Considered a haven for wildlife, the private nature reserve at Jetwing Vil Uyana which is made up of wetlands and forest habitats is home to numerous species of birds, mammals, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians. The reserve also contains the country’s best site for Loris watching, and guests will have the rare opportunity of sighting one of the island’s elusive primates, the Grey Slender Loris, when they venture along these night trails in Sri Lanka located within the premises of the hotel.
The Loris, with its large bulging eyes and tiny limbs, is a nocturnal primate found in India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia. Hidden in the scrub forests, this mystical creature moves slowly through the trees after dusk to feed on insects and berries. At Jetwing Vil Uyana the conservation of the resident Loris has been given much prominence and the Loris Information Centre which is near the Loris Conservation site provides information on these strange and fascinating creatures.
Beginning at 7.00 p.m. the one hour long tour which is conducted by the resident naturalist, will take you through a forest filled with a wide range of vegetation. Preserving the natural appearance of the forest, the trail passes over streams which are crossed by simple bamboo bridges. You will be provided with red light emitting headlamps which prevent damage to the eyes of the Loris but assist you in your search for this elusive creature. When the light comes in contact with the eyes of a Loris, it gives a bright red reflection of a pair of enormous eyes. Depending on how quiet you are, the Loris may even approach you and give you a close up view. Keep an eye out for the other nocturnal species you may encounter on the night trail – the Eurasian Otter, Mouse Deer, Palm Civet, Collared Scops Owl, Indian Nightjar and Fishing Cat.
Be sure to wear comfortable clothes and closed-toed shoes and don’t forget to carry your camera and insect repellent. On your return to the hotel you will be provided with a refreshing fresh fruit juice at the reception.