Commonly referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, Sri Lanka is known the world over for its many natural attractions. The country featured over 3,000 years of a rich documented history and heritage and is a haven for every travel and nature enthusiast.
The country’s vast biodiversity is one aspect which draws in countless tourists from around the world. Be it flora or fauna or even microbes, each of these living organisms plays a big role in maintaining the ecosystem. Sri Lanka has a massive 4,000 species of flowering plants with 3% of all such plants being endemic. The best place to witness most of the country’s plant life is at the famous Sinharaja Forest Reserve. Commonly referred to as a ‘biodiversity hotspot’ of Sri Lanka, the Sinharaja Rainforest was designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978 and 1988 respectively.
Some of the endemic bird species visitors may witness at the reserve include; the red-faced malkoha, green-billed coucal and the Sri Lanka blue magpie all of which are beautiful birds. While the reserve has many tales as to how it came into being, it never ceases to please its visitors. A treasure trove of flora and fauna, the reserve is a must-see attraction, especially for nature enthusiasts. The entrance fee is priced reasonably and comes with a tour guide.Those who would like to visit the reserve may stay at hotels near Sinharaja Rainforest or those that are situated at its border such as The Rainforest Ecolodge – Sinharaja.
Though the Sinharaja Rainforest is teeming with thick foliage and other exotic denizens, it doesn’t offer sightings of elephants and leopards. Those who would like to see such wildlife can head over to the Yala National Park. The Yala National Park is incidentally the island’s most visited park and is the second largest of such parks in Sri Lanka. Consisting of five blocks, two of which are open to the public, the Yala National Park lies in the Southern Province. It attracts a large number of tourists both local and foreign thanks to its abundance of wildlife. The park is home to the endemic Sri Lankan Leopard and holds the record for the highest density of leopards in the world.
Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world.Google+