TV Times

‘Selara River Hideout’ : Spirit of the wilderness
By Sanath Weerasuriya
Since lately Uda Walawe has become one of the biggest attractions in the wildlife adventure in Sri Lanka. Few years back it was only a day-trip to the Uda Walawe National Park or just a stop over on a way to East coast or to Kataragama. It was never a destination.

The development of infrastructure and the facilities in the area, Uda Walawe soon became a major tourist attraction.
Breathtaking Uda Walawe reservoir with the backdrop of the Southern slope of the Rajawake, Uggalkaltota Mountains and the countless acres of the National Park add more glamour to the newly built resorts in the area.
Selara River Hideout and Eco Resort is the latest and the most Eco friendly addition to the Southern Uda Walawe plains. Selara River Hideout and Eco Resort is situated just fifteen minutes of drive off the National Park and on the banks of original Walawe Ganga.

It has six indigenously built individual chalets, under the existing four acre tropical scrub jungle.
Though the name carries the tag, hideout, I never expected to have this wilderness. It is a true romantic hideout.
The tastefully designed wooden two storey bar and lounge area is situated just at the entrance. Dining area too is built with wood and thatched. The interior of six chalets too are done in eco friendly way. Wood and terra cotta are the main raw materials used in the room, where the attached bathrooms are designed with half of the roof opened to the environment, which is a home for variety of endemic birds. Each chalet consists of open area facing the river.

Caretaker of Selara River Hideout, Mr. Sumanasena has been with the resort since its inception few years ago. Selara River Hideout is now under the management of C & H Travels.
'Selara is always a popular place amongst foreign tourists. Most of the visitors to this place are nature lovers and come especially to visit the Park to encounter with the elephants. Bird watching in the area is popular too' Sumanasena said.

Bird watching has grown into big market segment in tourism in Sri Lanka and Uda Walawe has its major share of the market. Selara is a place, where respect for the environment, learn to let go and live with the wilderness.
'The guests are always welcome to enjoy the indigenous food from the area. But in keeping with tourism slandered, we cater all Western, Sri Lankan and Continental cuisine. Bar-barque with camp fire on Saturdays is our major attraction' he added.

Selara is a base for series of adventure and excursions around the area. Apart from bird watching and trekking in the jungle, camping, fishing and canoeing are getting attracted more.

An evening dip in the Walawe Ganga is a must for every visitor to Selara. It really sets the mood for night camp fire after a drink at the bar.
From Selara, it is only one and half hours drive to Kataragama and nearly the same time for Yala National Park. Ancient Waulpane Caves in Pallebedda is just 30 minutes away from Selara and famous Maduwanwela Walauwa in Kolonne and World Heritage site Singharaja Rain Forest Reserve are just about 40 to 50 kms away from Uda Walawe. Hot Springs in Sooriya Wewa is within 45 minutes drive, while ancient Sankapala Cave Temple and Pussadeva tomb is just 15 minutes away.

Famous Ath Athuru Sevena, where the visitors can witness the human concern for destitute elephants. 'We arrange day excursion packeges on request and it carries all back up support including vehicles, picnic lunch, other refreshments and professional guides' Sumanasena said. Selara River Hideout and Eco Resort could be booked through C & H Travels on 5522860 or log on to their website


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