Madu River Exploration

The Madu River flows through a wetland ecosystem, near the small town of Balapitiya, along the Colombo-Galle Southern Highway. It’s estuary and many mangrove islets constitute a complex coastal wetland. It has a high ecological, biological and aesthetic significance, being home to approximately 303 species of plants belonging to 95 families and to 248 species of vertebrate animals. The inhabitants of its islets produce peeled cinnamon and cinnamon oil. It was named as a Ramsar Wetland in 2003. 

Historically, the Buddhist Amarapura Nikaya had their first higher ordination ceremony on a fleet of boats on this river. To signify this, a Buddhist temple was erected on one of the isolated mangrove islands on the river. 

We set off to explore this diverse ecosystem via boat. We will witness rich birdlife along with other fauna and flora. We will also pass by curious onlooking villagers on the many mangrove islands on the river as well as fresh water fishermen. Our final stop will be the ancient Kothduwa Buddhist Temple, where we meet a local monk. On the way back, enjoy a fresh Kirala juice, which is one of the south’s best kept secrets. 

Your Host

Anoma: Anoma is a Cetacean expert has committed his life to the study and preservation of nature. His interest in nature goes back to his childhood, growing up in Kottawa in the Galle region. The lush forest surroundings close to his home provided him much entertainment, and many hours were spent absorbing the wonders around him. 

Upon leaving school, Anoma began his career at the Galle Maritime Museum under the tutelage of its curator Mr Dharma Sri Kandamby – a keen representative of the Wildlife Conservation Society at national and international platforms whose vast experience as a scientific collector includes the discovery of a new species of endemic frogs and crabs. Accompanying his mentor on such voyages of discovery, Anoma was soon an equally dab hand at finding and identifying the wealth of natural life around him, including the discovery of a new species of endemic lizards, freshwater fishes, frogs and freshwater crabs. These projects continued to become the subject of numerous research papers which Anoma compiled as part of his Wildlife Conservation & Management Programme at the Open University, and Biodiversity Management Diploma at the University of Colombo.

A licensed, Ceylon Tourist Board Guide and Lecturer, Anoma is a very active and supportive member of the Blue Whale Conservation Group at Mirissa. As a Naturalist and Marine Biologist, he is keen on promoting conservation through tourism increasing local revenue via continuous dynamic strategies. 

Price :
Per Adult : USD 65
Per Child : USD 36

Road Transfer USD 44 (per vehicle)

Number of guests : Minimum 2 and Maximum 20
Duration: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Suitable for children: 6 – 11 years 

Meeting time: 9.00 AM or 3.00 PM 
Meeting place: Captains Boat House 

Includes: Boat ride on the Madu River, including a visit to an ancient Buddhist temple.

Things to Know :

  • What to wear or bring along: Light cool clothing. Sunglasses, caps/ hats. Camera. 
  • Important info: Enjoy the boat ride, take lots of pictures. The rich wildlife and village life you will get to see if fabulous.
  • Making the most of it: Please follow your boat operators safety instructions at all times. 
  • Cancellation Policy :

If cancelled before 7 days there is no cancellation charges

Bookings cancelled between 7 – 2 days prior to the tour, 50% cancellation applies

Booking cancelled within 48 hours before the tour, full cancellation applies.