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<< Back | Off the beaten path: Bird watching adventure in Colombo


Not so far from Colombo city is this saltwater wetland oasis. Break away from the hustle and bustle of the city to kick back on a boat to enjoy this wetland (bird) sanctuary in all its glory. A beautiful and calm boat ride off the beaten path within Muthurajawela wetland in Colombo leading to Negombo Lagoon is a Must-Do. It is that special time when you just hear all those little birds singing, a crocodile may swim next to your boat or a monitor lizard is accompanying you on the sidewalk along the river. It is simply the best spot for a bird watching adventure in Colombo.


The boat tour starts at the Muthurajawela Visitor Centre in the outskirts of Colombo and lasts for either 1.5 hours (open water, diverse birds) or 2 hours, which is even more off the beaten path (mangrove forest, crocodiles, monkeys) depending on the route you take. You can always arrange the time for a boat tour individually, but we highly recommend visiting in the morning at 7:30am or afternoon after 3:00pm. This is the time when Mutharajawela flora and fauna are most impressive. You will spot colorful parrots sitting on those huge palm trees next to the marsh. For the first 30 minutes the boat will travel within the marsh which appears a little bit like a canal as you are passing through many little colonial like bridges during your ride. Due to its narrowness the marsh gives you the great opportunity to observe the manifolds of animals very closely. Floating along the marsh will finally lead you to Negombo Lagoon. It is that time when small fish jump out of the water and accompany the boat you are sitting in. Grey heron are circling above the fishing boats along the lagoon, and eagles are watching the area. Depending on the season you will find your boat floating through water lilies and the variety and amount of animals, especially for bird watching, will also increase during rainy season.

How to get there

Take bus 275 and exit at Bopitiya (around 30 LKR). Take a Tuk Tuk to Muthurajawela Visitor Centre (around 150 LKR). Please arrange your boat tour one day prior. We are happy to assist you with your booking. 

Muthurajawela Visitor Centre

+ 94 11 4030 150

(price for one person:1200 LKR)