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Kitulgala Forest Reserve, nestled amidst lush greenery, stands as a haven for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers alike. This rainforest sanctuary boasts an impressive array of avian fauna, including the elusive Green-billed Coucal, captivating Chestnut-backed Owlet, vibrant Red-faced Mal koha, and enchanting Sri Lanka Spot-winged Thrush. Notable avian inhabitants also include the Grey Hornbill, Sri Lanka Spur fowl, Ceylon Jungle fowl, and Yellow-fronted Barbet. The recent discovery of the Serendib Scoops Owl has further enhanced the forest's allure, attracting bird watchers from far and wide.

In addition to its avian diversity, Kitulgala Forest Reserve is home to a variety of mammal species, including the Grizzled Indian Squirrel, Layard’s Striped Squirrel, and Purple-faced Leaf Monkey. Streams within the forest harbor endemic fish species and a plethora of amphibians, contributing to the area's biodiversity.

Reptile enthusiasts can spot species such as the Earless Lizard, Kangaroo Lizard, and Hump-nosed Lizard along the banks of the Kelani River. While exploring, it's advisable to use insect repellent and wear anti-leech socks to protect against leeches and insects.

Situated approximately 80 kilometers from Colombo along the A7 main road to Nuwara Eliya via Avissawella, Kitulgala is a picturesque town surrounded by verdant hills and tropical vegetation. The area experiences two monsoon seasons annually, with February being the driest month.

Kitulgala gained international recognition when scenes from the Academy Award-winning movie "The Bridge on the River Kwai" were filmed nearby, immortalizing the region's natural beauty.

Today, Kitulgala is a popular destination for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts. Activities include white-water rafting, jungle walks, waterfall jumps, and bird watching. The Kelani River offers a safe spot for swimming and water play.

Birders flock to Kitulgala to observe diverse avian species, including those found in the World Biosphere Reserve at Sinharaja. The open habitat makes spotting elusive endemic species easier.

Bird enthusiasts can expect sightings of the majestic Black Eagle, Rufous-Bellied Eagle, Ceylon Spur Fowl, and more. Other notable sightings may include the Layard’s Parakeet, Serendib Scops-Owl, and Ceylon Swallow.

In conclusion, Kitulgala Forest Reserve offers a captivating blend of natural beauty and biodiversity. Whether exploring the rainforest, engaging in water activities, or bird watching, visitors are sure to be enchanted by its charm and ecological richness.







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