The Madu River is a wetland near the town of “Balapitiya” on the Colombo Galle highway. It is where the river Madu’s estuary is. The water flows across the landscape, forming a huge amount of islands, and the eco-system produces a stunning wetland. The hotels in the area have boat rides along the canals created at a reasonable rate. And there are plenty of places to eat, dine and drink. 

Madu River boat rides and safaris are one of the best activities to do when you are spending a holiday in Sri Lanka, especially in Down South. 

Where is the Madu Ganga/Madu river located?: The Madu River is one of the most sensitive and significant habitats in Sri Lanka. It’s situated just south of Bentota and about 70 km from Colombo City. It can be easily reached due to its location on one of the busiest major roads in Sri Lanka, the Galle-Colombo main road. 

This natural complex is the Ramsar wetland and the second biggest wetland in the country. 28 islands (some of which are human-inhabited) are part of the Madu River estuary. The area of the Madu River wetland is 915 hectares and the harbors are multivariate Biodiversity Ecosystems. The wetland of the Madu River is supplied by seven tributaries, which form the largest water source of the wetland. This water mass flows across land spread over 2300 hectares and has been a national sanctuary since 2006.

Biodiversity of Madu Ganga / Madu river:

  • 70 different fish species
  • 31 species of reptiles
  • 11 species of agnatic mollusks
  • 14 species of land-dwelling mollusks
  • 247 animal species
  • 14 different species of mangroves (out of 24 in the country)
  • 50 species of butterflies
  • 111 species of birds                  

Madu River Boat Ride/Madu River Safari – Essential Facts You Have To Know:

Discovering the green cover of foreign soil is certainly fascinating, you may find rainforests, dryland forests, mountain trees, riverine plants, the list continues. Many vacation spots have a range of woodland types with different features, depending on elevation, temperature, rainfall, and several other variables. 

Likewise, Sri Lanka (about Sri Lanka) is also host to several types of forests, and a notable type of forest present on the island of Sri Lanka is the riparian vegetation that has a special setting relative to most other forests found on the island. This Madu River safari of Sri Lanka or Madu River boat ride helps you to experience one of the most popular river forests in Sri Lanka. 

The Madu Ganga or the Madu River is the second-largest wetland in Sri Lanka and is used in most of Sri Lanka’s road trips. At the same time, the Madu River is the only Ramsar wetland in the region. Out of all the riparian forests in Sri Lanka, the Madu River is the most common riverine vegetation on the island, so the Madu River Boat Ride or the Madu River Safari of Sri Lanka should be on the list of every tourist to Sri Lanka’s western and southern coast resort towns.

How much would you have to pay for Madu River boat ride or Madu river safari Sri Lanka?: There are two distinct price classes when you book the Safari Madi River, 

  • Price per user 
  • Price per boat 

When the number of individuals in groups is 8 or more, the rate can be person per person. When the number of passengers is less than 8, tourists may hire a boat for a cruise and it costs about USD 60; the prices that vary depending on the currency rate of the day you fly. Also, the prices can vary depending on the boat provider. Typically, the packages include the 2-hour Madu River boat trip with trips to Cinnamon Island, the mangrove forest, the Buddhist temple, and the plan does include all taxes.

How long does the boat safari last?

Normally, the safari of the Madu River starts at the mouth of the Madu River at Balapitiya. The Safari of the Madu River in Sri Lanka lasts from 1-2 hours and you have the chance to see a wide section of the wetland. 

The Madu River boat trip on the Madu estuary is a voyage that enthuses you with its enchanting natural flora and living creatures. The trip appeals to nature enthusiasts and echo-knowledge-seekers in particular.

Visiting Buddhist temple on Madu River boat tour: The last phase of the Madu River boat trip is a Buddhist temple with a lovely image room. The temple has the whole island and is made up of several buildings. The most prominent positions in the temple are Bo-tree, Picture House, and Dagoba. Visitors are permitted to enter the temple, but you have to remove shoes before entering the premises.             

The islands and their charms: yes, these are the components that make the Madu river safaris and boat trips so exceptional. There’s also a history behind this area; you’ll love it when you schedule a trip with a guide. For much of the city being wetlands, the region’s stable landmass mostly comprises islands. History notes used to be 64 islands in the Madu River. Nevertheless, most of them seem to have fallen under the sea, as only 28 islands are visible today. For these islands, only 15 have a substantial area of land. You can witness all these attractions during Madu river safari in Balapitiya. 

The cinnamon industry is the key source of economic activity for the locals of the Madu Ganga (River) area. Through implication, that also ensures that you can buy the highest quality cinnamon at discounted rates here, which is a bonus. Did you know that Sri Lanka produces the best cinnamon in the world? So, here’s your chance to buy the best of the best. Many that are not in the cinnamon business gain money from fishing or as boat guides. Fishing people either sit on large trees planted in the water and hunt with poles; or attach nets between poles planted in the water to capture moving hunts. 

Many of the islands are habitable, but they are mostly covered by trees and shrubs. Some of the largest inhabited islands, ‘Koth Duwa,’ houses a Buddhist temple dating back to the days of the earliest kings in Sri Lanka. In the meantime, two other islands carry the past of the land, having been the safe havens of two separate kings, King Dhathusena and King Mugalan. 

Open-Air Fish Massage is a fun thing to do in the city. Fish massage is quite popular internationally, particularly in East Asian countries. The unique factor in this massage is that the fish are held in their natural setting, the water. A large area is separated by nets tied between poles; it prevents the fish from leaving the area. Other than that, they’re free to move about. The customer actually lies on a bench and sticks his or her knees in the water.

Madu Ganga River Safari: OK, let’s get to the mangroves and their ecology – facts:

The Madu River area near the water source is mostly swampy marshland surrounded by mangrove trees. The vegetation occupies more than 61 hectares or more than 150 acres. There are 14 of the 24 mangrove species found in this region. It is important to remember that mangroves play a significant role in the mitigation of erosion. The importance of mangroves was recognized during the destructive tsunami of December 2004, when they were serving as a protective feature to the safety of the region. 

The large growth of mangroves has created a chain of ecological benefits. The soil covered by mangroves is very fertile. It has given rise to the abundant growth of many wetland species. More than 300 species, 19 of which are endangered, have been found so far. The area remains to be a treasure chest for biologists and ecologists with many unknown species in the unreachable depths of mangrove forests. Plantlife, besides, has helped a significant number of species that rely on them. 

The wild boar is the largest species in the area. There are other smaller species including chimpanzees, several squirrels, etc. When it comes to birdlife, cormorants and kingfishers are popular sights. To enthusiastic bird watchers, mangrove forests are a sight come true. There are over 111 bird species known for the area, making it a perfect tourist place for Birdwatching in Sri Lanka.  There are 31 types of reptiles, including snakes, lizards, and crocodiles. There are also over 50 types of butterflies and 25 types of mollusks present in the Madu River region.

Our team can make a personalized tour package that includes Madu river boat safaris for you, which you can customize until you find the right package for you. You can also explore our current inspiration packages; all of our ready-made tour packages are personalized and can be customized to suit all your needs.       

Contact us today!