Location: South west hill country, 200 kilometres from Colombo
Area: 88.65 kilometres square
Avg. Temperature: 18 °C – 28 °C
Avg. Annual Rainfall: 3000 mm – 6000mm
The Sinharaja Rainforest Reserve was declared a World Heritage Site in 1988. It is perhaps the most important biodiversity site in Sri Lanka and is known as the jewel of the last remaining virgin forests in the country! It covers a huge area of breathtaking continuous forest traced with beautiful, crystal clear springs, rivers, waterfalls and is home to countless species of flora and fauna, most of which are endemic to the country. Nature trails through the forest are simply mesmerizing! Senses come alive with the sight and smell of dark unspoilt greenery and the constant melodies of cicada and frog voices.
The forest is comprised of lowland and sub-montane wet evergreen forests with many tree species growing in close proximity. A staggering 64% of these species are endemic to Sri Lanka! The lower slopes and valleys have remnant Dipterocarpus forest with the middle and higher slopes characterised by trees of the genus Mesua. The insect eating Pitcher plant and Giant Orchids are commonly found in this magnificent forest.
Sinharaja provides some of the best habitats for over 50% of Sri Lanka’s endemic species of mammals and butterflies. The Grizzled Indian Squirrel, Dusky-spotted and Wild Fishing Cats, Spotted and Sambar Deer, Wild Boar and the Purple-faced Langur Monkey are some of the mammal species. The forest is also home to 45 species of reptile, the highlights being the endangered Whistling Lizard and Rough-nosed Horned Lizard.
It is an ideal location for keen bird watchers. Endemic bird species include the Ceylon Spurfowl, Ceylon Junglefowl, Ceylon Wood Pigeon, Ceylon Hanging Parrot, Layard’s Parakeet, Red-faced Malkoha, Green-billed Coucal, Serendib Scops Owl, Chestnut-backed Owlet, Ceylon Grey Hornbill, Yellow-fronted Barbet, Ceylon Small Barbet, Crimson-backed Flameback, Black-capped Bulbul, Spot-winged Thrush, Ceylon Rufous and Brown-capped Babblers, Ashy-headed Laughing Thrush, Ceylon Blue Magpie, White-faced Starling, Ceylon Hill- Myna, Ceylon Scaly Thrush, Ceylon Scimitar Babbler and Ceylon Crested Drongo. Indian sub-continental endemics include Malabar Trogon and Ceylon Frogmouth.
Access is possible from Pitadeniya, but not practical for most visitors. Motorable access is to Kudawa via Ratnapura or via Buluthota Pass from Yala or via Katukurunda Junction, Agalawatta & Kalawana from the coast
ECO Jungle Hideout
Martin’s and Blue Magpie Lodge