SINHARAJA FOREST RESERVE
BEST FOR: Birds – the Sinharaja bird wave; mixed species flocks that offer the best viewing of a tropical bird wave.
DRIVE TIME FROM COLOMBO: 4.5 hours.
WHAT’S NEARBY? The gemfields of Ratnapura.
Situated in the wet south-west of the island, this is the country’s premier lowland rainforest. The canopy towers up to 45m in places and more than half of the trees here are found nowhere else in the world. Mixed-species bird flocks are a key feature of Sinharaja.
A dozen endemic birds may be found in some flocks, including species such as red-faced malkoha, green-billed coucal and Sri Lanka blue magpie. But it’s not just birds here; animals present are purple-faced leaf monkey, three types of squirrel and – if you’re very fortunate – leopard, which may betray its presence with footprints.