Sri Lanka, a resplendent island nation, boasts a treasure trove of national parks, each showcasing the country’s rich biodiversity. Yet, nestled amidst the more prominent ones lies a secret haven for nature enthusiasts – Gal Oya National Park. Often overshadowed by its illustrious counterparts, Gal Oya offers an unparalleled wildlife experience, captivating landscapes, and a glimpse into a Sri Lanka less touched by tourism.


A Sanctuary Untamed: Location and How to Get There

Gal Oya National Park graces the eastern province of Sri Lanka, cradled amidst the verdant embrace of the Mahaweli River basin. Encompassing an area of roughly 25,900 hectares, the park serves as the lifeblood of the colossal Senanayake Samudraya, the island’s largest reservoir. Reaching this unspoiled haven requires a scenic journey. From Colombo, the capital city, a comfortable train ride or a road trip of approximately 250 kilometers will lead you towards the park’s borders. For those seeking a more relaxed approach, the charming town of Ampara, situated 65 kilometers away, serves as a convenient gateway.

Travellers venturing from the popular tourist hubs can embark on an adventure to Gal Oya. While farther than some national parks, the distance can be easily incorporated into a well-planned itinerary. From Kandy, the cultural capital, a scenic drive of around 200 kilometers will unveil Gal Oya’s beauty. Similarly, travelers in Ella, a haven for trekkers, can reach the park in approximately 180 kilometers. Sigiriya, the famed Lion Rock, lies roughly 230 kilometers away, offering an opportunity to combine cultural immersion with a wildlife encounter.


A Tapestry of Life: Flora and Fauna of Gal Oya National Park

Gal Oya National Park transcends the concept of a mere wildlife sanctuary. Its diverse landscapes, a mosaic of lush rainforests, sprawling grasslands, and the shimmering expanse of Senanayake Samudraya, provide a habitat for a plethora of flora and fauna. The park’s verdant heart shelters a rich tapestry of trees, including the majestic satinwood and the life-giving halmilla, used in traditional Sri Lankan medicine.

Birdwatchers will be enthralled by the vibrant symphony of over 150 avian species flitting through the foliage. From the majestic grey heron to the elusive Sri Lanka bush lark, each bird adds a stroke to the park’s ecological canvas. But the true stars of Gal Oya are undoubtedly its majestic mammals. The park boasts one of the healthiest elephant populations in Sri Lanka, and witnessing these gentle giants roaming free or even swimming across the reservoir is an unforgettable experience.

Leopards, sloth bears, and a variety of deer species also call Gal Oya home, adding to the park’s faunal diversity. Keep your eyes peeled for the shy toque macaque monkeys swinging through the trees, and be sure to listen for the distinctive calls of the langur monkeys echoing through the forest.


When to Immerse Yourself in Gal Oya’s Magic

The best time to visit Gal Oya National Park is during the dry season, which stretches from May to September. During this period, the skies are clear, offering excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing. The park remains accessible throughout the year, but the lush vegetation during the wet season (October to April) can make spotting animals a little more challenging.


Unveiling the Enchantment: Things to Do in Gal Oya

1. Embark on a Boat Safari: Unlike any other national park in Sri Lanka, Gal Oya offers the unique experience of a boat safari. Glide across the tranquil waters of Senanayake Samudraya, keeping watch for elephants cooling off in the reservoir or crocodiles basking on the shores. This unparalleled perspective allows you to witness wildlife behavior from a fresh angle.

2. Explore the Land on Jeep Safaris: Venture deep into the heart of the park on a thrilling jeep safari. With a knowledgeable guide by your side, uncover the hidden corners of Gal Oya, encounter a variety of animals, and learn about the park’s delicate ecosystem.

3. Hike Through Picturesque Landscapes: Lace up your walking boots and embark on a nature trail. Breathe in the fresh air, marvel at the captivating scenery, and keep an eye out for shy birds and small mammals along the way.

4. Visit the Ancient Magul Vihara Monastery: Nestled within the park’s borders lies the Magul Vihara Monastery, a historical gem dating back to the 3rd century BC. Explore the ruins and delve into Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage.

5. Unwind by the Reservoir: After a day of exploration, relax by the serene shores of Senanayake Samudraya. Soak in the tranquility of the landscape and witness the breathtaking sunset painting


Explore Gal Oya National Park with Mahaweli Tours & Holidays

If you are someone who loves to visit the eastern part of Sri Lanka and loves to explore Sri Lanka, this is the ideal place you must not forget to visit. You can visit this national park with Mahaweli Tours & Holidays. We will pick you up in either Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Arugam bay, Trincomalee, Ella, or anywhere in the eastern province of Sri Lanka. Then we can arrange your transfers and other facilities. Contact us:

  • Call/Whatsapp: +94777 111553
  • Email:




(Cover Image Credit: @columbustourssrilanka from IG)

Uppuveli Beach, a crescent of golden sand nestled on Sri Lanka’s northeastern coast, offers an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking serenity and a taste of the local vibe. Uppuveli Beach rests just a stone’s throw (well, a 6km taxi ride) from Trincomalee town.


Finding Your Perfect Uppuveli Escape

Whether you’re already exploring Sri Lanka’s wonders or just starting your journey, consider adding Uppuveli Beach to your itinerary. Here’s how far it is from some key locations:

  • Trincomalee: 6 km (perfect for a historical and cultural side trip)
  • Nilaveli Beach (Uppuveli’s livelier cousin): 3 km (ideal for beach hopping!)
  • Sigiriya: 170 km (venture inland to explore the ancient Lion Rock fortress)
  • Kandy: 270 km (Sri Lanka’s hill country capital awaits!)
  • Colombo: 275 km (the bustling heart of Sri Lanka is a longer journey)


Uppuveli Beach’s Enchanting Charms:

Uppuveli beckons travelers seeking serenity and a taste of the local vibe. Here’s what awaits you:

  • Tranquil Shores: Unlike the more touristy Nilaveli, Uppuveli offers a laid-back atmosphere. Relax under swaying palm trees, listen to the rhythmic lull of the waves, and soak up the sun-kissed beauty.
  • Watery Delights: The turquoise waters are perfect for a refreshing dip, but be mindful of currents – especially during windy days. Boogie boarding and surfing lessons are also available for the adventurous souls.
  • Cultural Gems: Explore the charming fishing villages neighboring Uppuveli. Witness the traditional way of life and witness the colorful fishing boats bobbing gently on the waves.


Why Choose Uppuveli Beach for Your Next Sri Lankan Adventure?

Here are some reasons to add Uppuveli to your Sri Lankan itinerary:

  • Escape the Crowds: Uppuveli offers a more relaxed and authentic experience compared to the busier beaches.
  • Budget-Friendly Paradise: Accommodation and activities are generally more affordable than other beach destinations in Sri Lanka.
  • Foodie Paradise: Sample the fresh seafood delicacies at the beachside shacks. Don’t miss out on the local Sri Lankan curries for a true taste of the island’s cuisine!


Finding Your Perfect Time to visit Uppuveli Beach:

The best time to visit Uppuveli Beach is during the dry season, which stretches from April to September. During this period, expect clear skies, calm seas, and sunshine galore. The monsoon season (October to March) brings rain and rough waves, making swimming less ideal.


Resting Your Head in Paradise:

Uppuveli offers a range of accommodation options to suit every budget. From charming guesthouses to luxurious beachfront resorts, you’ll find the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring.


Beyond the Beach:

While Uppuveli Beach is a beach lover’s haven, there’s more to explore nearby:

  • Trincomalee: Delve into Sri Lanka’s rich history at Fort Frederick, a majestic Portuguese fort overlooking the harbor.
  • Nilaveli Beach: If you crave a livelier atmosphere with water sports and a wider range of restaurants, Nilaveli is just a short hop away from Uppuveli Beach.


So, pack your beach essentials, a thirst for adventure, and a dash of wanderlust. Uppuveli Beach awaits, ready to weave its magic on your Sri Lankan sojourn!



(Cover Image Credit: @m_and_travels from IG )

Are you looking for the for the best places to see leopards in Sri Lanka? If yes, here is the guide you must read until the end.

Sri Lanka is a beautiful island in the Indian Ocean with rich and amazing wildlife. There, you can see many national parks on this tiny island with abundant wild animals. One of the coolest animals here is the Sri Lankan leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya), a solitary hunter with a spotted coat. Seeing a leopard in the wild is something you’ll never forget, and Sri Lanka has several national parks where these big cats roam free.

This guide will tell you the best places to see leopards in Sri Lanka, perfect for tourists who want to catch a glimpse of these amazing creatures.


1) Yala National Park: The Top Spot to See Leopards in Sri Lanka

Yala National Park is the king when it comes to finding best places to see leopards in Sri Lanka. It is also the second-largest national park in Sri Lanka, and it is located in the southern province of the island. Nicknamed “the land of the leopard,” Yala has the most leopards of any place on Earth! The park has different landscapes, from dry scrubland to green forests, giving leopards a great place to live. Experts say there are 60–70 leopards in Yala, so you have a good chance of seeing one. You can go on jeep safaris with experienced guides who know the park’s five sections. Block 1 is especially famous for leopard sightings. Yala is also full of other wildlife, like elephants, sloth bears, crocodiles, and many kinds of birds.

Best time for leopard safaris in Yala: May to September, during the dry season. The fewer plants there are, the easier it is to spot these shy cats.

Read more about: Safari to Yala National Park


2) Wilpattu National Park: Leopards of the Land of Lakes

Wilpattu National Park, on Sri Lanka’s northwest coast, is another amazing place to see leopards in Sri Lanka. It is the largest national park in Sri Lanka. Unlike Yala’s many landscapes, Wilpattu has big, open plains with lots of lakes (Wilpattu means “land of the lakes” in Sinhala). These lakes and seasonal wetlands make a perfect hunting ground for leopards. Leopards aren’t quite as common here as in Yala, but Wilpattu offers a different kind of safari experience. Wilpattu has the most leopards per square kilometer in Sri Lanka, so any sighting is special. You can also see elephants, sloth bears, and cool birds like pelicans and flamingos here.

Best time for leopard safaris in Wilpattu: May to September, during the dry season.

Read more: Safari to Wilpattu National Park


3) Secret Leopard Spots: Beyond the Usual Parks

Sri Lanka has more parks than just Yala and Wilpattu where you can see leopards, although they might be harder to find. Here are two hidden gems to try:

  • Horton Plains National Park: Up in the mountains in central Sri Lanka, Horton Plains National Park is famous for its breathtaking views, like World’s End, a cliff with an amazing view. Most people wouldn’t think of leopards here, but this park gives them a quiet place to live at higher altitudes. With a good guide on a jeep safari or hike, you might just spot a leopard in the lush green mountains.

  • Kaudulla National Park: This park in north-central Sri Lanka is a paradise for wildlife lovers. The grasslands and scattered lakes here create a perfect home for leopards. While sightings aren’t as frequent as in Yala or Wilpattu, Kaudulla offers a peaceful and less crowded safari experience. You might also see elephants, wild boars, and many kinds of birds here.


Tips for the Best Leopard Safari

  • Timing is everything: The dry season in Sri Lanka, from May to September, is the best time to see leopards. There are fewer plants then, making it easier to spot these shy cats.
  • Go with a guide: An experienced guide is your best friend on a safari. They know the park’s layout and how animals behave, which greatly increases your chances of seeing a leopard.
  • Respect the wild: Remember, you’re a visitor in the leopard’s home. Stay at a safe distance, don’t make loud noises, and only use flash photography with permission.


See a Sri Lankan Leopard: An Unforgettable Adventure

Seeing a Sri Lankan leopard in its natural habitat is a memory that will last a lifetime. Whether you see a majestic male leopard checking its territory or a mother leopard caring for her cubs, the sight is sure to amaze you. So pack your bags, pick your favorite national park, and get ready for a thrilling leopard safari in Sri Lanka!

If you need to plan a safari to see Sri Lankan leopards, then contact Mahaweli Tours and Holidays. As a leading tour agency on the island, we are here to fulfill your requirements.

call/whatsapp: +94777 111553 or email:



(Cover image Credit: Dinupa De Silva)

Tucked away amidst the lush jungles bordering Kumana National Park lies Kudumbigala Monastery, a haven of serenity and historical significance for visitors seeking a unique experience in Eastern Sri Lanka. This ancient Buddhist monastery, dating back to the reign of King Devanampiyatissa in 246 BC, offers a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s rich past and a chance to commune with nature’s beauty.

For those seeking a tranquil escape, Kudumbigala Monastery is a perfect choice. Located approximately 17 miles (27 kilometers) from the popular Arugam Bay beach and 11 miles (18 kilometers) from Kumana National Park, it provides a serene counterpoint to the vibrant coastal scene. The journey itself is an adventure, as you navigate a scenic dirt road, passing through dense jungles that brim with exotic wildlife.

The historical value of Kudumbigala Monastery lies in its well-preserved caves, over 200 of which served as dwellings for Buddhist monks. The most striking feature, however, is the unique cylindrical dagoba, a monument enshrining relics, that stands atop the towering Kudumbigala rock. This dagoba is the only one of its kind in Sri Lanka, making the monastery a true archaeological treasure.

But what truly compels visitors to embark on the Kudumbigala exploration is the experience itself. The moderate hike up the rocky terrain, amidst the whispering palms and the cacophony of unseen birds, leads you to a vantage point offering breathtaking panoramic views. The surrounding jungles unfurl before you, while glimpses of the distant coastline add a touch of serenity. Here, amidst the whispering wind and the dappled sunlight filtering through the leaves, you can truly find peace and disconnect from the everyday hustle.

The surrounding wildlife adds another layer of wonder to your Kudumbigala experience. Elephants, sometimes spotted grazing in the distance, and the elusive calls of leopards from the deeper jungles create an atmosphere of untamed beauty. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the vibrant flocks flitting through the trees, while the keen observer might encounter monkeys swinging through the branches.

However, it’s important to remember that while the wildlife adds to the allure, safety comes first. It’s advisable to visit during the cooler mornings or evenings and avoid venturing out after dusk, especially if traveling alone. Always be mindful of your surroundings and maintain a safe distance from wild animals.

For those seeking a unique cultural and historical experience amidst the captivating beauty of Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province, Kudumbigala Monastery stands as a hidden gem. So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your sense of adventure, and prepare to be enthralled by this ancient haven cloaked in nature’s embrace.



(Cover Image Credit goes to the original owners)

Fort Frederick, an amazing old fort in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, is like a giant storybook come to life! This giant building by the ocean is a mix of history and beautiful scenery, making it a must-see on your Sri Lankan trip.

A Long History

Fort Frederick’s story starts way back in 1624. Back then, people called the Portuguese built the fort on a big rock next to the harbor. But there’s a twist! They used rocks from an ancient Hindu temple to build it, showing Sri Lanka’s long and interesting history.

Over the years, the fort has changed hands. The Dutch fixed it up a lot in 1665 and even gave it a new name, Fort Frederick. Then the British came along in the 1700s and made it even stronger. Today, some Sri Lankan soldiers still use the fort, but you can also visit and learn about Sri Lanka’s cool past.

Why visit Fort Frederick?

It is more than just old stuff! Walk through the giant walls and imagine what it was like to be a soldier here. Explore secret tunnels and rooms, and see old cannons that were once used in battles.

Right inside the fort, there’s also a colorful Hindu temple called Koneswaram. This shows how different religions can live together peacefully in Sri Lanka.

But Fort Frederick isn’t just about history. Climb up to the top of the walls and see amazing views of the ocean and the harbor. You might even see monkeys swinging through the trees or deer relaxing on the grass!

Things to Remember

Fort Frederick lets people visit, but some parts are closed because soldiers are still using them. If you go inside a temple, dress modestly (cover your shoulders and knees). Taking pictures is okay, but be careful in areas where it might not be allowed.

More Than Just a Fort!

Trincomalee has lots to see besides Fort Frederick. Relax on beautiful beaches with golden sand and clear blue water. Explore sacred Hindu and Buddhist temples. You can even try snorkeling or scuba diving to see amazing coral reefs and fish!

A Special Place

Fort Frederick is much more than just a fort. It’s a window into Sri Lanka’s rich history. Let this be your first step to exploring all the amazing things Trincomalee has to offer. Visit Fort Frederick and see why it belongs on your Sri Lankan adventure!

If you are seeking whale watching in Trincomalee or dolphin watching in Trincomalee, you’ve come to the right place. This article aims to provide valuable information about whale and dolphin watching tours in Trincomalee and its surroundings. We encourage you to read the full article for all the details.

The Indian Ocean boasts abundant marine wildlife, attracting various species to thrive in its waters. As an island situated in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is exposed to this diverse marine life. The coastal area surrounding Trincomalee is home to a variety of dolphins and the world’s largest animal, the whale.


Whale and Dolphin Watching in Trincomalee

While spots like Mirissa in southern Sri Lanka have been known for whale and dolphin watching, Trincomalee has recently emerged as a popular destination for observing these majestic creatures in Sri Lanka.


Whale and Dolphin Watching Season in Trincomalee

Sri Lanka experiences two primary tourism seasons. The period from October to April marks the season for the southern and southwest regions, while the east coast season runs from April to September. Trincomalee, situated in the eastern part of Sri Lanka, offers the opportunity to witness whales and dolphins in the nearby ocean from mid-March to mid-September. It is recommended to visit Trincomalee during this period to have a chance to see these magnificent creatures. Some consider March, April, August, and September to be the best months to spot whales and dolphins, although they can be observed throughout the season.

Types of Whales and Dolphins

During your ocean tour, you may encounter various whales and dolphins. Humpback whales, blue whales, and sperm whales are among the prominent whale species, with blue whales being the largest mammals globally. Furthermore, you can witness different types of dolphins, such as spinner dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and Fraser’s dolphins. These playful dolphins often accompany boats, bringing delight to the observers.


Tours and tour operators

In Trincomalee, several tour operators offer whale- and dolphin watching tours. These excursions typically depart from Trincomalee Bay and nearby beaches like Nilaveli and Uppuveli, venturing about 6–10 miles into the Indian Ocean to spot these gentle giants. Tours generally commence early in the morning, around 5:45 a.m., as it is known to be the best time of the day to sight dolphins and whales. Guests have a high chance of observing dolphins (90%) and a moderate chance of spotting whales (50%). While some days may not yield sightings, tour operators strive to provide a memorable experience for their guests.


The cost of these tours varies among operators, typically ranging from 30 to 60 dollars per person for the entire excursion. Both shared and private tour options are available, with shared tours being more affordable and private tours offering greater flexibility and personalized experiences.


Plan your Whale- and Dolphin-Watching Tour with Mahaweli

For those interested in whale and dolphin watching in Trincomalee, Mahaweli Tours & Holidays can assist in planning your tour. As a leading tour operator in Sri Lanka, Mahaweli Tours & Holidays can also arrange your entire eastern tour, providing top-notch vehicles and accommodations. To plan your outing, contact Mahaweli Tours & Holidays at 0777 111553 or email:


Other Places to Visit Around Trincomalee

Sita Kotuwa, also known as Sita’s Court, is an ancient site nestled amidst the lush greenery of Sri Lanka’s Central Province. This hidden gem in Gurulupotha, Hasalaka, isn’t just a spot for history buffs; it’s a place steeped in myth and natural beauty.

Myth and history collide.

Sita Kotuwa’s name translates to “Sita’s Fortress,” hinting at its connection to the epic Ramayana. Legend says this was where Princess Sita was held captive by King Ravana. The Ramayana tells of a grand city called Lankapura once flourishing here. This city, supposedly ruled by Ravana, boasted beautiful palaces, cascading waterfalls, and vibrant wildlife—just like Gurulupotha itself! Some even believe this area housed the workshop for King Ravana’s flying machine, a giant peacock called “Vimana,” which explains the name Gurulupotha (meaning “bird parts”).

Adventure Awaits!

Reaching Sita Kotuwa is an adventure in and of itself. You’ll start at the Gurulupotha Rest House, a convenient spot to grab lunch before diving into the dense jungle. Unlike many tourist spots, there are no clear paths here. This “off-the-beaten-track” feel adds to the excitement, making you feel like a true explorer!

Finding the Site

Finding the exact location of Sita Kotuwa can be tricky. Asking for help from friendly locals familiar with the area is highly recommended. These guides can navigate the thick forest, where the dense canopy creates a unique atmosphere.

Unveiling the Ruins

After the thrilling trek, you’ll reach the ruins of Sita Kotuwa. It’s not a massive palace, but you’ll find the stone foundations of two buildings guarded by well-preserved carvings. Scattered around are pieces of history—stone slabs and pillars peeking out from the thick undergrowth. There’s even a fascinating flight of narrow steps leading deeper into the jungle—a glimpse into the paths walked by those long ago.

A Limestone Surprise

Sita Kotuwa has another secret: a limestone cave adorned with amazing stalactites and stalagmites (those cool icicle-shaped rock formations!). Though partially submerged now, this cave was once a sight to behold, as mentioned in the old “Handbook for the Ceylon Traveler.”

Planning your trip

Gurulupotha is easily accessible on the Kandy-Mahiyangana road, about 63 kilometers from Kandy. However, the trek to the ruins itself takes about two hours and can be physically demanding. So, if you have breathing problems or heart issues, it’s best to admire Sita Kotuwa through pictures.

An unforgettable experience

Sita Kotuwa in Gurulupotha is a perfect blend of history, mythology, and nature, making it a must-visit for anyone who loves these things. The challenging trek is rewarded with a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s ancient past and the breathtaking beauty of its central highlands. Whether you’re a Ramayana enthusiast or a curious adventurer, Sita Kotuwa promises an unforgettable experience.



(Cover Image Credit: Nilan Eranda)

Looking for a place in Sri Lanka that’s both spiritual and historic? Look no further than Mihintale, a mystical hilltop close to Anuradhapura. Here’s why Mihintale should be on your Sri Lankan adventure:

Why Mihintale is Special?

Mihintale is like the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Legend says a holy man named Mahinda met a king named Devanampiyatissa here way back in the 3rd century BC. This meeting convinced the king to become a Buddhist, and soon Buddhism spread throughout the island. Today, Mihintale is a very important place for Buddhist pilgrims, making it a peaceful and spiritual place to visit.

Why You Should Visit Mihintale

  • Uncover Ancient Stories: Explore ruins of old buildings like stupas (big, dome-shaped things) and dagobas (shrines) and imagine the times gone by.
  • Stunning Views: Climb to the top of Mihintale and see amazing views of the whole area. Lush green fields with historical monuments all around – picture perfect!
  • Feel the Faith: See how devoted Buddhist pilgrims visit Mihintale. Watch their rituals and offerings to understand Sri Lankan culture and religion better.
  • Peaceful Escape: Mihintale is a calm and quiet place, a nice break from busy Sri Lankan cities. Breathe fresh air, relax in the peaceful surroundings, and soak up the history.


Things to See at Mihintale

  • Mihintale Stupa: This big white stupa is the most important building here. It’s said to be built where Mahinda met the king.
  • Kantaka Cetiya: This stupa has amazing carvings of elephants. It remembers the story of a special elephant sent by Mahinda to King Devanampiyatissa.
  • Kaludiya Pokuna: This is an old bathing pond with beautiful carvings. Monks used it to wash up and meditate.
  • Mahinda Stupa: This smaller stupa is dedicated to Mahinda himself, the holy man who brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka.
  • Caves: Explore the caves where monks used to live and see how simple their life was.

Travel Tips for Mihintale

  • Tickets: There’s a small fee to enter Mihintale, you pay when you get there.
  • What to Wear: Since it’s a holy place, dress modestly. Cover your shoulders and knees.
  • Shoes: Wear comfy shoes for walking on uneven ground and climbing stairs.
  • Sun Protection: Sri Lanka is sunny, so bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
  • Water Bottle: Carry a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated.
  • Guides: Think about hiring a local guide. They can tell you more about the history and make your trip even richer.

Mihintale is more than just old ruins. It’s a place filled with history, religion, and stunning beauty. Follow these tips, explore Mihintale, and experience this special place in Sri Lanka for yourself!



(Cover Image Credit: @q_et_chemises from IG)

Imagine a sanctuary teeming with life, a labyrinth of waterways fringed with emerald mangroves, echoing with the symphony of a hundred wings. This is Muthurajawela, Sri Lanka’s captivating coastal wetland, aptly named “Swamp of Royal Treasure.” Our Muthurajawela Bird Watching Day Tour whisks you away from the bustling city, offering a glimpse into this extraordinary ecosystem, conveniently starting from either Colombo or Negombo.


A Mosaic of Life: Unveiling the Treasures of Muthurajawela

Muthurajawela sprawls across 3,068 hectares, a vital link in Sri Lanka’s intricate web of coastal wetlands. Designated a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance, it pulsates with biodiversity. The brackish waters, a unique blend of freshwater and saltwater, nurture a complex ecosystem. Lush mangroves, a haven for juvenile fish and crustaceans, snake their way along the labyrinthine waterways. Towering trees like the Kandelia (Mangrove Apple) and the Mee (Ironwood) cast cooling shadows, while vibrant aquatic plants like water lilies and reeds paint the water’s surface with emerald hues.

This rich tapestry of flora provides a sanctuary for a mesmerizing array of fauna. Over 75 resident bird species call Muthurajawela home, including the majestic Grey Heron, the ornately plumaged Purple Swamphen, and the unmistakable Sri Lanka Kingfisher with its vibrant blue plumage and raucous call. The observant birder might even catch a glimpse of migratory visitors like the Eurasian Spoonbill or the Lesser Sand Plover seeking refuge in this wetland haven.

Beyond the avian wonders, keep your eyes peeled for graceful Darters spearing fish with their needle-like beaks, stately crocodiles basking on the mud banks, and playful otters frolicking in the shallows. Muthurajawela is also home to a number of nationally endangered mammals, including the elusive Fishing Cat and the Purple-faced Langur, adding another layer of intrigue to this unique ecosystem.


  • Morning: Our tour commences with a comfortable pick-up from your hotel in Colombo or Negombo. As we journey towards Muthurajawela, our knowledgeable guide will unveil fascinating insights into the region’s unique ecology.
  • Boat Safari: Upon arrival, we’ll embark on a captivating boat safari through the tranquil waterways. Keep your eyes peeled for a dazzling array of birds. Spot majestic Grey Herons perched on branches, watch flocks of colorful egrets gracefully take flight, or witness the distinctive call of the Sri Lanka Kingfisher. With over 75 resident bird species and countless migratory visitors, Muthurajawela offers a haven for bird enthusiasts.
  • Optional Local Interaction (Depending on Tour Option): You might have the opportunity to interact with the local fishing community, gaining a deeper appreciation for their way of life and the vital role they play in preserving this delicate ecosystem.
  • Return: After a captivating exploration, we’ll return you safely to your hotel in Colombo or Negombo, brimming with memories of this extraordinary wetland paradise.


  • Comfortable transportation with hotel pick-up and drop-off (Colombo or Negombo)
  • Experienced and knowledgeable birding guide
  • Boat safari through Muthurajawela wetlands
  • Refreshments (water and light snacks)


  • Entrance fees (if applicable)
  • Lunch
  • Gratuities (optional)

Make the Most of Your Experience:

  • Bring a camera with a telephoto lens for capturing close-up bird shots.
  • Pack binoculars for enhanced birdwatching.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes suitable for light walking on uneven terrain.
  • Apply sunscreen and insect repellent for sun and insect protection.

Unforgettable Birding Adventure Awaits!

Join us on this captivating Muthurajawela Bird Watching Day Tour and delve into a world of vibrant ecosystems and dazzling avian wonders. Book your tour today and create memories that will last a lifetime!



(Cover Image Credit: Chathura Photography from Facebook)

Sri Lanka’s southeastern coast boasts a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts – the Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary. Nestled in the Hambantota district, Kalametiya isn’t just a bird sanctuary; it’s a tapestry of diverse landscapes woven together to create a haven for a spectacular array of wildlife.

Imagine a scenic coastline adorned with bays, coves, and sandy beaches. Now, add to that picture sparkling lagoons, dense mangrove forests, and pockets of scrubland. This breathtaking mosaic is Kalametiya, sharing its beauty with neighboring Rekawa and Ussangoda to form the “Ruk” – a haven for nature lovers.

A Sanctuary for Biodiversity

Similar to Bundala National Park, Kalametiya’s coastal location creates a unique ecosystem. The brackish waters of the Kalametiya lagoon, fringed by vibrant reed beds, mangrove forests, and salt marshes, provide a perfect habitat for a mind-boggling variety of birds. This sanctuary is a refuge for both resident and migratory birds, making it a dream destination for birdwatchers.

A Glimpse into the Avian World

The best time to visit Kalametiya is between November and March, when the weather is dry and the birdlife is at its most active. Prepare to be dazzled by a kaleidoscope of feathers. Spot majestic pelicans, graceful herons, and elegant egrets. Keep an eye out for the distinctive storks, spoonbills, and vibrant kingfishers. The sanctuary is also home to a diverse range of ducks, shorebirds, and bee-eaters.

For the truly adventurous, mid-August brings a special treat. Migrant birds arrive from faraway lands like North India, Siberia, Scandinavia, and Western Europe. Witness sandpipers, stints, plovers, terns, and harriers making their temporary home along the lagoons and salterns.

More Than Just Birds

The rich biodiversity extends beyond the avian world. The presence of lagoons and mangroves attracts a variety of reptiles, including 38 species that are nationally and globally threatened. Kalametiya is also home to four nationally threatened bird species, making it a crucial sanctuary for these vulnerable creatures.

Exploring the Sanctuary

Kalametiya offers two main ways to explore its wonders: on foot or by boat. Boat tours are a fantastic option to get closer to the birds and immerse yourself in the beauty of the wetland habitat.

Planning Your Visit

The sanctuary is conveniently located about 22 kilometers from the town of Tangalle. You can easily reach it by taxi or hiring a driver. Opening hours are from 8AM to 5PM, allowing you ample time to explore this natural treasure.

A Sanctuary for Conservation

Visiting Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary is more than just a sightseeing trip. It’s an opportunity to witness the incredible diversity of nature and support the critical efforts to conserve these threatened species. So, pack your binoculars, lace up your walking shoes, and embark on a journey to this hidden paradise for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike.



(Cover Image Credit goes to the original owners)