Plentiful opportunities for canoeing and kayaking adventures in Sri Lanka !
Anyone who has enjoyed Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man & The Sea would want to get a taste of sea kayaking. The two most popular locations for kayaking are Weligama and Bentota and both ought to be visited between November and April. While the former is a small beachside resort around a large sandy bay, the latter is a large seaside town on the south sest coast.
A typical kayak tour promises an up-close view of scattered islands, coral reefs, and sea-life, and it usually includes a guide, safety equipment, and pre-trip briefing. As always, snorkelling is an added option. At Bentota, the tour includes a scrumptious seafood lunch at the Light House Island.
In addition, one can also choose a canoe or a kayak to navigate through the many rivers of Sri Lanka, and thereby, explore the adjoining jungles, swamps, lagoons and canals. For first-timers looking for a laid-back canoe ride, there is the Kalu Ganga (meaning “Black River”) which flows westward where it drops into the Indian Ocean. After taking in the wonderful landscapes and natural vegetation, the journey ends at Kalutara where one can visit the famous Buddhist shrine, the Gangatilaka Vihara.
The Bentota lagoon is a calm place for canoeing, while the more adventurous tourists can take a detour under the Galle Road Bridge and head upstream where monitor lizards, crocodiles and mangroves abound. If you are looking for a relaxed kayaking experience, you can paddle across the serene waters of the Samanala Wewa Reservoir, south of Horton Plains National Park and not far from Haputale.