The famed Sinharaja Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka is a designated national nature sanctuary and is considered noteworthy for its great biodiversity and pristine condition. It has been named as a World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The name of the sanctuary translates as ‘Kingdom of the Lion’ and there are a number of legends associated with this expanse of rainforest. As the country’s sole remaining sizable area of tropical rainforest, it is considered to be of great significance to the nation. This forest features an immense variety of endemic species of wildlife, in particular a great diversity of birds; however, you will also find many kinds of endemic mammals, butterflies and other insects, amphibians and reptiles.
The bird life at the park is exceptional in its diversity and the sheer number of resident species. Bird-watchers and other lovers of avian creatures will be delighted by the natural riches on display. Here, you will find such diverse varieties as the Ceylon grey hornbill, Ceylon hanging parrot, ashy-headed laughing thrush, jungle fowl, spur fowl, Layard’s parakeet, red-faced malkoha, Ceylon woodpigeon and many others. Mammals are similarly well-represented in the park with no less than eight of the twelve mammalian species endemic to the country found here. Some of the frequently seen mammals here include the dusky-striped jungle squirrel, giant squirrel, badger mongoose, macaque monkey and the purple-faced leaf monkey. Larger mammals like elephants and leopards are occasionally sighted, but are often concealed by the thick vegetation. Reptiles and amphibians are also commonly seen, particularly specimens like the python, rough-nosed horned lizard, and the hump-nosed lizard.
Much of the native vegetation is of a valuable nature as they provide great benefit to the local villagers who live in the environs of the jungle habitat. Food and medicinal products are derived from this natural wealth. With so much to see and observe, a visit to the Sinharaja Forest Reserve will undoubtedly be a delight for the nature lover. Visitors to the island nation seeking a Sri Lanka Beach Hotel will find an outstanding rest in the Mermaid Hotel & Club. This quality Kalutara Hotel offers comfortable accommodation and a selection of modern amenities.
Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday.