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Lunuganga, Madu River - Kosgoda Day Tour From Negombo

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Stop At: Lunuganga, Dedduwa Lake, Bentota 80500 Sri Lanka

Lunuganga Estate was used as a cinnamon plantation during the Dutch era and then a rubber plantation during the reign of the British. The estate had a small bungalow on site to accommodate the workers. Bawa, who had then been a newly appointed lawyer just called to the Bar at the Inner Temple, saw the place in 1947 and fell in love with the expansive gardens. However he was unable to purchase it at the time. In 1948, the bungalow was rented out to a local tax collector. In 1949, Geoffrey Bawa achieved his dream of purchasing the estate in its entirety and and planned to convert the bungalow into a weekend house and the rest of the estate into a tropical version of a European renaissance garden.
It was only after he undertook the project that Bawa recognised his lack of architectural knowledge; and so he went to England to study architecture. After qualifying as an architect he returning to Ceylon in 1958 and joined the architectural practice of Edwards, Reid and Beggs. Bawa began working on his house and the gardens in 1963, and continued to do so for 40 years until his death in 2003.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Madu River Safari, Alathota Road, Balapitiya 80550, Sri Lanka

The Madu River area surrounding the river are all swampy marshlands covered in mangrove forests.
The forest covers over 61 hectares, that is over 150 acres. 14 of the 24 species of mangroves are found in this area.
It is interesting to note that mangroves play a huge part in preventing erosion.
The value of the mangroves was understood in December 2004, during the devastating tsunami, when forest acted as a natural barrier protecting the region.
The large growths of mangrove trees have caused a chain of ecological gain. The soil protected by the mangrove trees is very fertile. This has caused a rich growth of other wetland plants.
Over 300 species, 19 of which are endemic, have been discovered so far.
The region continues to be a treasure trove to biologists and ecologists with many undiscovered species in the unreachable depths of the mangrove forests.
The plantlife in turn have supported a large number of wildlife that depends on them.
The largest animal in the region is the wild boar. There are other smaller animals such as monkeys, a variety of squirrels, etc.
When it comes to birds, cormorants and kingfishers are a common sight. For avid bird watchers, the mangrove forests are a dream coming true. There are over 111 bird species identified to inhabit the region.
There are 31 types of reptiles, namely snakes, lizards and crocodiles.
There are also over 50 kinds of butterflies and 25 kinds of molluscs found in the Madu River zone.

Duration: 3 hours

Stop At: Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project, 13A Galle Road, Kosgoda 80570 Sri Lanka

Kosgoda is a beautiful village on the South west coast of Sri Lanka but is not for those looking for a party holiday. It is perfect for rest and relaxation with a plethora of spas, ayurvedic and otherwise, in the area as well as day trips to moonstone mines, turtle hatcheries, spice gardens and to towns such as Bentota and Galle. Ideal for honeymoon couples or those just looking to get away from it all for a while.

Duration: 1 hour
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