Bentota River Safari

Bentota River Safari

By far Bentota is the most popular beach resort in Sri Lanka and it attracts the most number of beach holiday lovers of Sri Lanka. It is one of the most popular beaches for day outings in Sri Lanka. Bentota deserves to be the best beach holiday destination in Sri Lanka because it has all ingredients to be so. This popular beach resort provides pristine beaches, diving sites, water sports centres, restaurants, bars, cafes, markets, temples, historical monuments, a wide range of accommodation facilities, recreation activities… and many many more.

Bentota River is one of the most important geographical feature in Bentota and a popular place for Sri Lanka one day trip from Colombo and west coast hotels. However, Bentota boat safari is not as popular as the Bentota beach resort. Its importance is largely overlooked due to its nearby counterpart, Madu riverboat estuary, which is the most popular river safari spot on the island. Most Bentota one day trip from Colombo includes a boat trip. But the boat trip is not at Bentota river most of the time and it is at Madu estuary.

There are many places on the island to explore rich riverine fauna and flora. Madu river estuary, Muthurajawela wetland are the 2 most popular wetland on the island for Sri Lanka boat trips. Bentota River safari is not as popular as both paces mentioned above, however, the natural beauty of the Bentota River is not second to any of the places mentioned above.  

Madu river safari Vs Bentota River safari

Madu river safari Vs or Bentota River safari
There is enough space for small boats to go through the mangrove forest

I have done boat trip many times on Bentota River as well as Madu estuary, according to my experience, the Boat tour at Bentota is much more attractive than bot boat trips at Madu river and Muthurajawela due to its richness of Fauna and flora.

Madu River safari Vs Bentota River safari

If you stay in a beach resort on the west coast of Sri Lanka and like to do a boat trip there are 2 option for you Madu river and Bentota river. The Rivers are not far from each other, Madu river attracts the greatest number of travellers due to its popularity while the Bentota River attracts only a fraction of the crowd that visited by Madu River.

Boating through the Mangrove tunnel of Bentota River

You might be wondering what the mangrove tunnel is. Because tunnels are to be found in cement, metal and rock but a tunnel made of mangrove, definitely a little bit awkward. Even though, it sound bit strange, you can witness a mangrove tunnel during the boat trips. Your boat will travel through the mangrove tunnel.

The mangrove tunnel is formed by huge mangrove trees, which are rising up to many hundred feet from the water surface of the bay. These giant mangrove trees residing on the shallow, muddy surface of the river bank. Its roots are poking into the air and work like noses trills of mangrove trees, and help the tree to absorb air into the system.

Whether it is Madu River boat safari or Bentota River boat safari you will encounter a mangrove bays. But the mangrove forest that has a shape of a tunnel at Bentota river is much bigger than the tunnel found in Madu river estuary. The Mangrove tunnel in Bentota River is many hundred feet high in some areas and its with roughly about 20 feet. The tunnel of the Bentota River is about 200 meters in length and it takes about 10 minutes to go from one end to the other in a motorboat.

However, the mangrove tunnel of Madu river estuary much smaller and less attractive than the tunnel found in Bentota River. Furthermore, Bentota River is very wide and deeper than the Madu River estuary, Bentota River is the 5th biggest River in Sri Lanka. However, Madu estuary is smaller compared to the Bentota river and shallower than the Bentota River. There are 64 islands in varying sizes within Madu River estuary but there is no island to be found in the Bentota River, and it is flanked by the mainland.

Visiting mangrove forest on the Bentota river safari
Giant mangrove trees rising on both sides of a water stream that flows into the Bentota River.

Flora and fauna

The Flora to be found in both places are by and large are the same. But with regards to Fauna Bentota river has much more variety than Madu estuary. Crocodile, Water monitor, land monitor, snakes, monkeys, and many species of avian fauna species can be easily spotted on a boat trip of Bentota River. The water monitor is the most common animal to be found in Madu estuary and it is highly unlikely to spot crocodile, snakes and monkey on a boat trip of Madu estuary.

Bentota River safari price

The price of the Bentota River safari is similar to the Madu River Safari. The price for the 1 hour Bentota River safari is 2500 Rs while the cost for the 2 hours Bentota River safari is 5000 Rs. The price does not include transportation and guiding.

Why you should Bentota boat safari with Seerendipity tours?

Seerendipity tour is a fully locally owned travel company with the head office in Colombo. The highly experienced local staff is a key strength of Seerendipity tours and they can plan your dream holiday to Sri Lanka.

Best price for your Sri Lanka trip

When you book a tour with us, you directly book the tour with the local company, it means there are no middlemen and therefore you can guarantee the best price. Simply get in touch with us and let us know when you travel and what you like to see.

Local expertise and personalize service

Our staff make a personalized program for you, which you can change until you find the best package for you. You can also browse our existing tour packages for inspiration; all our ready-made tour packages are customizable and can be tailored to meet all your expectations. Write us on


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