Located on Sri Lanka’s southern coastal belt is Madu Ganga or Madu River, home to many species of animals and birds from as many as sixty-four islands in Balapitiya town. Many hotels in Kalutara the likes of Mermaid Hotel & Club offer excursions down to the mangroves.

Ecology facts

The most important factor of the fragile eco-system of the Madu Ganga is its mangrove forests. These mangrove forests provide a home and protection for a vast number of aquatic birds, animals and plants. The ecosystem is beautiful to watch with the serene and shallow waters of the river giving way to mangroves and an abundance of flora and fauna.

File:Maduganga Mangrove1.jpg
KalaiarasyMaduganga Mangrove1CC BY-SA 3.0


Madu Ganga makes for the second largest wetland in the country which consists of 28 islands. The numbers of families that live on these small islands are approximated to be around 250.

What to Experience along the River

A lush mangrove forest is part of the river system. Natural tunnels formed out of these plants are fun to explore and your boat will easily glide through them. If you are thirsty watch out for the little platforms running over the water on which king coconut or thambili sellers sit offering a taste of the sweet nectar to refresh parched throats.

KalaiarasyMaduganga5CC BY-SA 3.0

Fish spa

The boat ride stops over at a floating fish farm where one can have a unique pedicure, where, hundreds of red tilapia fish in a small square begin to nibble at the feet when dipped into the water. This fish nibbling can be quite relaxing.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+