If you thoroughly plan your trip to Sri Lanka, you will be able to experience its many natural wonders from Yala in the south to the Horton Plains in the central highlands and Wilpattu in the northwest. However, if you’re short on time and cannot venture far from the airport, there’s still a long list for you to explore and the Muthurajawela Wetland tops them all.
Covering a vast area of 1,317 km², Muthurajawela is a wild marshland in the southern region of Sri Lanka that is within 20-30 minutes away from the Bandaranaike International Airport. If you’re looking for accommodation in this area, Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions is a renowned Ayurveda hotel in Sri Lanka that is within an easy distance to both the airport and the wetland. The only way of exploring the park is to go on a boat safari which costs Rs. 350 (2.31 USD) for a local and Rs. 1,100 (7.25 USD) for a foreigner. One boat can take up to 6 guests at a time. A boat safari usually lasts for about one and a half to two hours, so make sure to take enough water.
In Sinhalese, Muthurajawela literally translates to the “Swamp of Royal Treasure” and it is aptly named because the wetland is home a rich biodiversity out of which are 192 distinct species of flora and 209 distinct species of fauna. In recognition of this rich bio-diversity, the Sri Lankan Government declared it a wildlife sanctuary in 1996. Due to this, visitors to the site are carefully guided by the staff of the Muthurajawela Marsh Centre, in order to avoid any damage to the marsh ecosystem.
Some of the noteworthy residents of the Muthurajawela Wetland include the extremely rare grey slender loris, the elusive fishing cat, giant water monitors and humungous Eurasian crocodile.Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+