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Popham's Arboretum

Kandalama Road, Dambulla, Sri Lanka
+94 77 726 7951
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Ranked #3 of 8 Attractions in Dambulla
Type: Gardens, Outdoors
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Attraction details
Owner description: The IFS-Popham Arboretum, Sri Lanka's only dry zone arboretum was established over five decades ago on 7.5 acres of thorny scrub jungle and abandoned 'Chena' land in Dambulla which is in the geographical center of our island, where history and culture merge amidst a natural landscape of water and mountains. The arboretum is not only about trees. There and many species of Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Spiders and Mammals including Bats that can be seen within the premises.

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11 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Kandy, Sri Lanka
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2014

I have both visited and worked in several conservation and environmental activities in this location. It is a special destination but sometimes the management and ownership seems to be floating away from their main objective and purpose. I'd be very sad if I see Tourism has made damage to the place and they would loose their conservation aspect of the... More

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014

This special place is a bubble of peace and quiet for the trees and animals, ourselves included. The experience we had here was thoroughly enjoyable because of the serene environment, warm welcome, and the lovely walks trough this space. Every walk is a unique experience. Sometimes is a loris buffet, and sometimes its an orchestra of frogs! The expert eyes... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

If you like wildlife and nature, then you must visit here. We arrived unannounced, but were warmly welcomed. An exceptionally knowledgeable and passionate student volunteer offered to guide us around the small, beautifully created arboretum. The trees were one thing, but the biodiversity and associated flora and fauna were another. Within minutes we spotted a giant squirrel, a kangaroo lizard... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Top Contributor
181 reviews 181 reviews
72 attraction reviews
149 helpful votes 149 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2014

There are numerous paths through this arboretum and the plants and trees here are labeled. Unfortunately, we did not allow enough time for this visit and hope that others can give better reports.

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Long Beach, California
19 reviews 19 reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

We arrived unannounced and were given a generous welcome. Mr Jayantha Amarasinghe took us on a tour of these amazing woods. He has dedicated himself entirely to continue the work that Sam Popham began and is thus restoring this important forest, one tree at a time. It is not without pain: Mr Amarasinghe showed us a snare poachers had left... More

Review collected in partnership with this attraction

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Colombo, Sri Lanka
5 reviews 5 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

Our small group of 11 students and two teachers enjoyed our night walk at the Arboretum. We were well guided and the path is a very easy walk. My only regret is that we didn't have a chance to return in the daytime to appreciate the trees in daylight.

Review collected in partnership with this attraction

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Hampshire, United Kingdom
20 reviews 20 reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2014 via mobile

The history is already provided by others. What struck me was the demonstration of the ease and simplicity with which indigenous dry-zone tropical forest can be regenerated with minimal interference from man. Popham's techniques could be widely adopted at minimal cost. This place deserves wide recognition and support. If money is not forthcoming from somewhere it is likely to disappear... More

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Guildford, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
4 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2014

We visited Pophams arboretum for an afternoon before going to the Dambulla caves. It was set up in the 1960s by Sam Popham, ex Navy and ex tea planter. He was concerned over the disappearance of indigenous forest in the dry zone of Sri Lanka so bought a patch of scrub jungle and set about returning it to its natural... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2013 via mobile

We visited this place, which is a real treat for nature lovers. We liked it so much that we decided to stay the night there. We went for another walk in the forest in the evening and managed to see a few Lorises and Mouse Deers. We thoroughly enjoyed staying there.

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Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
12 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

Walk up the steps take your time and soak in the atmosphere, because you'll be glad you did just to see and hear the amazing sights and sounds - Well worth a visit

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