Madu River

The river names Madu is an exciting place that is full of ultimate biodiversity. This fascinating river belongs to the district of Galle. And it flows between the two villages named Balapitiya and Karandeniya.

This river is famous not only among the Sri Lankan tourists but also among foreigners too. People come here for various purposes. Some people visit and look around while a large number of travelers visit this place to see the birds and butterflies. Some people like to ride a boat or searching for fish. Students supposed to explore the botanical and zoological system. Whatever people meant to be, everyone will go back with satisfaction.

The small islands situated in there give the environment a different beauty. Nowadays we can see about twenty islands related to the river. But in the past, they say that there were sixty-four. Most of them have drowned in the water because of global warming and the growth of water. The largest one in there is called “Madoowa”. People say that the river also got its name because of this island.

Madu River


The ecosystem in the area

There you can find about thirty kinds of reptiles, twelve types of amphibious, sixty butterflies, and fifty types of fish. Nineteen of them have discovered endemic. If you are interested in bird watching, of course, you will be able to see that there are more than a hundred kinds of them too. Also, there are about twenty-five kinds of mangroves. You can see the wild boar roaming around there and even monkeys, squirrels, and some other small species wondering here and there. Besides that, the scientists say there must be many unknown species too.


The islands

As mentioned before, there are about twenty islands to go and look for. Your disembarking must be very clear because there may be some crocodiles and sometimes the poisonous reptiles in the islands. Therefore always remember to go with a guide or at least someone who knows about the place very much.

There is an island called “Koth doowa”. It is an old place. It has an ancient temple, and the legends say that king Dhatusena and his son Mugalan were in there.

You can see that most of these islands are full of some kinds of herbs. The cinnamon is very popular here. You can buy some newly peeled pack for a little amount of money.

Kothduwa Island in Madu Ganga


What is there other than islands and Eco?

Another exciting thing you can see here are fishermen. Those are not the usual fishermen we know. They hardly ride a boat for fishing. But, here, most of them plant several poles in the water, next get on to them, and sit balanced. After that, they use a fishing rod, catch some fish, and put them into a basket they are hanging in the waist. Some people bind a net between those poles and try to catch fish who try to swim across the net.

Have you ever heard about fish massage? It can be seen in South Asia. Here in Madu River, you can get a fantastic massage with fish. It is not that much hard. You have to put your feet into the water. Fish will massage you well. The place is covered by nets or something else so that the fish cannot go out. They swim in the artificial pond. When you put the feet, you will feel that they are swimming around you. That is zing, really funny, and tickling.


The boat rides

Sitting on a deck of a boat will be an incredible journey. You will see the real beauty of nature in your own eyes. The fauna and flora will bring you to a wonderland. The visit will be not only beautiful but also will give you an excellent knowledge of some trees, herbal plants and even the species.

You can start the ride from the area of Bentota. The Madu river boat ride Bentota will take only about three or four hours to go around. Though we can say that this is the third-largest river, it will not take a long time to visit this.

There you can see the habitats of animals which are situated naturally in and near the water. Some crocodiles and some kinds of lizards can only be seen by riding on a boat. There are no roads, and only a boat ride can bring you to the islands. You can explore the mangroves very well when you try to ride.

The best thing is that your mind will be relaxed with this tour because the water and the environment full of trees always give a happy feeling to humans.

If you are riding from the Bentota area, you can get a chance to see the Herb garden in there. Also, after the ride, you can go to the beach and have a good and fresh bath. Make sure to be careful if you wish to bathe in the river because there are some harmful species in there.


How to reach Madu River?

It is pretty easy. You can travel to Balapitiya area from any place in the country. It will take only about one hour from Colombo. If you book a Madu river boat safari package, it will be about a hundred and fifty dollars. Then they will get you from the hotel, bring you there, take you in the boat and get back to the hotel in the evening. If not, you can travel on your own. There are some guides and the boats in there that you can choose. It will cost only about forty dollars. One thing is you must be very careful if you take children with you.

How to reach Madu River


Where to stay?

There are many beautiful Madu River hotels around the place. The River House by Asia Leisure is a tranquil place and has an excellent staff. They will provide anything you ask, including food, even it was not on the menu.

The Roman Lake Ayurveda Resort is calm too. It has a pool which you can swim watching the river and also most of the rooms have a view of the Madu River.

Calamansi cove has its beach. It is situated in a large area so that the place has privacy. You can enjoy the pool and the beach. There is a freedom to walk around without stuck in a room. The hammocks will relax you.

Heritance Ahungalla has a beach too and also a large pool. There you can have a buffet, and it is better to book before you go.



Riding in Madu River is a fantastic travel experience. The beautiful nature and the beautiful blue water will drive you into an exciting world. Not only that, but also riding a boat through mangroves give you a memorable experience.