Sri Lanka is a tiny, teardrop of a nation that is home to a wonderful collection of wildlife, waterfalls, highlands and lush jungles. In regard to the latter, there is one that is of such importance that it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the great Sinharaja Rainforest, which in Sinhalese translates to the ‘Lion Kingdom’.
If your interest is aroused, and you wish to visit the forest during your vacation, here are all the particulars. The Sinharaja Rainforest is located in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. A drive of about 4 hours will take you from the commercial capital of the country, Colombo to Sinharaja. Hotels are a bit difficult to find here since the forest is in a rural area, however, there are places like the Rainforest Ecolodge – Sinharaja that you can check out.
A designated biosphere reserve, the Sinharaja Rainforest is a hilly virgin rainforest that is a part of the Sri Lanka lowland rain forests ecoregion. The forest is a paradise to over 50% of the country’s endemic species of mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and insects. The endemic mammal species of Sinharaja include the giant squirrel, purple-faced leaf monkey, torque macaque, and the dusky-stripped jungle squirrel, to name a few. Reptiles to check out are the endemic green pit viper, the rough nose horned lizard, and the endemic hump-nosed lizard.
The rainforest has become renowned as a bird watching destination mainly because of the interesting phenomenon where the birds of Sinharaja tend to move in mixed feeding flocks. These flocks are led by the orange-billed babbler and the greater racket-tailed drongo.
Though the above are frequently seen by those who visit Sinharaja, there are some animals who will be seen by a lucky few, as these species are rare in the forest. It is recorded that about 3 elephants and 15 leopards call Sinharaja their home.
Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+