Location: South, 130 kilometres from Colombo
Area: 2.5 square kilometres
Avg. Temperature: 25 °C – 30 °C
Avg. Annual Rainfall: 2000 – 2500 mm
Hiyare Reservoir Rainforest is a small mysterious rainforest which has been known as an absolute paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, who are attracted to the area by its lush flora and abundance in fauna! Compared to the other national parks in Sri Lanka, Hiyare is more serene and peaceful with a quiet but large eco-system of plants, birds, insects and the occasional mammal such as deer or porcupine in a unspoilt habitat, rarely disturbed by humans. As a matter of fact, the only way through the forest is by foot or a paddle boat as there are no roads in the forest and vehicles need to be parked at the entrance.
The Hiyare reservoir is a natural lake and is the main source of drinking water to the city of Galle. The catchment area of the reservoir is composed of swamps, paddy fields and protected lowland consisting of important canopy tree species of which 9 are endemic.
Birds are the dominating species in the area, there are 118 bird species, among which 13 are endemic such as the Sri Lankan Green Pigeon, Ceylon Rose, Two-spotted Threadtail and Black Ruby Barb. 29 mammal species are found here including the Mongoose, Purple-faced Leaf Monkey and Hog Deer, an extremely wary and nocturnal animal that is rarely seen in the wild by naturalists. 78 butterfly species and 55 dragonfly species can be seen peacefully fluttering among the lower foliage. Among the 34 reptile species, 14 are endemic such as the Sri Lankan Green Pit Viper and sub-species of the Indian Python.
A series of conservation activities are taking place at Hiyare. These efforts are made to protect wildlife and the fragile ecosystem of the forest.
From Galle A2 towards Matara then left onto Udugama Road (B129). After about 10km, turn right at a sign denoting Hiyare National Forest. Turn left onto a gravel road after 5 minutes on that road.