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 Meetiyagoda Moonstones Mines ... More info ›
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 Meetiyagoda Moonstones Mines. Finally, you will visit Balapitiya for the ultimate experience, the Madu River Safari.
This is a typical itinerary for this product
Stop At: Lunuganga, Dedduwa Lake, Bentota 80500 Sri Lanka
Your chauffeur will pick up from your hotel by 0830 hrs. It will take approximately an hour and a half to reach Bentota. So you will arrive there before 1000 hrs. It is recommended that you bring a packed breakfast with you eat on the way.
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 Meetiyagoda by approximately 1200 hrs and visit Moon Stone Mines. (Travel Time 20 to 30 mins)
Here, you will be spending an hour getting some new appreciation for the jewels that adorn your favourite pieces with this visit to the moonstone mines of Meetiyagoda.See the deep shafts where the stones are mined. Learn more about the rare 'blue flash' moonstones that are mined in the area. Watch the miners wash and sift the mined stones to get those of the best quality. Hear more about the difficulties faced by the miners. Grab the opportunity to purchase some marvellous pieces; though you will need to haggle to get a reasonable price. This tour shows you the traditions of one of the oldest trades in Sri Lankan history - gem mining.
After that proceed to Balapitiya by 1300 hrs and go on a lovely Boat Safari Madu River. (Travel Time 20 to 30 mins)
Balapitiya is a little southern town lying in marshy wetlands. The area is a high biodiversity 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 parlour’ is a hut standing on stilts in the middle of the river. A netted in the 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 Weligama by 1600 hrs. You will get back to your hotel at 1800 hrs completing the tour.
Duration: 2 hours
Stop At: Meetiyagoda Moonstone Mine, Kahawa - Batapola Rd, Meetiyagoda, Sri Lanka
Meetiyagoda Moonstone Mine
Duration: 1 hour
Stop At: Madu River, Nilwala River Safari, Bridge View, Custom Road, Balapitiya , Sri Lanka, Balapitiya 80550 Sri Lanka
Maduganga. 11/12/03; Southern Province; 915 ha; 06 18'N 080 03'E. A mangrove lagoon joined to the sea by a narrow canal and containing 15 islands of varying size, some of which are inhabited. It is formed of two shallow waterbodies, Maduganga and smaller Randombe Lake, connected by two narrow channels. On the islands and shores relatively undisturbed mangrove vegetation contains a rich biodiversity qualifying the wetland for 7 Criteria of International Importance. Many globally/nationally endangered, endemic and rare species - e.g. Shorea affinis, an endemic and endangered plant, Mugger (Crocodylus palustris) vulnerable (IUCN Red Book) and CITES-listed Purple-faced Leaf Monkey (Trachypithecus vetulus), endangered, Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), Flapshell Turtle (Lissemys punctata), Indian Python (Python molurus) find shelter here. The lagoon provides the breeding, spawning and fattening ground for many fish species and supports 1.2 % of the Little Green Heron biogeographical population. The cultural heritage is very prominent, with numerous ancient temples in the area and on the islands. Maduganga helps in flood control by storing water during monsoon rains and retains nutrient run-off from nearby cinnamon plantations. The major occupation of the local people is fishing and agriculture (cinnamon and coconut). Poaching of wild animals and waterfowl is unfortunately increasing, and extensive use of fertilisers and consequent abundant growth of invasive species, e.g. Najas marinas or Annona glabra, are factors of concern. Part of a Coastal Resources Management Project funded by the Dutch Government - ADB, with a management plan expected in 2006. Ramsar site no. 1372. Most recent RIS information: 2003
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes