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“Must do”
Review of Madu River

Madu River
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Must do”
Reviewed December 2, 2013

A river safari on river madu in southern Sri Lanka should be a must do on the itenarary of every traveler to that part of the world. It takes you through mangroves, an island where cinnamon is cultivated, an ancient Buddhist temple, and a fish pedicure.

Thrilling and educative, it is an experience, especially if your boatsman is knowledgeable

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank RKDesai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Centurion, South Africa
Level Contributor
234 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Loved it”
Reviewed October 28, 2013

IT was what you see on the tv. The old man that makes the cinnamon was my favourite. We however got stuck in fischern nets, beause it was already late when we were going out. So they have already spread out the nets for the night. So in the end after the fischerman and the boat driver settled how much we have to pay for the net (and the money in my purse, the only foreigner, was in the back of the mind of the fisherman). So when we left and had to go back, we didint have any light, so the driver had to drive back in total darknes with only the star's lights. And that was amazing. He drove almost blind and missed all the prawn cages along the way. WOW! I dont want to do it again, but it was beautiful.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Lynn0416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
251 reviews
105 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 375 helpful votes
“So Pleasant ...”
Reviewed October 22, 2013

was the The Madu River Boat Safari & I'd definitely recommend it! Although I'm sure we were on the river for much longer than an hour & a half, more like 3-4 hours. Almost immediately a young boy appeared with a tiny monkey, we were allowed to hold the monkey & the lad seemed quite happy with the 100 that I gave him. There was a couple of other youngsters fishing on the river too, & a few water monitors which all adds to the photo shoot. Our boat man Malaka took some pics of us on our river safari which was a lovely thought. We visited 3 islands in all - one was cinnamon island where a small family lived, a man shows you how the cinnamon is extracted from trees which was quite interesting. He then hopes you'll buy some for 400 rupee, I didn't want any but gave him 100 & he looked totally miserable by this gesture of mine. The second island was a Buddhist temple & we were shown around & given a talk by a lovely young Buddha boy. We were blessed by him & had a string thing tied around our wrists, the donations book was then presented & it was suggested that we could donate if we so wished - we did. Don't forget shoulders & knees covered girlz,! The Buddha boy will provide something to cover the knees, & if your boat man's as good as mine was he will wrap it around you. Then it was off to the fish farm where we paddled whilst the fish tried to take a toe off, nibbled is an understatement! I wasn't keen actually & screamed my head off, however, my husband loved it, but they made a right mess of his feet & it took almost a week for the red marks to disappear. They charged us an extra 200 for this! Just when I thought I was all paid up - someone was conned that day! Oh & I almost forgot about the baby crocodile that we were allowed to hold & have our pics taken with him. Do wear sun screen as it gets very hot on the river & if there's a roof on your boat get them to raise it too for extra protection against the sun. The woman who owns the place were lovely too, she met us off the boat with a cold flannel, & we were allowed to sit & eat our packed lunch & use their bathroom facilities. We paid a local man 110 USD for this for 2 people, but we also visited the Tsunami Museum, Turtle Hatchery, Moon Stone Mine, & Turtle Hatchery too.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank DeuceWooo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
252 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
“Mangrove Cave in Maduganga Sanctuary”
Reviewed October 19, 2013

Madu River, which is a part of the Balapitiya wetland is a pristine mangrove extending to 915 hectars and classified as the 1372nd of the wetlands in the list of wetlands of international importance designated under the international convention on wetlands ( Ramsar Convention )
There are more than 100 islets scattered in the area out of which many are uninhabited like the snake island ( Naya Dhoopa ) There is cinnamon cultivation in one islet where one can watch cinnamon plantations and its processing.
In the river there is a place where the live fish is caught and kept in hundreds of numbers in nets hung in water by floating drums. The visitor can sit on a wooden plank and dip his feet in water to enjoy the wonderful "foot massage " done by hundreds of fish nipping on the toes.
There is a " cave " in the mangrove through which one can pass through in a boat to see the awesome mangroves all around.
Birds found are : Oriole, Green Pigeon, Scarlet Minivet, Cormorant, Kingfisher, Barbets, spotted doves and so on.
Great place to enjoy for few days.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank PRABHU60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Pleasant putter up the river.”
Reviewed September 29, 2013

The River Boat Safari is a pleasant putter along wide stretches of calm river with dips in and out of mangroves to spot wildlife and trees. Although its uber touristy with stops at a tiny cinnamon farm, a Buddhist temple, a fish farm and fish spa, it’s still a very pleasant way to spend a couple of hours just kicking back and relaxing. The stops are all selling goods or taking donations and if you want to enjoy the experience to fullest just suck it up and take plenty small change. Our guide was very good, sliding up to monkeys, water monitors, kingfishers etc. in order to get pics. He took a fabulous photo of myself and hubby in a mangrove but I was out of luck at the start of the tour because the fake fishermen fell off their poles before I got a chance to snap them lol! The boats hold up to about 8 people but we went just by ourselves at a cost of about £10pp. The guides are great and there are toilet facilities at the end of the tour.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank portopunter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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