Situated not far from Galle, and Kottawa Rainforest and Arboretum makes for an interesting day excursion. This isolated area, with a 1-km long walking trail, offers an easily accessible introduction to the Sri Lankan rain forest. The trail is shaded by towering dipterocarps, and visitors can meander around the undergrowth while admiring the epiphytes and keeping an eye out for reptiles, giant squirrels and purple-faced leaf monkeys. Leeches are rife here, especially in the wet season, so appropriate walking gear is a must.
Southeast of Kottawa, the second track of rain forest centers around the serene Hiyare Reservoir, and offers excellent bird watching opportunities. The rain forest is also home to hog deer and the rusty-spotted cat- the smallest member of the feline family. Wildlife- lovers can organize boat trips on the reservoir or visit the animal rescue center, where injured animals and then released into the wild. more