April is one of the best months to see spinner dolphins in Kalpitiya. So, on Sunday morning, at 7.30 am, we hopped on our resort boat to see these magnificent marine creatures. At first, we were a little worried. It was one of those unexpectedly windy late March mornings. The big waves looked to us as if they were a green-eyed monster. However, as we went deep into the big blue bowl, we were welcomed with calmer waters, azure blue in color. Soon, our eyes were searching for the friendly creatures in the ocean.
Two boats appeared. Then a few more. A little later, we saw the first sight of spinner dolphins. Hundreds of spinner dolphins swam in circles, appeared, disappeared and reappeared. These amazing creatures can grow up to 6 - 7 ft. in length. Nocturnal creatures, they sleep when the sun emerges over the blue skies and are active beings at night. A carnivore, spinner dolphins depend on squids, small fish, and shrimps.
They are also cooperative hunters. Swimming together as large pods, to locate the position of fellow dolphins and develop hunting strategies, they use clicks and whistles to communicate with each other. Enthusiastic and social, spinner dolphins live in pods and each pod can contain 100 to 1000 dolphins. They travel large distances to avoid ever-changing ocean temperatures and find a continuous supply of food resources. Sometimes, on their travels, they join the routes of spotted dolphins and sperm whales.
They can dive about 900 meters in depth and stay in deep waters for about 8 minutes. In the wild marine world, they can swim for 20 to 30 years. Pregnancies last for 10 months and once every three years, females produce one baby spinner dolphin.
The month of April also sees the arrival of humpback whales, bottlenose dolphins, and the magnificent blue whale -- the largest animal on Earth! Come soon and stay with us at Elements for an unforgettable experience. We organize dolphin watching and whale watching trips until the season ends.
A wide-open, golden coastline, powdery sand beneath your feet, and two flatwater lagoons perfect for kitesurfing, Elements -- fringed with coconut trees -- sits next to the beautiful Indian Ocean in Kappalady. An eco beach resort in Sri Lanka, our concept is all about living in harmony with nature. For those who join us, even if it’s for a few days, here is how a perfect day at Elements look like.
7AM: Wake up in your cabana, to the rustling noise of the palm leaves gently hugging one another. Morning yoga takes place in our pool area, overlooking the azure blue waters. Your walk this morning is adorned by bim thamburu (goat’s foot) flowers, painted in pink with a purple tinge dancing to the welcoming breeze. Don’t forget to say hello to our resident donkeys!
8AM: Breakfast time. Our restaurant overlooking the ocean dishes up some delicious Sri Lankan meals for brekki. Let your feet embrace the touch of soft, golden brown sand as you feast on.
9AM: Before the midday sun barks in its all glory, kayak in our flatwater lagoons or join some SUP (stand up paddling) fun.
11AM: The sun shines bright now. Time to hit the pool before lunch!
1PM: Lunch! A la-carte menu. You can go Sri Lankan with rice & curry or opt for salads, fruity bowls, sandwiches, pasta and other continental dishes.
2PM: Grab a good read. We’ve set up a few sunbeds with eco-friendly sun umbrellas at the beach. The breaking waves, those that sent you to sleep last night will now gently tickle you. The warm salty seabreeze is a welcoming touch to hot afternoons at Elements.
3.30PM: On a good windy day, set yourself up for a downwinder. Out kite school Kite Center Sri Lanka is occupied with local and foreign, multilingual kite instructors. We also have a kite shop for all your kite gear needs.
6PM: The sun bids goodbye over the horizon, painting western skies in different shades. Grab a drink at our beach bar and witness a magical moment.
7.30PM: Dinner starts early at Elements, allowing plenty of time before a goodnight’s sleep. A huge buffet style feast, meals are usually cooked in traditional Sri Lankan style. Vegetables are either sourced from our in-house garden or nearby village farms. Fresh seafood is directly purchased from local village fishmongers at Kappalady.
9.30PM: Bed time. Before you hit the bed, cool down with a rain shower in our open-air washroom while thousands of stars twinkle in the night sky. The chilly night wind keeps our cabanas cool, and the faint hum of lapping waves will put you to sleep.
At Elements, we want you to relax, find your passion, paint new stories, and live in the nature, with nature’s charm. It’s a place where global voices come together, meet and mingle with each other, sharing stories, to find answers to the chaotically beautiful journey called life.
At Elements, our dream is to inspire everyone to follow their passion, to find their freedom and to be inspired by all the beautiful ‘elements’ in our beautiful place. Living in a little village named Kappalady in tropical Sri Lanka, our aim is to create a warm, comforting hub where people from across the world come over, and connect with each other. Every single day, we learn little things about a self-sufficient, eco-conscious living. And we hope, our guests, even for a little time, be inspired by our self-sufficient initiatives at Elements.
A few months ago, in a warm tropical summer in Sri Lanka, we restarted our little garden at Elements. Being closer to the ocean, not many vegetables and fruits easily grow on this soil, so we had to nurture the soil before it was ready for cultivation. At Elements, we have our compost bin. Once it was done, we started small vegetable beds. While we grew vegetables such as chili, luffa and cucumber which are easily grown in the tropical climate, we also cultivated tomatoes, onions and a plenty of Sri Lankan herbs and spices.
The plants were watered and nurtured daily by our in-house staff. Slowly, little buds started appearing. Many vegetable plants were finally old enough to blossom freely. Gardening is not only about self-sufficient living or having your own food, it’s also a therapy to your soul. A few weeks later arrived the results. Imagine seeing the first few tomatoes with a slight tinge of red on top? Your first few pumpkins wicked-smiling at you? There are the little things we love.
We also have 600 coconut trees, and about 100 of them are cultivated for self-supply purposes. We had also grown a bunch of plantains and pomegranate trees, which take longer to bear fruit. They are also hard to keep away from our in-house squirrel and bird friends. A quick, simple way to protect them is to cover them with your single-use plastic bags which otherwise may end up in the waste bin. Single-use plastic is only single-use if you don’t repurpose them. Avoiding single use plastic is the best method, but if you face occasions you are unable to avoid plastic, repurpose them for something else. Dumping them right away isn’t sustainable.
Of course, the harvest isn’t quite enough to sustain our resort everyday with a number of guests heading from all over the globe. We cover shortages from our village. We directly buy vegetables and fruits from village households, so we can directly contribute to their livelihood. Our seafood comes daily from the village fishmongers, too.
Apart from this, last month, we also adopted a two new friends. Meet Johann and Walter, who are the new resident members.
We hope you all have a beautiful start to the New Year!
When November arrives, the sea becomes calmer. Choppier winds are no more. November is the beginning of the high season at Elements, with mid-December to mid-January being the busiest time. The month of December is also when dolphins arrive in near ocean waters. These magnificent mammals like calmer seas, particularly when the sea is at its calmest during the months of November and December. However, the dolphin watching season runs till April.
Where to see dolphins in Sri Lanka?
Did you know that the Indian Ocean surrounding the Kalpitiya Peninsula is the best place to watch dolphins in Sri Lanka? Three miles from Elements, you will get to see hundreds of dolphins during the season.
Dolphins are smart. Their brains evolved just like of us humans. There are 32 types of dolphins who frequent the sea waters while five types of dolphins live in the rivers. Many varieties of sea dolphins are found in shallow, tropical waters.
You’ll see hundreds, or maybe even thousands (if you are lucky) of spinner dolphins at Kappalady. Did you ever think why dolphins are found in large pods? Because these amazing creatures are a playful, lively bunch. They are very social and in one pod, you can even find 1000 members who play together.
At Elements, we organize dolphin watching tours from the beginning of November. A tour boat consists of a maximum of 6 guests, a driver and a guide. For tour rates and equipment, visit our Dolphin Watching Kalpitiya page.
A few miles from Elements, you will even see blue whales, sperm whales, and grey whales -- some of the largest mammals to ever exist in the world. Sperm whales are the largest toothed whales in the world. These amazing creatures also have the largest brain of any animal. Large sperm whales can grow up to 67 ft. long and weigh somewhere around 65 tons.
Their fellows. the magnificent blue whales are massive, being known as the largest animals to ever exist. A normal blue whale grows 80-100 ft in length and weighs around 200 tons. They consume krill, a tiny marine crustacean, at least 9000 pounds of them a day.
Ethical dolphin watching and whale watching tours in Sri Lanka
Being some of the friendliest, brainiest animals, it’s no doubt that dolphins have very few natural enemies. Some bigger species of sharks and killer whales consume smaller dolphins. However, dolphins are carnivores themselves, who mainly eat fish and squids. We, humans, are sadly the biggest enemies of dolphins today. And even of whales. Sadly, for both both whales and dolphins, ship strikes and global warming are some of the biggest threats today.
Plastic is one of the biggest threats. Plastic bags and micro-plastics are a danger to dolphins. Unfortunately, boat traffic and noise can be very dangerous to these creatures as well. Boats can cause injuries while noise pollution can cause dolphins to move away from their breeding grounds. The large noise and tourist boats chasing one after another can be a disturbance to ocean mammal life. It may cause the large pods of dolphins to scatter, which will be extremely dangerous for mothers and their young calves.
This is why we have to be ethical in our activities. At Elements, our boats don’t chase after dolphins. We observe them from far. We are based at Kappalady, one of the quieter areas of Kalpitiya which makes it one of the best and ethical places to see dolphins in Sri Lanka.
Dolphins are also hunters, so please avoid giving them food. If they get used to this, they will expect to be dependent on hand-outs which are a threat to natural wildlife.
As part of the World Environment Day, we together with the hotels and establishments in Kappalady contributed to the Ocean Waste Disposal Program initiated by Ceylon Environment Authority (CEA). To put this great concept into practice, we at Elements Resort, with the help of our staff, picked up all the beach waste around Elements resort premises, and the beach waste was loaded onto the tractor at 10 AM. The tractor was then placed next to the village school from 11-12 AM, where all the hotels in Kappalady were able to drop their segregated waste, plastic, PET and paper. The tractor then left to Palakuda Junction at 12 PM. At 12.30 PM, INSEE Cement picked up all the ocean waste of Kalpitiya region. The gathered plastic waste which was brought in by hotels was then taken for incineration in their plant by INSEE Cement.
Apart from this, Elements organize beach waste disposal programs from time to time. Our staff and guests enthusiastically contribute and take part in such eco-conscious events. We are blessed to be living in a beautiful world, and call this planet our home. And it’s our duty and responsibility to preserve the beauty of the environment for future generations. At Elements, we take a great effort to keep this world clean and preserve our environment. As a result, we now avoid everyday plastic consumption as much as we can. One example is the plastic mineral water bottles in our cabanas and villas which were replaced by reusable glass bottles. Guests can refill these glass water bottles at the dining hall from an unlimited, filtered water supply.
Single-use plastic consumption has caused severe damages to the beautiful world we live in. Here are a few ways how you could avoid single-use plastic in day-to-day life and adapt environmental-conscious practices to your lifestyle.
1. Carry a reusable bag made of cloth. Say NO to plastic bags in supermarkets. 2. Avoid plastic containers at restaurants. Carry your own metal container for takeaways. 3. Carry your own travel mug for takeaway coffee and beverages. 4. Say NO to plastic straws. Opt for reusable straws made of bamboo, metal or even grass. 5. Avoid plastic spoons. Carry your reusable metal spoons.
Let’s make every day a World Environment Day and treat our planet with love and care.