WILD NATURE & NATURE LOCATIONS
All National parks require you to be accompanied by a wildlife guide. Visits are generally made early morning (0600-1100HRS) or in the evening (1500-1800 HRS).
UDAWALAWE National Park (in land from the south west coast, between Ratnapura & Hambantota)
It is situated around a reservoir of the same name in the south central area. Some of the animals that could be seen in herds are elephants, deer, wild buffaloes, wild boar, monkeys and variety of other species like peacock, crocodile, and if you are lucky bear, leopard & giant python. The park has many pleasant surprises for a patient visitor – an experience both memorable and exciting. Camping here is possible.
YALA National Park (a few kms past Hambantota on the coast) Yala is the most popular park with a vast array of animals including deer, peacock, elephant, wild buffalo and the lucky visitors may get to see a leopard or bear. There are self-catering bungalows in the park, which can be used, but bookings must be made well in advance for
availability. Camping can also be organized.
BUNDALA National Park (Adjoining Hambantota)
A wildlife sanctuary where birds are in abundance. Flamingos are often seen here during the northeast monsoon. Elephants sometimes retreat to the Bundala saltpans during the drought.
MUTURAJAWELA Bird Sanctuary (between the airport & Colombo)
Muturajawela is Sri Lanka’s largest single expanse of marsh. It covers an area of 8000 acres, from the mouth of the Kelani River, where it meets the sea, to the outskirts of the Negombo lagoon. The marsh thicker and wilder towards the Negombo end, is home to all kinds of birds, small mammals, snakes, butterflies and dragon flies and even crocodiles. 40% of Sri Lanka’s vertebrate species are recorded here, many of which are endemic. It is recorded that
there are some 126 resident bird species and 40 migratory species.
A haven for fishermen, who use traditional methods of net, line and fish kraals are still employed to rake in lagoon fish, prawns and ornamental varieties from the waters of the marsh.
The main attraction of Muturajawela is a guided boat trip that shows you a variety of landscapes and ecosystems. Learn the different techniques employed by the fisher folk of the area as the boat slips past nets, shrimp pots and traps constructed with matting to form “kraals” in water. It is truly a nature lover’s delight.
SINHARAJA Forest Reserve
Sinharaja is Sri Lanka’s last remaining primeval rainforest. A single footpath cuts through the heart of its 50 square miles. Vegetation is in many layers as in Congo or Amazon. The suffocating silence is broken by the sound of rain: 200 inches fall annually. A real paradise for bird and butterfly enthusiasts, and flora and fauna experts as there are many indigenous species found here.
Ayurveda is the ancient indigenous form of medicine that originated in the east. It involves rejuvenation of the body as well as treatment of certain ailments using natural herbs, plants and roots. Most of these plants can be found in the wild jungles surrounding many hotels.
Examples of the treatments available:
Body Massage: The oil used for this is locally produced and helps tone up the nervous system, soothes nerves and joints, aids respiration. It also helps in the elimination of poisons and waste material, removes deposits around the joints amongst other benefits. (45 minutes)
Herbal Steam: You will be asked to lie down on a wooden platform and a wood door will close above you, leaving your head out in the open. Steam produced from boiling specific roots, leaves and plants, will be passed through the wooden chamber. This steam passes throughout your body purifying your pores and eliminating toxins. The benefits include inducing perspiration, improving blood circulation, increasing vital resistance and energizing the heart. (30 minutes)
Herbal Bath: Reduces body pains and makes the irregular nerves function. Stimulates the fitness of the bones and muscles. (30 minutes)
Peeling: Expands the pores and removes the dead layer of the skin making the skin smooth. (30 minutes)
Head Massage: In addition to feeling good and being very relaxing, the oils stimulate the nerves and veins in the brain. (30 minutes)
Pinda Sweda: Fermenting the body with herbal rice packs and fresh cow’s milk gives the body relaxation and energetic power in the muscles. It also strengthens the nervous system and improves the blood circulation. (30 minutes)
Herbal Sauna: Constant high temperature with herbs expands the sweat glands and ejects toxins and uric acid from the body. (25 minutes)
Snahana Karma: Fermenting of the body with herbal packs and oil will improve the nervous system and weak muscles.
Pancha Karma: The Five Methods of Detoxification or Purification of the Human System, this involves a 7-day treatment with a special diet.