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Address: Kandalama Road, Dambulla, Sri Lanka
Phone Number: +94 77 726 7951
Website
Description: The IFS-Popham Arboretum, Sri Lanka's only dry zone arboretum was...
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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 13
    Excellent
  • 2
    Very good
  • 1
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Most recent review
Great garden, ridiculous 'donation' expected!

Really lovely to get away from all the crowds and walk in the cool of the clearly marked paths. Saw some giant squirrels and some bats. The whole experience was soured by the... read more

3 of 5 starsReviewed February 12, 2015
Cas C
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16 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2015

Really lovely to get away from all the crowds and walk in the cool of the clearly marked paths. Saw some giant squirrels and some bats. The whole experience was soured by the usual extortionate expectation that the tourists are a walking ATM. I would not pay £10 for an hours walk in a park in England, so why I... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Sam Popham Arbo... D, Manager at Popham's Arboretum, responded to this review

Thank you for sharing your feedback. We regret if you had an unpleasant experience. The Popham Arboretum is mainly run for educational and conservational purpose and funded through donations, contributions and proceeds from ticket sales. Current entry fees are as follows. Day time visit (no times restriction) Rs.1,000 ($10) Guided Night Tour (1 to 1.5 hours depending on the sightings)... More 

South East England
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
13 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2015

A wonderful way to spend a couple of hours whilst in Dambulla. We wandered through the arboretum photographing the various butterflies and birds we encountered whilst wandering through the natural dry forest (rains only falls on 90 days per year). There's also the opportunity to spot a loris if you arrange a night walk. The history and significance of Sam... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Sam Popham Arbo... D, Manager at Popham's Arboretum, responded to this review

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience on Trip Advisor and for mentioning positive elements about the property. More 

London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
10 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2015

We nearly didn't go here but had a few hours to spare so gave them a call then took the 15 minute ride out from Dambulla. We were greeted by the wonderful Mr Amarasinghe. He explained how the arboretum had been started and showed us photos of the forest before and after it had been treated by the "Popham" method,... More 

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Sam Popham Arbo... D, Manager at Popham's Arboretum, responded to this review

Thank you for taking time to upload such a wonderful review on Trip Advisor about your recent visit to the arboretum. More 

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2014

We walked the yellow trail. (about 2 hours doing a lot of birding along the way) It is well signed and allows you to explore several different habitats. Along the way we saw a variety of interesting birds including: Black-headed Cuckooshrike, Jerdon'sand Golden-Fronted Leafbirds, Black-hooded orioles, Forest Wagtails, White-Browed Bulbul, several Asian Paradise Flycatchers, White-rumped Shama,Lotten's and Purple Rumped Sunbirds,... More 

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Kandy, Sri Lanka
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 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
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
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
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 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
usa
Top Contributor
187 reviews 187 reviews
76 attraction reviews
157 helpful votes 157 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
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
29 helpful votes 29 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
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
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

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