A lush national park and biodiversity hotspot, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve is one of Sri Lanka's most loved and widely recognised natural habitats, home to an abundance of thriving creatures and endemic species. Comprising 21 kilometres of verdant rainforest, this lowland ecoregion has been declared a Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and attracts hundreds of eco-enthusiasts and nature lovers who come to discover its intricate beauty and unique fauna. Surrounded by the Pinipitigala and Mulawella peaks, the beauty of these virginal lands (rescued from commercial developments thanks to its dense vegetation and inaccessibility) lies in its immaculate, virtually untouched state and its large proportion of Sri Lankan indigenous species, some of which are endemic to only Sinharaja itself. .
With a name that translates as Kingdom of the Lion, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a treasure in itself. Wild animals to be spotted around the reserve are limited in numbers and include only a few elephants, around 15 leopards (rarely seen because of the density of the rainforest) and the most common of them all; the endemic Purple-faced Langur, which is also the one that most people manage to spot after a visit. A true paradise for bird lovers, Sinharaja offers great opportunities for birdwatching too, with an interesting phenomenon that occurs when large flocks of birds fly in mixed feeding blocks led by the intrepid Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and the loud Orange-billed Babbler. Out of Sri Lanka's total of 26 endemic birds, a total of 20 rainforest species of birds originate from here and on a single visit many are lucky enough to spot them all!
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