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This Is the Best Safari Destination Outside of Africa - Forbes (2019)

Nature Walks in Anawilundawa Wetlands

AVAILABILITY: Throughout the Year

TOUR OPTIONS: Early Morning and Evening Nature Walks

The Anawilundawa Bird Sanctuary is situated in the North-Western province of Sri Lanka, between Chilaw and Puttalam. The uniqueness of Anawilundawa is its immediate proximity to three different ecosystems; the coast, the mangroves and fresh water tanks, making it one of the six RAMSAR Wetlands in Sri Lanka. This unique ecological setting has made it a favourable nesting and breeding ground for hundreds of species of birds.

Anawilundawa Bird Sanctuary covers over 1,397 hectares of forest land and comprises of nine tanks; six giant man made cascading tanks namely Pinkattiya, Maradansola, Anawilundawa, Mayyawa, Surawila and Vellawali and three secondary tanks, each one connected with the other and working as one unit. These tanks store water for irrigation and cultivation and act as a natural habitat and refuge for 150 species of water birds in addition to a few species of threatened Fish, Amphibians, Mammals, and Reptiles.

Some of the Bird species found here are a large breeding colony of Herons, the Open-bill, Great Cormorant, White Ibis, Egret, Stalk, Pheasant Tailed Jacna and the Purple Swamp Hen. A total of 20 species of mammals have been recorded here, this includes the Rusty spotted cat, Fishing Cat, Indian Otter, Slender Loris, Toque Monkey and 74 species of butterflies. Most endemic and resident birds can be observed all year long, while those migrating are best seen between the months of October and April. Anawilundawa Bird Sanctuary is a great favorite amongst bird watchers and nature lovers, who come here to spot rare birds and indulge in some great photography.


  • Lightly coloured clothing & shoes
  • Sunglasses & a hat
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun protection lotions & Lip balm
  • Good camera, spare batteries, extra memory cards, cables and chargers