Popham’s Arboretum is situated in Dambulla. It is Sri Lanka’s only dry zone Arboretum that contains a large variety of trees, birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and mammals in their natural setting. The name was given to this place by a man named Sam Popham who was an Englishman with an unparalleled love for trees.
Popham’s Arboretum is a Monsoon Dry Forest that consists of trees like Ebony, Palu, Margosa, Weera, Milla, Tamarind, Velan, and Ceylon Iron Wood amongst others. Sam Popham was successful in creating the arboretum on seven and a half acres of jungle. There are wooden bridges built over small streams from where you can hear the birds chirping, the smell of the earth and you can witness the beauty of nature. There’s a variety of birds around this area such as Jungle Magpie Robins, Jungle Fowl, the Red-vented and Black-capped Bulbuls, Black-headed Orioles, Crimson backed Woodpeckers, Brown-headed Barbets, Black-headed Orioles, Paradise Flycatchers, flowerpeckers, sunbirds, tailor birds, Parakeets, Eagles and plenty more.
There’s more to enjoy like the beautiful scene by spotted Deer, Wild Boar, Porcupine, Mouse Deer, Black Naped Hare, Rock Squirrels, and the rare (endemic) Slender Loris.
Take the McCallum road then go on the Colombo-Katunayake expressway and exit from the Ja-Ela exit. Turn right onto Chilaw – Colombo Main Road and turn right onto Kurunegala Road.
Turn right to Kathiresan Kovil Road and turn right onto Link Road. Turn right onto Kandy Road and turn left onto Dambulla – Bakamuna – Kalugahawela Road.
Go on Ambepussa – Kurunegala – Trincomalee road. Turn left toward Dambulla – Kalugahawela Road and you will reach your destination.
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