Little bit about Sinharaja Forest Reserve
Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park and biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It is of an international significance and has been designated as a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The reserve is a 21km from east to west, it is known as a treasure of endemic species which include trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Wildlife is not spotted easily in this national park due to its dense vegetation. A few elephants and around 10 to 15 leopards could be found. The largest mammal found in here is the endemic purple-faced langur. Out of the 26 endemic birds, 20 rainforest species of Sri Lanka are spotted here in Sinharaja. Other species like reptiles and amphibians are found here too.
The only way to get to the reserve is by foot or excellent park rangers or freelance guides which are provided by local hotels. The two main nature trails of Sinharaja Rain Forest are those lead to the peak of Moulawella and the peak of Sinhagala. Both of these nature trails are equally enjoyable and enlightening. The forest is densely crowded with tall trees growing in close proximity, but winding trails make the trekking. Small streams of crystal-clear cool water, that is home to a variety of fish, toads and crabs, crisscross the trails.
There are 3 entrance to the forest - Kudawa entrance, Pitadeniya entrance and Morning Side entrance. Kudawa entrance is the main and widely used entrance and Morning site entrance is the least popular. Kalawana is the nearest city to the Kudawa entrance. If you are coming from Galle or Mirissa area Pitadeniya entrance is the easiest.
Photo Credit: Thilina Chandrathilaka