- Location: Located in Sabaragamuwa, pretty close to Ratnapura, between the villages of Rakwana, Deniyaya, and Matugama.
- Attraction Type: Forest Reserve.
- Significance: A Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site, Sinharaja Forest Reserve, apart from its wildlife, is known for bird watching.
- Best time to Visit: August to March.
- Visiting Hours: During the daytime.
- How to Reach: You need to reach Kudawa first, located just 125 km from Colombo. You can find buses to reach Kudawa from Colombo in around 3.5 hours. Buses from Ratnapura are also available in every hour.
- Nearest Airport: Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB).
A Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site, Sinharaja Forest Reserve is certainly one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. If you are one who always gets attracted to greens, wildlife and its heritage, and most importantly the birds, Sinharaja Forest Reserve is certainly going to be your place. A virgin rainforest in Sri Lanka is an amazing land of a number of endemic species including trees, insects, amphibians, mammals, reptiles and of course the birds. In fact, it is the variety of birds along with an extensive collection of flora and fauna along that have made Sinharaja Forest Reserve internationally renowned. So, come and explore the rainforest, it is surely going to be a memorable one for you.
Located in Sabaragamuwa, pretty close to Ratnapura, between the villages of Rakwana, Deniyaya, and Matugama, Sinharaja Forest Reserve is the place that is always full of life. Due to its dense vegetation, it may not be quite easy to spot too much wildlife here, but you can easily spot some of the wonderful bird species which have made it a famous one. You can find birds tend to move in mixed feeding flocks lead by Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and Orange-billed Babbler. One can also find other species like Red-faced Malkoha, Green-billed Coucal and Sri Lanka Blue Magpie. The other inhabitants of the forest include a wide variety of amphibians like tree frogs and reptiles like endemic Green pit viper and Hump-nosed vipers and also invertebrates including Common Birdwing butterfly.
Things to Do
The best way to explore Sinharaja Forest Reserve is by visiting the Kudawa Conservation Centre, managed by the department of forest conservation. A number of thrilling activities are awaiting there for you. Go for bird watching or you may also go for hiking in the forest.
It is one of the best places in the world to watch a wide range of colorful rain forest birds. Being the home to more than 20 species endemic, Sinharaja Forest Reserve makes you amazed with its collection. It is best known for “mixed-species feeding bird flocks”, seeing which is a dream come true for every traveler, where large flocks of birds from different species travel through the forest searching for food.
There are several other wildlife species which you can find here. Though spotting elephants and leopards might be a bit difficult for you, but you can easily find giant squirrels, mongoose, purple-faced langur, wild boar, and barking deer. There are also some rare species like rusty-spotted cats, fishing cats, Indian civet cats, porcupine, etc.
There is another option for you to explore the forest — hiking. There are several trails available hiking. “Giant Nevada Tree Trail” is for a small walk, whereas “Mulawella Nature Trail” will be a bit difficult and certainly more rewarding at the same time. For more advanced hiking, you can go for “Sinhagala Nature Trail”.
There are plenty of options for accommodation for the travelers who are going to visit Sinharaja Forest Reserve. Besides the accommodation offered by the Forest Department near the reserve entrance at Kudawa, there are also some other options for accommodation available for the tourists.
Location: at a unique place at the edge of the forest. (Pretty popular to the tourists).
Blue Magpie Lodge