Lunuganga Estate, Turtles and Madu River from Panadura
The first place you will visit is the strange and yet beautiful Lunuganga estate that was once the home of Sir Geoffrey Bawa. The next place for your perusal is the highly engaging Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery. Finally you will visit Balapitiya for the ultimate experience, the Madu River Safari.
- A first-hand view of the home of one of the most famous architects of Sri Lanka.
- Gain more knowledge about Sea turtles.
- Engaging touch pools with a chance to hold and feed sea turtles.
- A chance to enjoy the high bio-diversity wetlands of Balapitiya and see animals, birds and plants that call it home.
- A chance to visit a free range fish massage parlor.
- An opportunity to buy fresh cinnamon right from where it is harvested.
- Transport throughout the tour with an air-conditioned vehicle.
- Service of an English-speaking chauffer guide.
- 1-Liter of Bottled mineral water per person.
- Hotel Pick & Drop (from Panadura, Wadduwa & Panadura).
- All Taxes & Service charges.
- Entrance fees (Lunuganga estate, Kosgoda turtle hatchery, Madu river Boat safari).
- Food or Drinks.
- Gratuities (Optional).
- Expenses of personal nature.
What to Expect
Your chauffeur will pick up from your hotel by 0800 hrs. Ensure that you bring a packed breakfast with you, if you are unable to have your meal at the hotel.
The first item in your itinerary will be Bawa’s estate in Lunuganga. Sir Geoffrey Bawa, the much renowned lawyer turned architect, made the estate his country home from 1947 till his death in 1998. During his sojourn there he used the place as his experiment lab and made many architectural and interior additions. While visiting the estate you will get to see the beautifully designed gardens that are now open to the public. Some of the buildings of the estate are also now a country house hotel. The tour of the estate approximately takes two hours.
Thereafter proceed to Kosgoda by approximately 1130 hrs and visit Turtle Hatchery.
Here, you will be spending a 30 to 40 minutes getting to know about sea turtles and their conservation. The best part of the hatchery is the touch pools, deep tubs of seawater with baby sea turtles swimming in them. Visitors are allowed to pick up and handle then to some extent. There are also fully matured sea turtles of different kinds, receiving treatment for various ailments or wounds.
After that proceed to Balapitiya by 1230 hrs and go on a lovely Boat Safari Madu River.
Balapitiya is a little southern town lying in marshy wetlands. The area is a high bio diversity zone that relies on the lagoon created by Madu River as it flows into the Indian Ocean. Your safari will take you on a ride down the river. You will get to see the dense mangrove forest that grows along the marshy banks of the river and the forms of wildlife that call the roots home. Your guide will also take you some of the larger free standing islands on Madu River. On one such island you will find an old Buddhist monastery. Cinnamon harvesting is the main employment of the people of this area.
Another attraction of the safari is the famous fish massage. This ‘massage parlor’ is a hut standing on stilts in the middle of the river. A netted in area contains the ‘massage fish’. You will be sitting on the deck of the hut with your feet in the water, while the fish work their magic.
After this relaxing boat tour, your will be returning to Panadura by 1530 hrs. You will get back to your hotel at 1700 hrs completing the tour .You may stop for lunch on your way back to Panadura (At your own expense).
Comfortable walking shoes recommended for this tour. Drive time may change due to unpredictable road traffic. Photography stops on the way can be arranged but within locations with reasonable parking areas.