahaspokuna’s signature dishes using age-old cooking traditions.
- As well as bush walks, traditional cooking lessons, painting, stargazing and night walks are included in your stay.
- Yoga, guided meditation and ayurvedic massages can be arranged at an additional fee.
- We follow the concept of ‘mini nature reserves’ where we make sure that our presence in the area is making minimum impact on the land and wildlife, and we strive to preserve the environment in its purest form.
What inspired the creation of Ahaspokuna?
To be completely honest, it wasn’t at all inspiring when it was introduced to me on paper as a ‘new project’ by my dad. I still remember that day; I was walking into my family home in Balangoda on a day that wouldn’t otherwise be noteworthy, and my dad excitedly surprised me with a heap of survey plans and deeds. He told me this was going to be my newest project, and on looking over the grand master plan, the surprise didn’t wear off. This ‘new project’ was situated in no man’s land with no road access whatsoever. With managing numerous other businesses, ones I was actually passionate about, this just seemed like a misguided chore.
Of course this was all on paper back then, and, even today, the magic of Ahaspokuna could never be read… only felt; you have to get lost in it to truly understand. I can’t really put down an exact date or emotion when a misguided chore cum new project turned into destiny, but it all began when I put the paper away and actually journeyed there. Perhaps that was the best form of ‘I told you so’… coupled with listening to my dad talk about the project as a ‘hidden gem’ every chance he’d get with a look that said ‘I told you so’. I matched his enthusiasm and relentlessness in getting it off the ground once I saw beyond the schematics.
Thoughts on what to do with such a treasure ranged from my dad’s initial idea to maintain the land as a private sanctuary in the quiet chaos of the wilderness, to mine with re-creating a self-sufficient, ancient Sri Lankan village rooted in tradition, where anyone who goes there becomes a part of it. The core concept, along with land procurements and other legal battles, was finalised over a decade later.
Ahaspokuna, Sri Lanka’s first and only Bushwalks Camp, was twelve years in the making. Twelve years of blood, sweat and, above all, powerful inspiration created by physically and emotionally experiencing Ahaspokuna.
What do you remember about your early visits to Ahaspokuna?
I recall being amazed at how this was genuinely a private jungle, surrounded by a jungle itself. My dad took me there for the first time along with Jayasekara – our ‘forest man’ equipped with wilderness wit and prowess essential to an expedition of this magnitude.
Mysteries… wild… untamed… These words danced in a loop inside my mind during the 30 – 40 minute walk from a lonely forest road into the wilderness. During the trek I was trying to place our bearings, but it was thick bush with low visibility and I was quite distracted by the charm of the land. Piles of elephant dung were everywhere, something not everyone gets excited about but I was thrilled. It was sincere wilderness. Right then and there I knew this was going to be one of the many visits I’d make, each one a deeper exploration into the land and, to be quite frank, a deeper exploration into what to do with it.
At that point I was in love with something wild and untamed, and I couldn’t find a purpose to justify just how special it was.
Why is Ahaspokuna so unique?
How do love something for just one reason? Apart from it being a place where you lose yourself to find yourself, it’s the first ever walks-dedicated property in Sri Lanka and the only high-end property in the country where there is no motorable road access; you have to walk the final leg of the journey to reach Ahaspokuna.
We’ve built Ahaspokuna by hand, brick by brick, hand-carrying everything. It’s surrounded by a forest reserve and the only inhabitants in the entire forest, other than wild animals, are us. We did not block elephant paths which were there for thousands of years, instead we just circled the Tent Suits with an elephant fence as a precaution, and in a manner that elephants can walk freely between them. With this arrangement we are giving our clients a private space of 1000 square meters, with a star bed and a bush bathtub for every ‘room’.
There isn’t any other property in Sri Lanka with even one of these features. Overall, I’d call that pretty unique.
Is it true that you have turned down some clients due to ‘negative energy’?
Well, yes. Ahaspokuna is a glimpse at the soul of the forest, far from a stereotypical hotel. If you want to stay at Ahaspokuna, you need to understand its concept and values, and, above all, respect it to, in-turn, respect the forest. We are not willing to compromise our values for money. So, yes, unfortunately there have been instances where we have had to politely discourage bookings due to this.
Was it just your dad who helped you create Ahaspokuna?
It was a family effort, and it wasn’t just blood. Without my dad and Sarath Liyanage, this wouldn’t have been possible. They’ve collectively spoken to thousands, walked countless miles, and gone through mountains of paperwork to get this project off the ground. There is no human way to show the immensity of gratitude for this.
Next comes the Eco Team family. The field team worked tirelessly in the wilderness, amongst extreme weather, elephants and bugs. To say this was a challenge would be an understatement! Sharing a collective vision is one thing, and sharing the load is another, but our family executed it with passion symbolic to our values. The magnitude of appreciation for this feat is as monumental today as it was years ago.
It’s been almost 2 years since Ahaspokuna opened its doors to the public, are you still excited about it?
I still get goosebumps when I go there, sit in my favourite sofa and look around. It’s a piece of evolving art that expresses more with every second glance. Adding more quirky or rustic interior pieces – all handpicked by myself might I add – is simply another playful yet evocative brushstroke on the canvas.
Excited is an understatement, I’m still quite wild about it.