This majestic rainforest was deemed an International Man and Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and deservedly designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1989. This could be described as a tropical lowland rainforest or a tropical wet evergreen forest which in turn makes it a major eco tourism destination.
More than 60% of the trees are endemic and many of them are considered rare. There is much endemic wildlife, especially birds, but the reserve is also home to over 50% of Sri Lanka's endemic species of mammals and butterflies, as well as many kinds of insects, reptiles and rare amphibians. Furthermore the word 'Sinharaja' means, Lion (Sinha) King (Raja), and it is popular belief that the legendary origin of the Sinhala people is from the union between a princess and the lion king who once lived in the forest!
6500ft above sea level lies Sri Lanka’s highest and most isolated plateau. Nature lovers will revel in this wide, patna-grass covered plain, the haunt of many wild, yet harmless, animals and the home of many species of birds. Bridle paths will take you to the precipice known as World’s End – a sheer drop of 1,050 meters. Waterfalls are seen and heard everywhere in this hill country.
Here in Balapitiya lies Madu Ganga, the beautiful river that nestles alongside Whispering Waters. Madu Ganga is considered as Sri Lanka's second largest wetland consisting of 32 islands including two main islands providing shelter to 215 families.