Beyond the colonial Dutch heritage which Galle is renowned
for, this somewhat laidback city in the south of Sri Lanka has its own hidden
treasures, in the form of vast stretches of lowland rain-forest in Sinharaja and
Kanneliya. But the most awesome of them all, is the rain-forest bordering the
According to Gehan
de Silva Wijeyeratne the internationally renowned wildlife celebrity, “Galle
is the rain-forest capital of Sri Lanka, and is the richest of Sri Lanka's
districts, in bio-diversity”.
When I visited Galle with my TV crew, to seek out the
hidden treasures of Galle for my TV series ‘Discover Sri Lanka’, I invited
Gehan to accompany us, because of his valuable insight into all things wildlife.
His input was to add educational value to the series of programmes on Galle.
Perched upon a rugged
outcrop, along the famed south western coast of Sri Lanka, the
Lighthouse Hotel, is the last unique architectural triumph, of Sri Lanka’s iconic
genius, Geoffrey Bawa.
Gehan and the hotel’s Naturalist Anoma Alagiyawadu, had
methodically mapped out our Galle tou,r based on the Lighthouse Hotel’s
excursion programme. We started off with a boat safari down the Mahamodara
River, and a visit to Jetwing
Kurulubedda followed by the Rainforests of Galle
- Kanneliya and Kottawa Forest Reserves
and the Hiyare Rainforest Park.
The next day we travelled to Mirissa in the deep south
of Sri Lanka, to “Frolic
with Dolphins & Whales”. Mirissa is regarded as one of the world's best
locations, amongst the top two or three, for watching Blue Whales & Sperm Whales.
Our Galle tour concluded with the Seashore Trail along the coastline.