Sinharaja rainforest (Sinharaja Forest Reserve) is located in the South of Sri Lanka (Sinharaja rainforest forest on the map). He's not as popular among tourists as Yala national Park, but no less interesting and certainly more unique. It is one of two included in the list of UNESCO world heritage sites in Sri Lanka natural reserves (see UNESCO sights in Sri Lanka). Translated from Sinhala the Buddha means "the lion King". This place is revered and respected by the local inhabitants since ancient times.
The Park area is small compared to other national parks in the country, just 88,64 square kilometers. But on this square there is a unique biosphere, because it is one of the few remaining places on the planet where there are still primitive rain forest. Here there are many rare species of animals and plants, many of which are listed in the red book. Many of the species are found only here. Here you can meet wild elephants (but better not to meet, they are dangerous), many species of monkeys, boars, leopards, different reptiles and insects.
Excursion to the forest in the most simple form is a trip to one of the entrance to the Park, walk for 2-3 hours through the forest with a guide, and the trip back. Not always during this walk you can see something really interesting, here a lot depends on the guides. Often accused of being lazy, not wanting to take the tour on remote trails, there could be as lucky. But you can persevere and choose to offer and demand to go on different paths. If you surely want to see all the local beauty, you need to come to Sinharaja overnight, stay in camp so early in the morning to begin the long route. One of the most interesting routes include the ascent to the highest peak of the national Park.
Tips for visiting:
The best time to visit is the dry season from November to March.
In the woods quite a lot of land leeches. They do not look like ours, are small and their bites are not felt. Say they even jump on victims from trees. To protect yourself from them best with clothes. After walking a better look at the whole body, because they can climb in the most unexpected places.
And yet, for security purposes, do not seek encounters with wild elephants.
How to get
Forest Sinharaja rainforest is quite large, and, of course, you will not pass. Usually offered to explore it on one of the trails at one of the eco-centers and eco-lodge, there are several of them. Getting around roads on the forest in General for free, but for entrance to the trails in the eco-centres will be charged. With a strong desire you can wander through an independent and unexplored places of their own, but use caution. Here is really dangerous, including the snakes!!! We do not recommend to go on walks in the jungle.
If you plan to visit in the forest by hiring a car with a guide or buying a trip, it routes you to not worry: you will be taken to the entrance, take the money for the entrance and lead them up the trail.
If you decide to go into the woods on your own you can use one of several inputs, but not all of them allow direct access to the forest by car or bike. Our experience (of the authors) showed that on a motorcycle you can drop in, at least from Neluwa (this is the road to the waterfall Dooli Ella). Drove this route, you can see the falls and then continue along the road towards the eco-center Lankagama and Pitadeniya, making stops to explore in the jungle or in eco-centers. The road there is pretty bad, so the travel speed will be very low. Better get back to the same route.
With the settlement Pallegama you can get right up close to the eco-center Pitadeniya, bypassing the Dooli Ella. Here is several waterfalls (at least five) and good trails. The guides are available.
You can also get close to the woods through the village of Deniyaya (entrance Morning site), where you can leave the transport, and continue to go into the woods alone or with a guide. To get the motorcycle into the woods here will not work, too narrow path.
From the North the entrance is usually through the village Kudawa.
Near each of the entrances there is the possibility to stay in a camp (something like a cottage) for the night, to early in the morning to start a longer route.
The input chamber
The entrance to Sinharaja rainforest is worth 500 rupees (see money Sri Lanka, exchange rate). Fees are charged at checkpoints in eco-centres, but if you get into the forest by yourself, it is quite possible that you the moment one of the checkpoints and no money for input you will not get. The cost of the trip into the forest with a guided tour from Unawatuna, Hikkaduwa and other resorts in Sri Lanka starts from $ 50 per person.