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Popham's Arboretum

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Address: Kandalama Road, Dambulla, Sri Lanka
Phone Number: +94 77 726 7951
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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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    Very good
  • 3
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Visit this Arboretum to support a unique conservation project

I enjoyed the 2 hours I spent here walking through the forest with the friendly and extremely knowledgable manager learning about the local flora and fauna. It was especially... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 1, 2016
Nico B
,
Siem Reap, Cambodia

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39 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 32: English reviews
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2016

I enjoyed the 2 hours I spent here walking through the forest with the friendly and extremely knowledgable manager learning about the local flora and fauna. It was especially interesting to learn the medicinal uses for a lot of the plants. After going to a lot of overpriced tourist destinations, it was very refreshing to visit the arboretum. An added... More 

Helpful?
Thank Nico B
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2016

A wonderful place with an excellent volunteer guide but not what I was expecting. The designated routes are not always easy to follow 'the monkeys turn the signs round', access across streams is not easy but well worth visiting. An interesting history and hopefully a future of doing important conservation work. Fun place for children to explore.

Helpful?
Thank Bicknela
Kandy
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2016 via mobile

Jayantha is a knowledgeable guide for this forest / arboretum reserve at Dambulla. We loved our visit, especially the bats and the Loris.

Helpful?
Thank Chamaeleo
Maldon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2016

Really wonderful little arboretum in Sri Lanka. Our guide, who is also the manager was very passionate about the place and nature, which is always contagious and great to see. We did the night time walk/safari, and saw 3 loris (up fairly high), a baby spotted deer (up close) and 2 sleeping birds, also we got there a little early... More 

Helpful?
Thank Hayley O
England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2016

This is NOT just another spice garden. It is an inspirational piece of conservation undertaken by Sam Popham who cared about the future of our natural heritage. It has been continued by his long term assistant and friend and deserves all the support we can give it. To get most benefit DO make an appointment and be guided around the... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank tw12016
Geneva, switzerland
Level Contributor
134 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2016

These sites pepper the road and are no more than tourists traps introducing tourists to a few exotic trees to lead them to the shop. Some enjoy it We did not

Helpful?
Thank Wanderpaths
Sam Popham Arbo... D, Manager at Popham's Arboretum, responded to this review

We feel that you may have misidentified the property on TA. Your review describes a typical “Spice Garden” concept. The IFS-Popham Arboretum, until recently Sri Lanka's only dry zone arboretum, was established 5 decades ago on 7.5 acres of thorny scrub jungle and abandoned ‘Chena’ land with the intention of reforesting and conserving the unique biological diversity of the ‘dry... More 

Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2015 via mobile

We had a great experience at the arboretum today! Mr. Amarasinghe gave us an educational and entertaining tour of the area. His knowledge of the flora and local environment are incredible. It was good to see environmental programs like his happening here. Our young children loved the easy walks and bats! The sip of tea was especially nice at the... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Julie H
Hampshire
Level Contributor
113 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 360 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2015

If you like birds and bats then it is very well worth paying a visit and following one of the very well signposted routes.

Helpful?
1 Thank Wildlifewatcher
Sri Lanka
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2015

Went on camping at Popham's Arboretum and stayed for one night. Awesome place to camping while enjoying the beauty of mother nature.

Helpful?
1 Thank Charindu M
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2015

We visited here last summer. We had a great guided tour through the forest that made "nature conservation" to us a very real thing. Indeed it is difficult. The manager of the property does a great job in protecting the trees against the marble quarry nearby and the animals against poaching. In response to some other reviewer who complained: if... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank PietPaal13

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