How Everything Started
Natural Mystic Sanctuary was created in June 2013 by Sam and Karina Starnes.
After travelling around Sri Lanka for a couple of weeks they visited the rainforest area.
Lucklily they discovered this land and fell in love with the huge Banyan tree, the river with it´s
natural pools and the peaceful surroundings.
NMS is a self sustainable living project to protect the environment and provide a safe place
for the trees, plants, animals and people.
After building a small mud house to live in, over 1000 trees were planted. These were to
replace the trees that would have been here before, most were cut down around 100 years ago
to make this a tea estate. The planting included fruit, spices, hardwood
and rare ayurvedic trees as well as some vegetables and herbs.
The upper buildings were then built and completed in Nov 2016 when the Eco Lodge
was started, allowing others to come and enjoy this piece of paradise and support
NMS continues to plant and grow organic fruits, spices, herbs and vegetables to supply
fresh and natural food to it’s guests.
We work hard to maintain and further develop this Sancrtuary.
Offering more comfort to our guests and increasing biodiversity for nature´s recovery are
our main goals. Noticing an increasing amount of wild animals like monkeys, birds,
butter- and fireflies, deer and many more species since we first came here, makes us very
happy and encourages our work. The positive feedback of our guests
fuels our work.
Also we would like to inspire the local community to take more care of their unique
environment through protecting trees & animals (specially the unprotected rainforests like
our Diyadawa range). Unfortunately even Sri Lanka´s last primary rainforest the
Sinharaja is endangered through illegal logging, mining, expanding tea
plantations and a growing population.
Avoiding plastics and using more renewable energy is another topic we like to promote.
We believe that new ideas like combining living self sustainable and sharing this
experience with visitors can be adopted by locals in order to make an income
through eco tourism and save the rainforest.