This review is a bit unusual as we didn’t actually stay there. We just made a visit for a mid-morning snack & cold drink and I really wanted to see the property. I was pretty upset to learn that contrary to what a Sri Lankan tour operator (Red Dot) told me, he did have room – more than one room actually.
Martin’s is the closest lodge to Sinharaja Forest Reserve and you can get here with a Central Asian award to Colombo, then taxi or bus to Kudawa. Martin is a very friendly man and although his lodge is indeed simple, you can’t beat the location a few minutes down the road from the entrance.
Sit here and watch the birds fly by!
If they had been selling this t-shirt I would have bought one!
To book this lodge, you really need to call Martin. He speaks English but he doesn’t have email or internet access. His rates are probably the lowest in the area and tour operators prefer to steer you to more expensive accommodations. Call Martin on 045 568 1864.
For me, I think the perfect combination is to spend your time here due to proximity to the reserve except for the last night. Then move to the Rock View Motel for the sweeping views over the valley which bring different birds into the mix. You can also easily catch a bus to Kalawana from in front of the Rock View.
While Flightstats doesn’t have a guide for every airport in the world, they do have most of the major airports. You can always Google the name of the airport to find the airport’s official website for greater details but the Flightstats are available on iPhone & Android apps which may be more convenient.
On the Airports tab, click on Airport Terminal Guide. Since Qatar Airways joined One World, some of us may be using Doha as a transit point so let's go to the Middle East tab and see what the airport has to offer. Maybe they have a lounge we can use or some good shopping.
The map on Flightstats isn't very good but we can see a few lounges (L) On the Overview tab, they have a link to the official website where we can get more details.
And yes, there is a pay per use lounge we can use if we wish.
The Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros gingalensis) is a hornbill and a widespread and common endemic resident breeder in Sri Lanka. Hornbills are a family of tropical near-passerine birds found in the Old World.
The Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill is a gregarious bird found in forest habitats. It feeds mostly on figs, although occasionally it eats small rodents, reptiles and insects.
They are widespread througout Sri Lanka. I had no trouble spotting them in Kithulgala & Sinharaja. An award to Central Asia can get you to Colombo, then take a taxi or the bus to Kithulgala or Sinharaja.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS BIRD
Ceylon Bird Club
When you start doing research to prepare for a trip to Sinharaja, you will notice a common theme (other than raving about the beautiful birds). LEECHES! Everyone will tell you that you MUST have leech socks to prevent these disgusting slimy creatures from using your blood as a meal. I wasn’t about to become the plat-du-jour so I set out to find some leech socks in Australia……………..and failed! I could have ordered them from Amazon.com and had a nice choice of colours (affiliate link).
Unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to have them shipped to Australia so I had to make do with the much cheaper ones ~ $5 available at the park entrance which were a bit too small for our large feet. The guides showed us how to use them properly – over your regular socks and pants.
I noticed with envy the much trendier birders with more colourful leech socks!
I also took the precaution of spraying the socks and our pants with DEET repellent and using the strongest possible anti-mosquito & leech cream on our skin before we got dressed in the morning.
We may not have been on trend but at least we stayed free from leeches during our visit to Sinharaja!
It was disappointing to arrive at the Rock View Motel after dark but it was my own fault for taking the wrong bus! Although the map on their website isn’t much better! You can’t book this lodge through any portals so just email them using the contact on their website. Rates are pretty reasonable, Double Half Board – Rs. 8,500.00 and you must pay in cash so be prepared. Reviews are mixed – yes the rooms are basic but the views more than make up for it! If you are there for the birds, you will see plenty from the balcony!