WioWiKi stands for “Vacationing With or Without Kids”. At WioWiKi we believe that parents with children, whatever be their age, can afford to chart a journey with culturally rich and entertaining itineraries.

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MannarIsland

 

Visit Mannar Island  and admire baobabs!

 

 

Situated some 220 kilometres north of Colombo, between Kalpitiya and Jaffna peninsula is the unique Manna Island. The place is unique in every sense. First built by the Portuguese in 1560 and then by the Dutch in 1658, the island was famous around the world for pearl oyster farming. The island is also famous for Adam’s Bridge (or Rama’s Bridge), a string of underwater   limestone shoals that link Sri Lanka to India’s Rameshwaram Island.

 

Mannar is also unique for its vegetation due to the presence of over 30 Baobab trees. It is reported that the trees were brought here by Arab traders as documented in numerous travelogues during the 19th century. The trees are said to be between 300 to 400 years old but one that is in Pallimunei is said to be  over 700 years old.

 

As rainfall is relatively scarce here, the vegetation is composed mainly of mangroves and thorny shrubs.

 

Mannar Island and the area northwest of Giant’s Tank has become a real treasure trove for bird enthusiasts. Birders have reported sightings of Common Coot, Cotton Teal, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Rufous-rumped Shrike, Black Drongo, Collared Dove, Pintail, Kestrel, Great Cormorant, Striated Weaver, Spot-billed Pelican, Purple Coot and many more.

 

Another unique feature of Mannar is the Dugong. The Dugong known as “Muhudu Ura” in Sinhalese is a marine mammal that feeds on sea grass and other water plants that grow on the seabed. Their numbers have dwindled around the world but sightings are reported in the Gulf of Mannar. The Dugong is registered as a ‘Vulnerable’ species under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as populations have reached rock-bottom levels. Although it is illegal to catch them, they get trapped in fishing nets and fall victim to fishing methods like dynamiting.

 

Other aquatic species around the island are sea turtles and dolphins that are regularly spotted. 

 

 

What can you expect to spot?

Easily: Butterflies, Long-tailed Shrike, Black Drongo, Crab Plover, Indian Courser, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew and Spot-billed Duck.

 

If you use your senses: Garganey, Common Teal, Pallas’s Gull and Heuglin’s Gull.

 

If you are lucky: Avocet and Oystercatcher.

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have a comment to make? An experience you would like to share? Feel free to contribute*.