A trip to the deep south of Sri Lanka is never complete without a ride in one or more of the rivers crisscrossing the Southern Sri Lanka and the numerous islets situated in them.
Twenty-Two Weligambay is advantageously situated next to the estuary of Polwathumodara River and provides a great opportunity for guests to explore the river and wildlife in and around it on a boat trip. Crocodiles of Polwatumodara has always been celebrated for their giant size while the estuary and bay area is also home to a number of residents, migratory and vagrant seabirds including tern and gull varieties, who nests among the mangroves.
If you are looking for a river safari steeped in adventure, romance and incidentally local literature, a 30-40 min trip north from Weligama would take you to Koggala for a boat ride in the Koggala Lake, one of the largest natural lakes in Sri Lanka alive with aquatic birds and sprinkled with small islets.
A 90-minute boat ride will provide you enough time to take in all that the lake and islets have to offer, including one island with a Buddist temple, another with a rich cinnamon cultivation and last but not least legendary Madol Duwa, the island location for the name sake adventure novel ‘Madol Duwa’ a tale that follows the adventures and life of Upali and his faithful friend Jinna from pre-teen to adulthood.
A story of growing up and youth, the novel also portrays the true visuals of everyday country life in rural Koggala in a pre-colonial Sri Lanka, which mesmerised generations of youth readership across borders.
Today Madolduwa is a popular tourist destination, where aquatic bird life thrives among a variety of mangrove species and generations of youth try to retrace the steps of beloved Upali and Jinna.