Madu River
6:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
6:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
6:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
6:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
6:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
6:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
6:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
6:30 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Madu River is a wetland, near the Small town "Balapitiya" along the Colombo Galle highway. This is the point where the Estuary of the Madu river. The river flows through a terrain where it creates a large number of islands, and the eco system creates a beautiful wetland. The hotels around provide boat rids through the canals created at a good cost. And there are loads of places to stay, dine and wine.
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  • Ramal Coorey
    Colombo, Sri Lanka139 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Madu River Safari Experience
    I had a opportunity to go a cuisse along the Madu river which is located near Balapitiya in the Southern Province. Biodiversity was the major attraction in Madu river wet land with consists of a large variety of mangroves. Our motorboat was equipped with a canopy which could be raised or lowered when it was necessary. At around 10 am our cruise started from Captain Marina Hotel. On the way we saw many prawn traps, visited Kotdoowa Rajamaha Viharaya Temple, Cinnamon Island and a memorable experiences with natural fish therapy. We returned at around 12.45 pm and enjoyed lunch at Captain Marina Hotel.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 27, 2023
  • AlfredSF
    Island of Malta, Malta78 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very interesting experience along the River
    There are many boat safari centres along the River Madu. Our guide, Prasad introduced us to No. 07 boat safari. These are a very friendly group of young people who explained to us what the safari was going to include. Our boatman was Sadi who is very knowledgeable. He pointed out the various reptiles and birds seen along the way, besides information about the various islands in this river. The most interesting stops included the place where cinnamon is extracted, the fish massage and the location where the river meets the Indian ocean. Highly recommended experience.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 2, 2023
  • Anu. C
    Salmiya, Kuwait60 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    One time experience
    Try not to get ripped off. We had a tour package and our driver took us to his friend.in our package it was rated 22$ per person(7000 SR) for the boat. Which i feel is also inflated for tourists. When reaching the ticket counter the cashier asked for 12000 SR. When we asked our driver to tell them the rate is less he sided with them saying you will have to pay 12000 SR. We finally paid only 7000 SR. Bargain and the price will be reduced. There are many such boats available in that area. The river itself was great. Saw many unique views. A small hindu temple, buddhist temple, cinnamon manufacture, mangroves, islands,fish pedicure. Everywhere its overpriced. The fish pedicure was 400 SR for 10 mins which could have been further reduced. If you want to get down at the buddhist temple you will need to cover your knees. They do provide Cloth to wrap around your waist.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 23, 2023
  • bird
    Tamil Nadu, India16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Madu River Safari Bentota
    Had wonderful trip. Hired Lucky +94 78 309 6116 Suresh Luckmar. Lovely guy. It rained during our Safari. Lucky not only ensured that we were protected from rain he compensated by giving 1 hour extra ride. Wish him well.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 4, 2023
  • seema60
    Toronto, Canada928 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful boat ride along mangroves
    I was taken on the Madu river cruise for an hour and half. I got a bit irritated at my driver who made me pay extra unnecessarily when my tour had already booked an hour trip. The boat ride was lovely along the mangroves. The boatman pointed out a number of birds like kingfishers and cormorants. He also showed my a big and small monitor lizard, some monkeys along the way. Then we stopped at a Buddhist temple and saw a small Hindu temple on the smallest island. I enjoyed going under the bridges. There is also a small foot bridge which connects the biggest island on the lake. At the end of the tour, the boat was taken to where the river meets the sea. It was a fun trip.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written January 6, 2024
  • Rachit Agarwal
    Surat, India6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Simply amazing.. Don't miss at any cost
    Don't don't miss the beautiful boat ride. We had climate in our favour as it started to get cloudy and then eventually rain. Don't go to no. 7 as mentioned by a few others too. He asked 30 usd per person for 1.5 hours. We went to another place - The Walauwa (see pic). They charge much less, plus the boat guide Mr. Prasad was amazing too. Cinnamon island was explained well. Bought some from their store too. Fish spa good too. Enjoy the serene beauty.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written March 21, 2024
  • Mohanraj D
    4 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Scam Alert!!
    Scam Alert!! Paid 40,000LKR for a 7,000LKR ride. Tour guide and Boat operator Nexus. We were on trip covering Srilanka through a Tour operator and our tour operator provided us the cost for each activities on Day 1 itself. But the van driver assigned by the operator kept saying that the price we pay is high and he can arrange for them at lower price. I wanted to give a try and asked him to arrange for Madu river safari. He took us to No 7 Boat Safari and they offered two packages. One for $35 and another for $45 and they convinced us to take the second package for $45 which includes Fish spa and island visit. I felt the price was high, but its a brain fade moment. I didn't cross check the price with the operator price. Now comes the negotiation part. Our driver finally got the price to 40000LKR for 4 persons which is roughly around $34 per person. After reaching the Hotel, I checked the tour operator price. It's $22 per boat upto 6pax. Its 6,600LKR for the full boat whereas we have paid 40,000LKR. I called the driver to lobby and showed him the price quoted by his company and the price we paid. I told him, If I don't get my money back, I have to bring it to the notice of the tour manager. He then called someone and spoke in local language. After couple of minutes, he came back saying that the boat safari package through operator is $22 only but since we went there on our own, package rates were different and his friend has agreed to refund the amount and will transfer the money to his account. He also handed over 33,000LKR on the spot stating he will get it from his friend later.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written April 16, 2024
  • niru001
    Ahmedabad, India92 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worthy Experience if anyone is on Sri Lanka Tour
    Visited Madu River after doing a lot of research on the package. Our tour driver recommended we go directly and book on our own rather than going through any agency. Paid 5000 LKR for an hour ride. The boat rider was full of enthusiasm and could see how much interest he took on taking us through the river. The ride through the mangrove was an absolute pleasure. Visited cinnamon island, was fortunate to capture some wild Huge Lizard, the baby crocodile on the way was cute. Our boat driver was also a great photographer and he captured lots of great memories for us during the short 1 hr ride. It was a memorable experience. We visited in August 2023, probably off season hence the ride was not so overpriced as how i read during peak season.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 10, 2024
  • Hussain A
    83 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Madu River Experience
    It was so sunny that day. They also charged me around 50 US Dollars per person while i discouvered that there are many boats company much cheaper up to the half waht I paid. It is supposed to be like an animal jungle, but unfortunately I see one to two bird only and no more other. For first time people experince you might try. For people who already tried such this experince in another countrieses, I may not be advised to try.
    Visited June 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written June 16, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles682 reviews
Excellent
275
Very good
213
Average
97
Poor
47
Terrible
50

Cargs101
Perth, Australia128 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
This is a very popular tourist area. You can arrange private boat safari's if you do some homework. This way we had a boat and driver to ourselves and avoided the larger tours.
The tour takes an hour or so with a couple of stops. The stops are interesting and you can choose to spend more money or move on.
For me the boat ride was most enjoyable to be out on the water away from everyone else and experiencing a little of the nature of the area.
Written March 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sharmini R
Colombo, Sri Lanka50 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family
We travelled from Colombo on the Matara Highway, and took the exit at Ambalangoda. I had done the research on the Boats and knew prices etc, but off the Highway we spotted this guy holding a placard about the Madu River excursion and decided to go with him.
We enjoyed our Boat ride through the waters immensely. It was a revelation. And, as a previous Reviewer mentioned, being Sri Lankan I was sad and sorry I hadn’t taken the time to experience the wealth of beauty before . What a treasure. Going through a tunnel of Mangroves was the highlight for me ! And the “ thirst “quenching stop at a Juice Bar - where, after about 30 plus years I tasted our own “ Kirala” juice. ( Kirala a fruit that grows in this very area. ) There are the inhabited islands connected by small bridges. ( Thrilling to see a duo on a Motor bike pass atop us) and the historic temple, plus a little derelict shrine on the tiniest of Islands. ( Actually rock). We missed out on the Cinnamon plantation and Fish place, as we were pressed for time, but that is for our next visit. To experience this ecological wonder and nature’s heritage that we are Blessed with. Hopefully! again and again.
Written February 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Darshan B
1 contribution
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
Went during Jan 2024.

We hired a car with a driver and he recommended doing this with No7 boat safari.

The safari was fairly boring. You see some Islands, they take you for a foot spa (which is known to be infectious) and then they take you to cinnamon island where they give you cinnamon tea and sell you cinnamon.

We paid 10k Sri Lankan rupees each for it. It was very very over priced for the experience.

Please be careful on how much you pay for it. They know we were from the US and started off at a higher price and my driver may have been involved as well
Written January 26, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

niru001
Ahmedabad, India92 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
Visited Madu River after doing a lot of research on the package. Our tour driver recommended we go directly and book on our own rather than going through any agency. Paid 5000 LKR for an hour ride. The boat rider was full of enthusiasm and could see how much interest he took on taking us through the river. The ride through the mangrove was an absolute pleasure. Visited cinnamon island, was fortunate to capture some wild Huge Lizard, the baby crocodile on the way was cute.
Our boat driver was also a great photographer and he captured lots of great memories for us during the short 1 hr ride.
It was a memorable experience. We visited in August 2023, probably off season hence the ride was not so overpriced as how i read during peak season.
Written June 11, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ayesha Sewwandi
Monaragala, Sri Lanka54 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021 • Family
The Buddhist Kothduwa temple is situated on an isolated island in the lake.

Madu Ganga Lake, together with the smaller Randombe Lake, to which it is connected by two narrow channels, forms the Madu Ganga wetland.Madu Ganga River Safari Balapitiya, have an once in lifetime experience in Eco Isle, Day and Night Camping, yoga and meditation classes, Live cooking experience.it is popular activity.The Madu river Boat safari is the finest way to explore the Islands and nature of Madu River .
Written February 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

amarsharmam
Kodagu (Coorg), India212 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
First they serve with you with a welcome drink, and then we go on the motor boat. First to an island which cultivates cinnamon. At this island - we can see the process of making cinnamon. Cinnamon, Cinnamon oil, powder are available for sale at reasonable prices. After this, the next stop is at the fish spa facility on the river. The experience at the fish spa was amazing. Then it’s a boat ride back to where we started - and you’re greeted with a wet face towel. Overall experience was very good. A nice leisure day activity!
Written February 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

seema60
Toronto, Canada928 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Solo
I was taken on the Madu river cruise for an hour and half. I got a bit irritated at my driver who made me pay extra unnecessarily when my tour had already booked an hour trip. The boat ride was lovely along the mangroves. The boatman pointed out a number of birds like kingfishers and cormorants. He also showed my a big and small monitor lizard, some monkeys along the way. Then we stopped at a Buddhist temple and saw a small Hindu temple on the smallest island. I enjoyed going under the bridges. There is also a small foot bridge which connects the biggest island on the lake. At the end of the tour, the boat was taken to where the river meets the sea. It was a fun trip.
Written January 6, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mohanraj D
4 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Scam Alert!!

Paid 40,000LKR for a 7,000LKR ride. Tour guide and Boat operator Nexus.

We were on trip covering Srilanka through a Tour operator and our tour operator provided us the cost for each activities on Day 1 itself. But the van driver assigned by the operator kept saying that the price we pay is high and he can arrange for them at lower price. I wanted to give a try and asked him to arrange for Madu river safari. He took us to No 7 Boat Safari and they offered two packages. One for $35 and another for $45 and they convinced us to take the second package for $45 which includes Fish spa and island visit. I felt the price was high, but its a brain fade moment. I didn't cross check the price with the operator price. Now comes the negotiation part. Our driver finally got the price to 40000LKR for 4 persons which is roughly around $34 per person. After reaching the Hotel, I checked the tour operator price. It's $22 per boat upto 6pax. Its 6,600LKR for the full boat whereas we have paid 40,000LKR. I called the driver to lobby and showed him the price quoted by his company and the price we paid. I told him, If I don't get my money back, I have to bring it to the notice of the tour manager. He then called someone and spoke in local language. After couple of minutes, he came back saying that the boat safari package through operator is $22 only but since we went there on our own, package rates were different and his friend has agreed to refund the amount and will transfer the money to his account. He also handed over 33,000LKR on the spot stating he will get it from his friend later.
Written April 16, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anu. C
Salmiya, Kuwait60 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Friends
Try not to get ripped off. We had a tour package and our driver took us to his friend.in our package it was rated 22$ per person(7000 SR) for the boat. Which i feel is also inflated for tourists.
When reaching the ticket counter the cashier asked for 12000 SR.
When we asked our driver to tell them the rate is less he sided with them saying you will have to pay 12000 SR.
We finally paid only 7000 SR. Bargain and the price will be reduced.
There are many such boats available in that area.
The river itself was great. Saw many unique views.
A small hindu temple, buddhist temple, cinnamon manufacture, mangroves, islands,fish pedicure.
Everywhere its overpriced.
The fish pedicure was 400 SR for 10 mins which could have been further reduced.
If you want to get down at the buddhist temple you will need to cover your knees. They do provide Cloth to wrap around your waist.
Written September 23, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Laura M
Limassol City, Cyprus30 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
Do not recommend! Waste of time and money. Really nothing to see there… Had high hopes for Cinnamon Island but they just showed 3min how to peel cinnamon and gave cinnamon water to drink. Later gave us cinnamon products to buy all wrapped in plastic.
Written April 3, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Madu River - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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