Damp, mysterious and teeming with life, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, situated 120km south-east of Colombo, is the last extensive stretch of virgin rainforest on the island. At just over 11,000 hectares, lying across the wet zone at the southern edge of the hill country. Sinharaja is an ecological treasure torve. Its staggering array of flora and fauna place it among the top biodiversity hotspots in the world.
Over 130 bird species are found here including many of the 33 species endemic to Sri Lanka. There is also a rich reptile population and myriads of insect species, many yet to be classified. Mammals seen here include the purple faced langur monkey and the giant squirrel. Sinharaja is also home to the elusive leopard.
It is preferable to explore Sinharaja on foot, which makes for a truly authentic jungle experience. Starting points for visits are Deniyaya to the east or Kudawa to the north.