Tipped to be one of the must-have experiences on a tour of the coastal town Kalutara, a river safari on the iconic Kalu Ganga is no ordinary boating experience in the island nation. Originating in the cloud gracing summits of Adam’s Peak, the Kalu Ganga or Black River flows via Rathnapura and the evergreen forest of the Central Province before reaching the mouth of the sea in its namesake town Kalutara. Nourished by highland woods and the Sinharaja Rainforest this distinctly dark hued river is also the second largest river in Sri Lanka and spread out over 2766 km2.
There is no finer way to explore this engaging body of water than on a safari in the morning hours. Tours are arranged by various hotels as well as tour operators in the area that employ open air boats to fully capture the scenic beauty of the river. The safaris typically take off in the morning so as to avoid the midday heat whereby visitors can explore the Kalu Ganga without any hindrance. Boat rides first head towards the network of mangrove forests along Kalu Ganga which is covered in thick foliage and resembles a marshy wetland area. This stretch of the river is particularly picturesque as the mangrove infested riverbed creates a scene full of mystique and intrigue that is heightened by the dark hues of its surface. Many varieties of aquatic birds also occupy the area and visitors can catch a glimpse of these stunning creatures with the aid of binoculars.
The safari then travels underneath the iconic Kalutara Bridge which connects the western province of the island with the south. Stretching an impressive 38m across the river the bridge sits at the mouth of the Black River. Anglers casting their fishing poles on to the water is a common scene atop the overpass while visitors will also see lines of pilgrims walking across the bridge to reach the sacred Kalutara Viharaya which is another highlight one comes across on a boating tour of the river. The temple’s milky white Dagoba casts a serene shadow on the river as the towering religious institution’s stupa is visible for miles around due to its height and stature. Sand mining activities are also frequently spotted in the heart of the waterway as it is a chief source of supplying the much sought after building material in the island.
Travellers on the lookout for a Sri Lanka spa resort should look no further than the Haridra Resort and Spa By Jetwing. Quietly nestled in a picturesque location this stylish rest is one of the best Wadduwa hotels in the island.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry. Google+