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Eco Team Post-Covid Certified Sustainable Wildlife Accommodation - A boost to the Tourism Industry

RARE India enters into a collaborative partnership with Eco Team Sri Lanka, to promote environment friendly and people centric travel experiences 

Mahoora Camps Wins Coveted Best Small Accommodation Provider at Sri Lanka Tourism Awards 2018

Mahoora Tented Safari Camps achieve Prestigious Conservation Milestone with First-ever Carbon Neutral Status 

Pioneers of Private Tented Safari Camp Mahoora Celebrate Two Decades of Curating Life-changing Journeys

Mahoora Yala in world’s top 10



Eco Team Post-Covid Certified Sustainable Wildlife Accommodation - A boost to the Tourism Industry

Eco Team post COVID certified sustainable wildlife accommodation a boost to tourism industry

Eco Team has achieved another "FIRST" in the Sri Lankan Tourism domain by being the first and only Tented Safari Camp operator to receive approval by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority as level 1 certified safe and secure accommodations.

Eco Team Safari Camps offer Safari Experiences under the Level 1 accreditation with all three year-round locations; namely Eco Team Safari Camp - Yala, Eco Team Safari Camp - Udawalawe, and Eco Team Safari Camp – Wilpattu.

Even with the downturn in tourism due to the Covid19 pandemic, Eco Team Safari Camps will continue to spearhead innovative wildlife accommodation solutions in order to boost the industry and support the Destination Management Companies with its specialized wildlife products – “Mahoora by Eco Team” and “Big Game by Eco Team” which are available in Yala, Udawalawe and Wilpattu. Both Mahoora and Big Game products will accept foreign guests under level 1 health and safety guidelines.

The company was also featured as one of the best eco-friendly tented safari camps in Sri Lanka by the international Hotel Journal recently. This was mainly due to its strict adherence to Sustainability Practices with its Carbon Neutral Operations. Eco Team Safari Camps are the First and only carbon-neutral campsites in Sri Lanka.

Founder Managing Director of Eco Team Tented Safari Camps, Anuruddha Bandara states,

“I wish to convey my sincere gratitude to all the Destination Management Companies who have sent us bookings since February 2021. We are steadfast in our support towards our industry partners to successfully promote Sri Lanka for a post Covid19 tourism resurgence.  We look forward to supporting all of the Destination Management Company to develop unique itineraries using Eco Team Safari Camps, in order to boost tourist arrivals to the country.

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RARE India enters into a collaborative partnership with Eco Team Sri Lanka, to promote environment friendly and people centric travel experiences 

Looking for sustainable stays This collaboration has you covered 1

New Delhi, March 2, 2021: The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic has taught people the significance of community and collaboration. This statement is especially accurate for the travel and hospitality industry globally, which is just getting on to its feet in the aftermath of the pandemic. It is with the spirit of collaboration to promote responsible and conscious luxury travel across India and its subcontinents that RARE India has partnered with Eco Team, based in Sri Lanka. Under this partnership, Eco Team will represent RARE India in Sri Lanka and contrariwise. 

While RARE India is a collection of some of the finest boutique hotels, palace stays, wildlife lodges, home stays and retreats of India and the sub-continent, Eco Team is the most sought-after specialist in Wildlife Tourism and Experiential Travel in Sri Lanka. The collaboration of these two major conscious luxury travel communities is slated to benefit the responsible tourism industry across India and its subcontinents.

Speaking about this partnership, RARE India’s Founder Ms Shoba Mohan said, 

“According to Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), an analysis of the ten major source markets revealed that tourists from India represented the largest number of international arrivals in 2019. The total number of Indian tourists residing in India who travelled to Sri Lanka were 3,55,002 which is 16.4% of the total inbound share. The aim of this partnership is promoting value based tourism with conservation and preservation through the increased resources creation and a mutual value that will benefit both communities across multiple levels.” 

Regarding the partnership, the CEO of Eco Team, Anuruddha Bandara said, “We are extremely delighted to get into this partnership which is a culmination of a few years of ground work.  We have brought in our own Tented Camps & Lodges and a  Managed Property to RARE Sri Lanka umbrella already and will be inviting some of the best unique accommodation spaces to come on board next. We are extremely optimistic that the sustainability conscious luxury travellers in India and Sri Lanka will both benefit with our RARE partnership.”

Under this alliance, both the partners will add value to each other and the communities that they represent by supporting one another on numerous levels. Eco Team and RARE India will also collaborate 


in responsible tourism actions and initiatives. While Sri Lanka’s tourism just resumed for international travel post pandemic, the partners will collaborate to promote their community members in the travel industry to usher in the best of responsible travel and conscious luxury.

Focusing strongly on responsible tourism and sustainability, Eco Team has brought in their own properties in Sri Lanka such as Ahaspokuna Bush Walks Camp, Big Game Tented Safaris, Mahoora Tented Safaris and Villa Tanderra - Tangalle, to the RARE Sri Lanka portfolio. Situated across the island country and near the wilderness areas, Eco Team camps and safari experiences are curated to showcase Sri Lanka’s wild side.

About Eco Team

Founded as a pioneering Eco and Adventure tourism company in the year 2000, Eco Team has, over the years, narrowed its focus to become the most sought-after specialist in Wildlife Tourism and Experiential Travel. With five specialised accommodation brands under its umbrella, Eco Team features the most unique Tented Accommodations & Lodges in the country. 

Eco Team believes that requirements and expectations of world travellers have changed rapidly and have become more unique. As a result, tourism providers are no longer in a position to offer pre-packaged mass products to clients. The need of the hour is to find the smallest of niches and provide customised tour solutions. 

Eco Team’s responsible tourism ethos and values remain unchanged, with the focus being on community benefit and partnerships, conservation through tourism, minimising carbon emission, and preserving local values and culture. Turning 20 in the year 2020, Eco Team continues to flourish and currently provides services to over 140 national and international companies across the globe. 

About RARE India

RARE India is a collection of some of the finest boutique hotels, palace stays, wildlife life lodges, home stays and retreats of the sub-continent. They believe in the ethos that conscious luxury travel is future ready and the RARE India community is an inclusive list of experiential hotels and hospitality concepts with a quality and style quotient that appeals to the world traveller. RARE India members believe in working with the community, and pride themselves on offering personal and high standards of service. 

RARE India hotels are often set away from the well-trodden regular routes, they aspire to tread softly on the land they are set in and preserve the innocence of the destination. Founded in 2004, RARE India’s list comprises a unique collection of boutique hotels, wildlife lodges, wellness retreats and palace stays spanning four countries – India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. RARE India is a member of RTSOI (Responsible Tourism Society of India) and also of the Indian chapters of, PATA, TOFT, IATO and the Transformational Travel Council, USA.

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Mahoora Camps Wins Coveted Best Small Accommodation Provider at Sri Lanka Tourism Awards 2018

A 2Mahoora Tented Safari Camps, acclaimed pioneers of delivering legendary hospitality in rustic settings scooped the coveted ‘Best Small Accommodation Provider’ at the recent Sri Lanka Tourism Awards 2018.

The gala event held at the Shangri-La, Colombo was celebrated amongst a host of distinguished attendees including members from the tourism industry.

Organised by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, the Sri Lanka Tourism Awards 2018 recognised exceptional local service providers who played a pivotal role in the industry, for their commitment in creating exceptional guest experiences and attracting record numbers of foreign travellers. The winners also fulfilled prerequisite criteria including contributing significantly towards service excellence in the tourism industry.

As part of eco and adventure tourism entity Eco Team, the Mahoora Tented Safari Camps offers diverse habitats ensuring a luxurious tented camping experience uniquely blending with the surroundings.

An elated Anuruddha Bandara, Founder/CEO, Eco Team (Pvt) Ltd said, “We are delighted that Mahoora Tented Safari Camps have been recognised for offering a haven of tranquil luxury to match our landscapes.  We are also incredibly honoured to receive this Award which recognises our commitment to guests’ experience.”

For over two decades, the Mahoora Tented Safari camps have been marketed and established based on the concept of private Safari camping. Today they are celebrated as a game changer in transforming Sri Lankan’s wildlife tourism.

Through Mahoora’s dedication to environmentally conscious hospitality and sustainable conservation it has achieved many firsts such as the only Tented Safari Camp to obtain partnership from TRAVELIFE and the first Tented Safari Camp in the world to go carbon neutral.

“As we continue to set the bar high in private tented safari camps, this has also enabled Sri Lanka to compete in the global wildlife tourism arena,” Bandara added.

As Mahoora continues to lead the way in its innovative approach to sustainable tourism and conservation, the company also continues to empower local communities.

Mahoora conducts recruitment mainly at field level for its raw, unskilled labour. This enables the company to focus on planned approaches to develop employees by focusing on training, development and mentoring programmes.

“By providing employment at grass root level, we develop employees and enhance their skills. This also contributes towards building their livelihoods and also those of their families. It has been extremely satisfying to watch our people and their families grow,” noted Bandara.



Mahoora Tented Safari Camps achieve Prestigious Conservation Milestone with First-ever Carbon Neutral Status 

3.CO2 Neutral tented camp LogoEco Team’s Mahoora Tented Safari Camps and Explorer by Mahoora Camps, built with the utmost respect for the environment aspiring to leave behind nothing but footprints, proudly announce a unique conservation milestone as the country’s first ever tented safari camps to be renewing it’s certification as carbon neutral .

Guests at Mahoora Tented Safari camps in Yala, Wilpattu and Udawalave together with Explorer by Mahoora located in less frequented parks such as Gal Oya, Kumana, Bundala, Maduru Oya, Dambana, Wasgamuwa, Knuckles, Minneriya are now able to enjoy the pristine wilderness with full knowledge that their travel carbon footprint has been fully offset.

Establishing a new bar of environmental stewardship and sustainability Mahoora in addition to efforts to greatly reduce gas emissions from its operations, have also offset emissions through purchasing credits. The agreement to voluntarily fund carbon neutrality from internal revenues was concluded recently. 

Based on the agreement, Eco Team (Pvt) Ltd purchased 25 tonnes of Carbon Credits on behalf of Mahoora, from Carbon Credit Capital (CCC) LLC, a global specialised carbon offset management entity linking international and local partners to high-quality carbon emission reduction projects. The newly purchased credits are generated by the ‘Wind Power’ Project at Jai Bhim by Serum Institute of India Limited, India.

Commenting on this initiative, Anuruddha Bandara, CEO of Eco Team said, “All our camps showcase and celebrate Sri Lanka’s unique beauty and biodiversity. Not only are we passionate environmentalists, we are also committed to responsible tourism, mitigating our emissions footprint, and supporting environment conservation as a way of reducing human-caused emissions. Achieving the first-ever carbon neutral status for all our camps shows that we take our emission reduction seriously and are able to set a positive example offering guests a truly eco-friendly experience.”

The purchased credits will be used from  November 2018 onwards. Guests who stay at Mahoora Camps will be presented a souvenir crafted from recycled paper with a certificate mentioning their holiday has been totally environmentally friendly and carbon neutral.

Offsetting carbon dioxide emissions is the reduction greenhouse gases in order to compensate for an emission made elsewhere. In simple terms, offsetting one tonne of carbon means will be one tonne less in the atmosphere than would otherwise have been released. It is accepted as the fastest way to achieve emission reductions and the only way to achieve carbon neutrality.

As a pioneering eco-tourism company in Sri Lanka, which firmly believes in ‘walking the talk’ Mahoora camps since 2010 have taken continuous incremental steps to reduce the emissions from its activities. These include becoming Sri Lanka's first Carbon Neutral Luxury Camp in 2010.

In addition, championing ‘Go Green & Sustainable’ through its operations Mahoora Camps use Effective Microorganism Technology (EMT) to manage waste at campsites, have made all sites a plastic free zone, use solar power to generate electricity, reduced the use of artificial lights to minimize light pollution and work closely with local communities in providing indirect benefits through its operations. 

As pioneers in achieving carbon neutrality, Mahoora Camps understand the importance of sustainable tourism. Having embraced this important ethos, the camps encourages every traveler in become a responsible tourist, who in turn are inspired by these efforts knowing their stay results in zero impact to the environment in terms of emissions.



Pioneers of Private Tented Safari Camp Mahoora Celebrate Two Decades of Curating Life-changing Journeys

- ‘Explorer by Mahoora’ to change face of camping inside National parks –


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Safaris are life-changing experiences interspersed with the delight of discovery. Providing guests an unsurpassed Sri Lankan wildlife experience, delivering legendary hospitality in rustic yet sophisticated interiors, the pioneer of private tented safari camps, Mahoora’ celebrated two decades of curated life-changing journeys recently.

Mahoora’ part of eco-sensitive and leading adventure tourism company, Eco Team, ensures travellers experience unique encounters, and a safari rich with Sri Lankan wildlife and culture.

From humble beginnings of a make-shift/mobile camping concept operating inside the main national parks and nature reserves in Sri Lanka, Mahoora has strived towards a single overriding purpose; to conserve and preserve Sri Lanka’s wilderness and wildlife by creating life-changing journeys and inspiring positive action.

“This 20th year marks a special milestone for us as we celebrate the reputation of our camps, our extraordinary staff, and strong relationships with guests and travel partners. We aim to continue to offer unique accommodation for travellers to enjoy some of Sri Lanka’s most incredible landscapes and environments in the knowledge that their stay also supports local communities and protects our ecological heritage,” said Anuruddha Bandara, Founder/CEO, Eco Team (Pvt) Ltd.

As a game changer, Mahoora’s unique new private tented camps ‘Explorer by Mahoora’ offers a more intimate and unadulterated perspective in less frequented national parks.

Covering many habitats, the camps encompass incredibly diverse and all-round experiences operating in Gal Oya, Kumana, Minneriya, Wasgamuwa, Knuckles, Sinharaja and Bundala National parks with future plans to expand into the country’s three larger national parks; Yala, Udawalawe and Wilpattu.

Mahoora by explorer tentThrough ‘Explorer by Mahoora’ guests can rediscover a private and exclusive safari setting, where the peaceful essence of the park can be truly experienced.  Five to six guests enjoy unrivalled closeness to the surroundings with only a canvass separating them in rediscovering nature.

Guests very often witness the trumpeting of elephants, a sloth bear nonchalantly walking by, a roar of a leopard, all in close vicinity offering travelers true wilderness living.

The camps truly embody a sense of natural luxury and elegance - each with its own style and character harmoniously blending into the magnificent surroundings. Personal staff, ensuite bathrooms, running water, showers, fans, single beds, linen etc., provides a fully serviced camping experience that is comfortable yet remains rustic; a truly memorable experience where guests experience true wilderness amidst unique natural settings.

Each Mahoora camp is unique and distinctive as the environment that surrounds them. The beautiful interiors feature earthy tones that echo the magnificent natural setting, while a sophisticated safari style offers a contemporary spin on the traditional tented camp.

With the aim of creating immersive and meaningful experiences, Mahoora introduces guests to every aspect of private tented safari camping; from relaxing in camp, dining in the bush to observing nature unfold or even getting to know staff, their heritage and culture.

Mahoora stays true to the belief that its service offering must be a true example of effectively balancing ecological needs linking responsible tourism with conservation and the community.

Using technology and innovation in order to minimise both the carbon and physical footprint and being cost effective ensuring meaningful and lasting benefits to its natural environments is fitting ethos for Mahoora as it continues to create exceptional journeys that are truly sustainable.

Inspired by Eco Team’s philosophy as an authentic and sustainable ecotourism company, Mahoora aims to continue to provide each guest real experiences, positively impacting the ongoing biodiversity of the country’s wilderness heritage and the empowerment of its people.

Today, providing private tented safari camps, through Mahoora and ‘Explorer by Mahoora’ the company aims to offer guests an authentic tailor-made safari experience, warm local hospitality and sublime natural luxury.



Mahoora Yala in world’s top 10

‘Most Romantic Safari Lodges’

HuffingtonlogoSIDESri Lanka’s very own Mahoora Tented Safari Camps in Yala made it into a list of the world’s top 10 most romantic safari lodges recently, marking yet another memorable milestone. Mahoora was picked by Huffington Post, a premier global online news site, in an article featuring the 10 most romantic safari lodges in the world.

The listing highlights Mahoora’s excellence and reaffirms its commitment to providing truly unforgettable experiences to discerning travellers. The top picks included widely-popular safari lodges in Africa and one in India, making the Lankan operation’s achievement all the more noteworthy. While this accolade is indeed a highpoint for Mahoora, it’s not really surprising that it was included in the top 10 list, given that Mahoora has a proven track record of offering guests a truly outstanding experience every single time.

The luxury tented safari camp operation of Eco Team (Pvt.) Ltd., is the pioneer provider of tented safari camping in Sri Lanka and has perfected its offering over the years. A Mahoora camping experience is unlike any other wildlife experience available in Sri Lanka, as it takes you to right into the heart of nature without sacrificing on luxury.

Its luxury tented accommodation is akin to that of a star-class hotel and comprises hot water, fully-functional toilets, toiletries, luxurious bedding, and a range of other amenities that go hand-in-hand with a Mahoora experience.  Reaffirming its commitment to the environment and in line with eco-friendly and sustainable practices, the tents themselves are fabricated in Sri Lanka using locally-sourced environmentally-friendly material of the highest standards.

In fact, Mahoora also takes pride in being the world’s first carbon neutral mobile tented safari camp company and has taken steps to offset its comparably low operational footprint for the betterment of the environment. Yala National Park is the most popular mobile tented camping destination the operator offers, owing to the park’s high concentration of wild Sri Lankan leopards. It also operates luxury camps in 11 other locations throughout Sri Lanka, taking into account the diverse wildlife experiences that this island has to offer.

Mahoora Elite Tented Camps operate in prime wildlife locations such as Wilpattu, Udawalawe, Minneriya, Sinharaja, Kumana, and Bundala. Experienced naturalist guides are part of every wildlife safari tour, making each experience all the more memorable, and Mahoora promises – and delivers – an unmatched experience in every instance, be it a jeep safari in Yala or a walking safari in Knuckles.

Commenting on Mahoora’s inclusion in Huffington Post UK’s listing in its lifestyle section, Eco Team (Pvt.) Ltd. CEO Anuruddha Bandara attributed it to the hard work and dedication of his team. “We are truly delighted to be recognised once again as one of the world’s best in what we do. We consider this a reward for our commitment to delivering high-quality experiential safari products suitable for niche groups. We specialise in providing a private high-end romantic atmosphere in the midst of the wilderness for couples on their honeymoon and others. I am grateful to my hardworking team that Mahoora was recognised by Huffington Post UK,” he added.

Each Mahoora experience is as unique and as exciting as the next, especially given Sri Lanka’s varied and impressive wildlife offering, which never fails to amaze, ranging from majestic leopards to the truly impressive list of birds that call the island home. Mahoora is well-equipped to provide private accommodation on request, providing honeymooners an amazing overall experience – be it a romantic lantern-lit dinner for two on the banks of a river, or having meals served in the privacy and intimacy of the tent.


Mahoora Yala Hosts Special Guest, Marco Pierre White

marco pierre white visit to yala national park sri lanka

World-renowned celebrity chef and restaurateur Marco Pierre White spent a night of Sri Lanka safari at Mahoora Tented Safari Camps Sri Lanka, and enjoyed a host of delicious dishes that showcased some of Sri Lanka’s traditional cuisine, during his visit to the Yala National Park last month.

White, who had numerous Sri Lankan chefs and food enthusiasts buzzing when he visited the island in January, is widely considered to be one of Britain’s most recognisable food pioneers and has been dubbed the world’s first celebrity chef, even being introduced as the godfather of modern cooking during a special appearance on MasterChef Australia.


Over the years, he has specialised in British, French and Italian cuisine while working under legendary chefs such as Albert and Michel Roux, Raymond Blanc and Nico Ladenis. His inspiring journey through the culinary world saw him earn celebrated status at a young age, becoming the youngest chef ever to have been awarded three Michelin stars, at the time, for his illustrious ‘The Restaurant Marco Pierre White’. White inspired an entire generation of culinary magicians and his prowess as a mentor has seen the likes of celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Curtis Stone and Shannon Bennett who have gone on to open some of the best restaurants in the world.


While exploring the Yala National Park on 24 and 25 January, he spent a night in the luxurious Mahoora Elite Tent. White was also treated to a fine dining experience in the wilderness, which aimed to fuse all the culinary traditions of the tropical island with some of the techniques he himself has perfected throughout his celebrated career.

The in-camp chef pulled out all the stops with a host of traditional dishes designed to impress even the most critical of palates. Some of the dishes presented to the culinary master included a beautifully prepared fried lake fish with crunchy vegetable salad, which was accompanied by a warm and comforting bowl of wing bean soup (Dambala). White also enjoyed juicy barbequed seafood skewers along with an assortment of crunchy local vegetables as well as a Sri Lankan favourite, vegetable kottu followed by another local classic in the form of pancakes stuffed with panipol.marco perrie white at mahoora camps yala national park sri lanka


White was also presented with a mouth-watering assortment of all of the island’s favourite sweets including thalaguli (sesame balls), puhul dosi (pumpkin preserve), milk toffee, pol toffee (coconut toffee) and Kalu dodol.

He also enjoyed a traditional breakfast in the camp, as he was presented with
an assortment of local breads with freshly squeezed papaw (papaya) juice and a variety of tropical jams. White was presented a fusion of some of
Sri Lanka’s favourite breakfast dishes including a warm bowl of Kurakkan Kenda, made of finger millet along with jaggery. A full course of Kiribath
soon followed with an appetising list of accompaniments such as lunumiris (hot chilli paste), seeni sambol and malu ambulthiyal – a traditional preparation of fish curry.marco perrie white with channa jayasundera

White was also taken on two thrilling safaris in the most esteemed wildlife park in the country, famed for its unmatched range of endemic flora and fauna which includes the regal Sri Lankan leopards, elephants and sloth bears.

Before parting company with the Mahoora team, Marco gave a glowing review of the luxurious outdoor setting as well as the team’s efforts to provide him with a taste of Sri Lankan cuisine and its wild treasures.

marco perrie white giving feedback for mahoora tented safari camps yala sri lankaThe legendary chef wrote:

“The jewel in Yala’s crown. Words cannot express
the visual impact. Wonderful, beautiful, magical are just a few. I’m moved and humbled with respect.”

Accompanying Marco on his journey through Yala was Andrew Bennett – Chef Director of Black and White Hospitality which handles the
operations of Marco’s New York Italian and Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill. Meanwhile, the Mahoora team was profuse in their praises of the event’s sponsors – Cinnamon Hotels, Land Rover, Sri Lankan Airlines and Knorr.


Much more than just a great place to stay

"Thanks to our guide Avinka we had five great safaris staying four nights just after reopening this February. The staff made us feel so very welcome during the entire stay.

The safaries are just wonderful, and having a great guide in your vehicle makes a big difference. Avinka can spot animals you would never see and we were even lucky enough to sight leopards on the trees, close to our vehicle, and also running through the field. The wildlife is so exciting that you will have a great experience even if you don‘t see any leopards. We also had a great driver, which is essential if you drive through difficult territory. You are being taken care of the entire time, so even for those who do safaris for the first time, you will always feel safe.

The camp itself is very comfortable, you get everything you can think of, and on top of the great food being served with so much attention and friendliness. You also get wonderful vegetarian and vegan options. They put on bonfires at night, which makes it unforgettable.
When booking and making plans, you get great support from the headquarters, even if it gets difficult since you have to change your plans.
The best thing what can happen to you at the end of a vacation is when you are a bit sad to leave the place, having experienced something to remember forever, and the team does everything for this to happen. Thank you so much"

Axel S wrote, Traveled with family
January 2021

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