8. West coast Beach, River Mangroves lagoon, Wildlife boat Tour
The tour starts from your hotel in Colombo or the west coast beach resort. You will be traveling along the beautiful west coast beaches while passing coconut plantations, fishing villages, and towns. You will be stopping at a few places at regular intervals. Your first stop will be at the sea turtle conservation center, where, you witness the sick and handicapped sea turtles are been treated. Later stop at Madu river for the mangrove lagoon tour.
Mangrove is one of the most important and fragile ecosystems in the world and they grow only in tropical countries such as Sri Lanka. This valuable forest cover is depleting all around the world, including in Sri Lanka, due to many factors such as climate change and human activities. Madu River estuary is a "RAMSAR wetland" and is declared a protected riverine forest.
Madu Ganga is one of the most important natural assets of Sri Lanka. It is located 70km south of Colombo on the Colombo-Galle main road. Madu Ganga is the second-largest wetland on the island, consisting of 28 islands. The number of families living on the islands is estimated to be around 250. Madu Ganga spreads over 915 hectares of wetland and harbors vast biodiversity and ecosystem. Madu Ganga wetland is fed by seven tributaries and forms the body of the wetland. The water runs through a course of land that spans 2300 hectares. It was declared a national sanctuary in 2006.
A cruise on a modern motorboat is the best way to explore the natural wealth of Madu Ganga, the islands in the wetland are largely inaccessible by road. The inhabitants are also using boats and more often paddle boats as the means of transport. This tour offers a particularly appealing boat trip around Madu Ganga. The Ramsa Wetland is one of the most visited natural attractions of Sri Lanka’s west coast, with riverscapes amongst quiet thick grown islands and mangrove forests with sites of immense natural interest. There are plenty of opportunities to spot fascinating wildlife in the aquatic environment, throughout the tour.
The most important asset of the fragile ecosystem of Madu Ganga is its mangrove forests. These mangrove forests provide protection for a large number of aquatic bird, animal, and plant species. The ecosystem in Madu Ganga is the home of many different kinds of aquatic plants, crabs, shrimp, fish, insects, amphibians, and other animal life including crocodiles.
While on the boat tour you'll visit one of the oldest temples on the west coast of Sri Lanka, located on a secluded island. You will also get a chance to visit the mask museum and see hundreds of ancient masks and learn about their history, folklore, and use in rituals. You'll also visit a sea turtle conservation center run by volunteers. Learn about why Sri Lanka is a prime turtle nesting site and how important it is for turtle conservation. Before your tour is over, you'll get to enjoy a leisurely stroll on Bentota beach, one of the nicest beaches on the west coast.
Buddhist temple, Bentota beach, spice herbal garden, Mask museum
After the mangrove lagoon tour, you will be visiting the mask museum and mask carving center. Later visit Bentota beach spice and herbal garden and your tour ends with a visit to one of the most sacred Buddhist temples on the west coast.