Sinharaja Rainforest

The Singharaja Rainforest Reserve is a 'must' for every amateur ornithologist and nature lover. It is one of the few parks in Sri Lanka where visitors can also hike. Singharaja - translates roughly as 'lion king' - covers an area of ​​approximately 20,000 ha and consists of primeval forest and imported plants, such as the Burma teak. Developed by the British for commercial logging, it took until 1977 until the exploitation of the forest was halted to preserve Singharaja's unique nature for future generations.

The drive from our guest house to Singharaja takes about 2 hours and leads through an overwhelming mountain landscape. Singharaja can be entered through various entrances, Kudawa in the northwest is the main entrance. Access is only possible with a permit issued by the Forest Department, 82, Rajamalwatte Road, Battaramulla.
We drive to the entrance Weddagala, where we are picked up by a driver / Foerster / Fuehrer with a jeep and driven deeper into the forest. There starts the tracking tour, with different paths or lengths to choose from.

The park is known for its large population of leeches, so it is recommended for hikers to wear sturdy shoes with socks and long pants. The trouser legs should be tied down or taped down.

Birds are the highlight of Singharaja Park. Here, 22 of the 25 endangered species of Sri Lanka were observed. Even inexperienced birdwatchers may hope to see 10 to 15 endangered species during their stay. But it is not just the birds that make the stay in the park so interesting. A large variety of trees and flowering plants as well as countless colorful butterflies tumble over the forest floor.

The dense forest makes it difficult to spot game, but the visitor has a good chance of giant squirrels (Petaurista petaurista), mongoose (Mongoose mungo), red langur (Presbytis melalophos), wild boars (Sus scrofa) and Java muntjac (Muntiacus muntiacus). In order to see more rare species such as rust cat (Felis rubiginosa), fish cat (Felis viverrina), civet cat (Civettictis civetta) and leopard (Panthera pardus), one needs some luck and patience. (Do not forget binoculars)
 
In the late afternoon we return to our guesthouse.