Sri Lanka's most important bio-diversity site

Sinharaja National Park

A World Heritage Site, Sinharaja’s primary and secondary forests are shrouded by rain clouds on most days. Home to half of the island’s endemic mammals and butterflies, and the world’s largest mixed species bird flocks, Sinharaja is a mecca for nature lovers and birdwatchers.

Sri Lanka's most important bio-diversity site

The rainforests occupy a broad ridge at the heart of the island’s wet zone. The only way to explore is by foot, led by expert naturalist guides through slippery trails, finding a wealth of stunning plant, bird and animal life.

The park is home to a wide range of birdlife including orioles, babblers, the orange minivets and rare Sri Lankan blue magpie. You may also see bear faced monkeys, mongoose, barking deer and sambar.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Bird Waves

Tropical rainforests such as Sinharaja are known to host one of avian world’s great spectacles –mixed species bird flocks. Moving around in a large flock helps birds flush out insects for easier feeding, and provides security and protection against predators. These flocks have a fascinating social structure, and behave like a super organism with specific roles assigned to certain species.

According to a long running research on Sinharaja’s mixed species bird flocks revealed that these are the largest bird flocks in the world, averaging around 12 species and 42 individual birds in a flock, although flocks have been known to contain up to a mind-boggling 60 different species.

Experiences

There are several trails of various lengths and abilities in the lush rainforest, including some leading to gushing waterfalls where one can enjoy a good soak to soothe tired legs.

Walkers need to be aware that leeches love these damp conditions, so the use of leach socks is advised.

From the Director's Travel Diary

We enjoyed our walk up to the waterfall and enjoyed a dip under sunny skies, but the clouds gathered after lunch leading to a torrential downpour that made the heart sing with sheer joy. This was a rainforest at its most primitive and literal. Tracks that were dry just a short while ago became streams of gushing water soaking my ankles.

We managed to keep leech damage to bare minimum taking precautions. The kids understandably decided that the soaking and the leeches made it the least enjoyable experience of our trip, but we all agreed it was an unforgettable adventure nevertheless.

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Our Accommodation Ratings

Opulent: Exceptional, unashamedly the best of sheer luxury. (£££££)

Luxury: Outstanding levels of 5* comfort, hospitality and facilities. (££££)

Premium: Excellent levels of comfort and hospitality and a wide range of facilities. (£££)

Mid-Range: Good levels of comfort and hospitality, with a reasonable range of facilities. (££)

Simple: Clean and simple, no frills. Often in areas of natural beauty or near wildlife reserves. (£)