Day 2 - Galle City Tour, River Boat Safari & Turtle Hatchery Tour
After breakfast at hotel, proceed to visit the colonial coastal town of Galle and continue to experience the Madhu River Boat Safari and Turtle Hatchery. (Approx Travel time: 30-45 mins)Galle
is a coastal town where the Dutch presence is still visible. Galle was an ancient port (said to be the legendary Tarshish of the Bible), and our first international commerce and trade centre. Today, Galle is the bustling provincial capital and administrative centre of the south. It is famous for its lovely Unawatuna Bay, where the sea is reef protected and therefore safe for swimming.
The old Dutch “Star Fort” (a World Heritages Site) covering 36 hectares, the well-preserved Groote Kerk (Dutch Church), Dutch Government House, the New Oriental Hotel (built in 1684) old bell tower and a tide-based Sewage-System, also introduced by the Dutch. In Galle they still make the Dutch ‘pillow-lace’ and do fine ebony carving and gem polishing.
On completion experience the Madhu River Boat Safari.
The estuary of the Madu Ganga River
is a complex coastal ecosystem of mangroves and islands. It may be one of the last remaining tracts of pristine mangrove forests in Sri Lanka. A boat trip is a wonderful way of seeing some of the hundreds of species of plants and animals – monkeys eat fruit in the trees, a water monitor lizard glides slowly through the water, and cormorants, egrets and kingfishers wait patiently on the banks, eyeing the water for prey.
There are around 64 islands in the river and lagoon, from a tiny speck housing a deserted shrine to one housing 250 families connected to the mainland with a very long footbridge. You can visit an island with a Buddhist monastery, where the friendly young monks will show you a 150-year-old book made of palm leaves and how they cook on cinnamon wood on an open fire.
The main occupations of the local inhabitants are producing cinnamon and prawn fishing – if you take the trip in the evening you will see the fishermen in their canoes lighting lanterns to attract the shellfish into their traps.