About us

Who we are

At Polonnaruwa we operate the Primate Center Lodge known locally also as the Monkey Camp.  This facility accommodates guests and research personnel and is the central hub for research activity.  It is also known formally as the Smithsonian Primate Research Station. Google maps pinpoint our location. We are professional biologists engaged in the scientific research of primates and we offer educational programs. Our studies on the monkeys have been highlighted in several documentary films, notably the movie theater film “Monkey Kingdom” (produced with Disney Nature), as well many TV productions on the BBC, Discovery, Animal Planet, Smithsonian Channel and others.   We publish our new research discoveries regularly in scientific journals and the popular media.

Visitor can book educational tours and accommodations directly, though international booking sites (e.g., Booking.com, AirBnB) or local tour agents.

Official Affiliations

  • Our activities come under the umbrella of a registered non-profit company in Sri Lanka: The Association for the Conservation of Primate Diversity (ACPD). It can accept donations, or market for the support of conservation, research and education.  Dr. Dittus is the Chairman of the ACPD and Mr. Sunil Gunathilake is the Co-chairman.
  • Dr. Dittus is a Visiting Research Professor at the National Institute of Fundamental Studies, Sri Lanka, where he leads the Primate Biology Project since 1983. We do collaborative research with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Health at the University of Peradeniya and others.  Learn more
  • The Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, USA has a long history of promoting the primate studies and Dr. Dittus is a Researcher at the Conservation Ecology Center, Smithsonian Conservation Ecology Institute (SICB).   Learn more

Mission Statement

We advance scientific knowledge for conserving wildlife, and for a better understanding of the evolution of primate society and man’s place in nature.

We have dedicated over 50 years to the comprehensive research of wild primate populations. Working locally at Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka, our educational reach is nonetheless global through publications, documentary films and other programs. We teach and inspire people to appreciate wildlife, particularly primates, and their habitats and to protect them. We practice conservation leadership in all we do.