This majestic rainforest was deemed an International Man and Biosphere Reserve in 1978 covering 190 square kilometers (73 square miles), the Sinharaja Forest Reserve is one of two natural world heritage sites in Sri Lanka. A tropical virgin rainforest, Sinharaja is home to a myriad of fauna and flora that is endemic to the island. More than half of Sri Lanka’s 86 species of mammals are found within the confines of this natural treasure, amongst them the elephant, purple-faced langur, the ruddy mongoose, and giant squirrels. Sinharaja is also home to the elusive leopard.
With over 130 bird species resident in Sinharaja, 34 of Sri Lanka’s 36 endemic birds are also sighted here, including the red-faced malkoha, the Malabar trogon and spot-winged trush. Sinharaja Forest Reserve’s staggering array of flora and fauna place it among the top biodiversity hotspots in the world. 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!