Ideally located 1 km from the township of Ranna on the Ranna-Kalamatiya route, half way between Tangalle and Hambantota, is one of Sri Lanka’s most secluded nature reserves. Off the beaten track of wildlife parks congested with visitors, the Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary is a hidden haven reserved for those who wish to observe the magnificent winged beauties of the island away from the crowds.
Established as far back as 1938, the park is also one of the island’s oldest bird sanctuaries devoted to these delicate creatures that deck the skyline of this paradise isle. Sprawled across an expansive enclave that was around 2.500 hectares at inception, the downsized wildlife sanctuary offers birdwatchers and nature lovers the opportunity to observe a variety of species in their natural habitat. Officially declared a sanctuary in the first half of the 1980’s, the Kalametiya Bird Park occupies a scenic location in between two salt water lagoons. Bordered by mangrove swamps and wide open plains, the venue is also littered with scrub jungles that are ideally suited for its chief inhabitants.
Renowned as a hotspot to view migrant shorebirds escaping the winter weather in sun-kissed Sri Lanka, the locale is equally famed for providing a verdant hideaway for endangered bird species the likes of the Sri Lankan Black-capped Purple Kingfisher, the Indian Reef Heron, Jungle Fowls and Glossy Ibises. The jungle fowl is of special significance in this regard as the bird is endemic to the emerald isle. Eurasian Spoonbills, Black Winged Stilts and Asian Open Bills are also frequently spotted in the parkland in addition to Common Snipes and Purple Swamp Hen Glossy Ibises.
As a wildlife enclave that is not just reserved for birdwatchers, the Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary also boasts 20 species of mammals in its impressive list of inhabitants. Highlights include Toque Monkeys, Shrews, Tree Mice and Coloured Spiny Rats which are also endemic to the native country.
The parkland also houses a wide variety of globally and locally endangered reptiles among the 38 species found at the venue. Aquatic wildlife enthusiasts will also not be disappointed as the sanctuary’s water bodies house over 41 colourful species of fish.
Those on the lookout for a well placed Yala hotel in Kalametiya should look no further than Chaaya Wild Yala for all their accommodation needs. Offering guests 66 chalets with stunning views of the surrounding environment, this stylish venue is a safari hotel Sri Lanka that makes an ideal base from which to explore the region and its wildlife.