Award Winning Nature Trails at Cinnamon Lodge Habarana

Award Winning Nature Trails at Cinnamon Lodge Habarana
December 3, 2019 Bradley Cox

Green Globe Gold certified property, the Cinnamon Lodge Habarana has created a unique ecosystem that is built on afforested land situated close to a lake. The resort is surrounded by over 2000 trees, home to many different exotic birds and animals. A few minutes away is the Minneriya National Park where the largest gathering of elephants takes place annually.

Cinnamon Lodge Habarana first began its award-winning nature conservation programs in 2008. The resort’s Nature Trails are intriguing wide ranging projects that focus on elephants, primates and birds. Some of the wildlife reside within the resort grounds itself and others can be found in the surrounding national parks. Future planned proposals aim to enhance guest experiences with nature and facilitate the collection of valuable data for research.

Cinnamon Elephant Project

The Cinnamon Elephant Project was started in collaboration with Dr. Pruthuviraj Fernando and his Centre for Conservation and Research in 2014. The project was designed to identify the movement pattern of elephants in the area and use the data for the betterment of the elephants as well as humans.

Later in 2017, resort staff worked with the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) to fix radio collars on two selected females to track their movements and monitor population densities. The two radio collared females chosen were ‘Kanya’ from Kaudulla National Park and ‘Minerva’ from Minneriya National Park. The elephants exact GPS positions are sent every 4 hours while the VHF beacon transmits a signal constantly indicating the position of each herd.

Both elephants live in large herds. Minerva, the younger of the two animals, displays a strong personality and Kanya, who is older, is easily identifiable by a missing part of her tail with no tail tuft. It was discovered that Minerva’s herd was more nomadic over time than Kanya’s, moving from park to park and ending up at Kaudulla N.P. Kanya’s herd, on the other hand, stayed within the same area. The project has won two international awards and one national award for its findings.

In future, to inform and educate guests further about this important ongoing conservation work, Cinnamon Lodge Habarana plans to establish a Cinnamon Elephant Project Display of elephant IDs, a GPS Map detailing the elephants movements and a Radio collar. They also hope to convert an old elephant dung paper factory into a dedicated Cinnamon Elephant Project Centre.

Birds at Cinnamon Lodge

Cinnamon Lodge has been certified as a Bird Friendly Resort by the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka. 162 bird species including 9 endemic and 21 migrant species are recorded as living at the resort premises. Guests can expect to see between 25 to 40 bird species during a 90 min Bird Watching Trek at the property. Future proposals include a dedicated bird nesting area, bird identification boards at bird watching points and setting up areas where birds can safely rest and/or drink water.

Monkeying Around

One Gray Langur troop and two Macaque troops permanently live within the property’s grounds while several other monkey troops make their home in the garden. Resort trees provide food and shelter and the garden is a sanctuary for resident primates. To foster biodiversity, Sinhala Ulu or traditional handcrafted roof tiles have been used instead of other roofing materials to allow monkeys easy access when searching for food lodged between tiles.

Primate Watching is one of the Naturalist guided excursions at the Cinnamon Lodge and two staff members also specialize in mitigating any human-monkey conflict that may occur. Cinnamon Lodge plans to create an iconic monkey mascot that adults and children can take a selfie with and share their special wildlife experience.


Nikhil Gunawardena
Cinnamon Hotel Management Ltd.
Cinnamon Lakeside Commercial Complex
No.117, Sir Chittampalam A Gardinar Mawatha
Colombo 02
Tel : +94 (0) 11 2306 000
Direct : +94 (0) 11 2306 841 | Intranet: 62841
Fax : +94 (0) 11 2320862
E-mail :
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