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Declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Sinharaja Forest Reserve (kingdom of the lion), is a paradise for nature and wildlife lovers. It is home to a vast number of endemic species of birds and mammals of Sri Lanka. About 95 percent of Sri Lankan endemic birds and more than 50 percent of endemic mammals are known to have their habitats in this Forest Reserve. Year round, the forest is covered by plenty of rain clouds. The area span of the reserve is about 21 KM from east-west and about 7 KM from north-south.
Location: Situated in the Southern Province, a two-hour drive from Galle via Galle-Deniyaya-Madampe Highway.
Highlights: Experience the leisurely pace of wildlife and the splendor of dense and copious evergreen rainforests. The guide will tell you about different endemic species of flora and fauna that you encounter during your guided tour.
Timings: Opens daily from 6:30 AM to 6 PM
Price: Approximate price ranges from 664 LKR to 1160 LKR
Turtle Hatchery was started by the Sri Lankans with a view to protect the turtles from extinction. Earlier, people usually fishermen used to collect the turtle’s eggs and sold it to whoever would pay the higher price. With the commencement of the Turtle Hatchery these eggs were fed and cared for until they were 2 to 4 years old. You can find different species of turtles such as Green Turtle, Leatherback and Olive Ridley. Despite their extinction turtles are still caught by the fishermen for fish and shells which is indeed a very lucrative market.
Location: 10 to 15 minutes tuk tuk ride south from Bentota
Highlights: You should visit the Kasgoda Turtle Hatchery where you can spend an interesting time watching the baby turtles grow.
Things to keep in mind: Avoid disturbing the nesting turtles with light.
Price: Approximate price starts from 500 LKR.
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