About Us


Cinnamon Nature Trails

Award-winning Wildlife and Adventure Tourism Division at Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts

Years of experience in the field and a focus on excursions tailored to your taste have made us one of Sri Lanka’s leading eco-excursion providers.

We’ve also worked hand-in-hand with top film production teams from National Geographic, BBC Natural History, Ammonite UK, Animal Planet and more to spread the word about Sri Lanka’s fascinating natural world.

People We Work With

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What you’re signing up for

We deliver experiences that adhere to global standards of responsible tourism, and also allow you to actively engage with the communities you visit. Our Nature Trails team has worked closely with world-renowned wildlife enthusiasts from organisations like National Geographic and the BBC.
Jonathan and Angela Scott, Amos Nachoum, Tony Wu and Ami Vittal in particular left a lasting impression.

Equipment and safety info

Cinnamon Nature Trails naturalist team uses Canon DSLR Photo gear and they also have DSLR equipment on rentals. Among the cameras are Canon D60, Canon 700D DSLR bodies and a list of EF lenses such as;
Canon 70-200mm f2.8
Canon 100-400mm f5.6
Canon 750300mm f5.6equipmentWe also have Hawk and Nikon Binorculars for the use of our guests while Kite Optics will soon join the teams kit bag. For professional Photo Tours, we use Canon D60 and Sigma 150-500mm lenses while Chitral Jayatilake uses; Canon 1DX, Canon 5D Mark II & Canon 500mm f4 IS II and accessories.

We will provide bean bags for photographers on site.All boats used for Whale and Dolphin watching contain life jackets, and the captain and crew are qualified with years of sea-going experience. They also follow guidelines set by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society which promotes responsible whale watching. The boats are registered with the relevant authorities and the passengers on board will be fully insured.
Our water sports partner uses premium quality equipment that is maintained and serviced regularly by trained staff for the safety for our divers. Further, diving competencies of each individual will be checked by the dive master prior to the excursion.

Meet the Team

With their dedication and unmatched expertise, our highly skilled naturalists craft diverse experiences with birds, land mammals, marine life and amphibians. Here’s a closer look at the people who make it all possible.

Chitral-Jayatilake
Chitral J

The Hawk-Eye

Having won his first photography award at the age of 17 from the Duke of Edinburgh, senior naturalist Chitral Jayatilake now has over 30 years of experience as a wildlife photographer. His inspiration and enthusiasm are the driving force behind the team, and his networking skills have taken wildlife tourism in Sri Lanka to the next level.

vimukthi
Vimukthi

Senior Biologist, Vimukthi has 25 years of experience walking the length and breadth of Sri Lanka’s wilderness and conducting research in many fronts, he was the key driving force behind the Publication on Wilpattu National Park completed by IUCN – Sri Lanka in 2002. He has also received training from the Wildlife Institute of India on wildlife management. Before join Cinnamon Nature Trails, Vimukthi worked as an Operations Director of the Environmental foundation Ltd and was also the Head of the Biodiversity and species program of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Sri Lanka Country office. Vimukthi is a professional nature photographer with perhaps one of Sri Lanka’s best collection of bird images including a few rare highland endemics.

Nilantha-Kodithuwakku
Nilantha

The All-Rounder

Throughout his 15 years of experience, Nilantha has become an expert in tracking Sri Lanka’s Big Five: the leopard, the sloth bear, the elephant, the sperm whale and the blue whale. As one of the most knowledgeable field naturalists in the country, Nilantha heads the field team.

Sampath-Gunasinghe
Sampath

The Bug Specialist

Meet the team’s aficionado on all things creepy crawly! This humble naturalist has in the past worked at the Hiyare Forest Reserve and Wildlife Conservation Centre for research and wildlife education, and is also skilled in tracking leopards.

Tharaka-Koggala
Tharaka

The High-Flyer

A member of the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka, Tharaka has a keen ear for birdcalls, and provides richly informative excursions through Sri Lanka’s dry zones. He began his field studies back in 1998 under Prof Sarath Kotagama, and has since worked at many leading eco resorts around Dambulla and Habarana.

Dhaya

The Big Fish

PADI certified open water diver Dhaya is the head marine naturalist on the team, and one of the most sought-after in the country. He oversees all seafaring activities, including snorkelling at Pigeon Island, free diving and whale tracking.

Gayan

The Tracker

The youngest on the team, Gayan’s passion for nature has moulded him into an expert leopard tracker. One of the more popular trackers in Yala, he has previously worked with the BBC Natural History Unit and world-renowned photographers.

Kolitha

The Artist

Keen artist and designer Kolitha began his career in nature as a former scout and cadet, and went on to work as a material development officer in the Upper Mahaweli Environment and Forest Conservation Section. He’s an expert in the fields of birding and butterfly identification.

Mohan

The Primate Expert

Mohan began his field studies back in 2000 under the Smithsonian primate biology project at Polonnaruwa. He is a member of the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka and also a member of the Young zoologist association Sri Lanka His primary interests are in mammals & birds.
 

Conservation: a way of life

Our organisation is deeply involved with the surrounding local communities, creating opportunities for self-employment by encouraging them to partner with us in our endeavours. Our guides, drivers and village suppliers are practically family, and we do our best to assist their livelihoods.
Our accomplishments include camera trap-based research in Block 1 of Yala National Park, and Project Leopard – an initiative focused on protecting the livelihood of cattle farmers in close proximity to the big cats of the park.

We were also the first team to launch sustainable whale watching on the eastern coast.
Annual surveys around our resorts help us to keep a close eye on any effect our operations may have on the biodiversity of the neighbouring environment.
Thanks to these efforts, we were awarded Best Eco Tourism Service Provider at the Sri Lanka Tourism Awards 2011/12.Read more….


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