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A Bird Watchers Paradise
Comprising an area of Mangrove Swamps, Scrub Jungles, Coastal Lagoons and Open Grassy areas, which are rich in Marine and birdlife, The Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary stands in between Tangalle and Hambantota. Though it is less visited than similar attractions of its kind, the wildlife sanctuary provides a very peaceful and laid back venue for bird watching.
The Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary stands as one of Sri Lanka’s oldest and main Bird Sanctuary. Declared a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1938, the reserve originally covered 2500 hectares, but in 1946 part of it was abolished because of the opposition of local residents. However, in 1984 a reduced part of the abolished area was declared once again as a sanctuary.You can access the Wildlife Sanctuary from the village of Hungama.
The Sanctuary is rich lagoons and mangrove swamps, which attract quite a number of winter migrant birds. There are over 150 species of birds including 54 migratory birds. There are four nationally threatened birds found here – Glossy Ibis, The Sri Lankan Black Capped Purple Kingfisher, the Indian Reef-heron and the endemic Jungle Fowl. You can also find 38 species of reptiles, with a large number of them being nationally and globally threatened. Additionally, you can find 20 species of mammals and about 41 species of fish living in Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary.
THINGS TO DO
Bird watching - The sanctuary provides an excellent location for photographers and bird lovers. Find a wide range of wetland birds such as black bittern and Slaty-breasted crake.
Jungle walk – The scrub jungles found in the area is always free to explore, you can enjoy challenging trek.
Mulkrigala- An Ancient rock temple. You can find caves which house Buddha statues and one cave even has a library where a number of Palm – Leaf Manuscripts( (Olas) are preserved. The manuscripts found here helped in translating The great chronical of Sri Lanka, The Mahawamsa.
Rekawa Turtle Conservation Project- Join in a turtle watch program where you can see marine turtles laying their eggs on the sand at night.