Spread over 60 sq km (23 sq miles), this estuarine wetland encompassing the Negombo Lagoon as well as mangroves and marshes, make for a rewarding half-day excursion from Negombo. The marsh’s varied aquatic habitats support the diverse coastal ecosystem that thrives here today.
The marsh is home to Eurasian crocodiles, macaque monkeys and water monitors as well as one of the world’s largest snakes, the Indian python. Various species of birds such as kingfishers, egrets, herons, ducks and sandpipers can also be easily spotted through the year. However a greater variety can be seen between September and April, when migrant birds arrive. Many species of butterflies and dragonflies have also been recorded here.
The visitor centre, located at the entrance to the marsh provides information about the wetland. Boat trips can be arranged here or booked through the hotels; a guided tour through the wetland is highly recommended. It is best to come very early in the morning or later in the afternoon, both to spot more wildlife as well as avoid sun. more