Sinharaja Forest

Offering hours of exploration and adventure amidst lush landscapes seemingly lost in time, the enchanting island of Sri Lanka is a nature lover’s paradise. There is much to see and discover on the island, especially at its nature reserves which vary according to their geographical location, be they near the coast or up in the hills. One site which is definitely worth heading to is the Sinharaja Forest which provides visitors with an unforgettable experience at a tropical rainforest.

Named as a World Heritage Site, this forest reserve can be found in the south-west of the island and is home to a primary tropical rainforest that contains a large number of endemic flora and fauna including insects, mammals and birds. Sinharaja which was also named as a World Biosphere Reserve provides intrepid adventurers with a chance to “lose” themselves amidst breathtaking scenery.

The reserve has a wide range of tree species such as palms, cardamom and weniwal which are also used by the local community. The reserve itself is also home to such wildlife as leopards and elephants though spotting them, particularly leopards are rare. As you explore the paths that lead you deeper into the forest, you will realise just how wondrous nature can be. Bird watching enthusiasts have a chance to view a wide variety of species including the Sri Lanka white-headed starling, ashy-headed babbler, Sri Lanka blue magpie and the green-billed coucal.

There is also a rich collection of amphibians and reptiles within the reserve. The green garden lizard, hump-nosed viper and the python have all found a home here. Part of Sinharaja’s charm is the streams that flow through the forests that offer an ideal place to rest and unwind amidst the shade of the trees and cool of the water. It is easy to forget about the cares of the world as you are surrounded by calm and serenaded by the calls of birds, far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Those planning to make excursions or day trips to Sinharaja Forest can base themselves at Galle resorts along the island’s south coast. Nature lovers will be particularly pleased with Jetwing Kurulubedda which features elegant villas in Galle set amidst tranquil natural scenery.

Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.