Pick-up location and time: Colombo, Bentota, Kalutara, 0800 hrs
  • Trip Outline
  • Reviews
  • Booking

Bentota river cruise - 2 hours, You can take a boat tour of Bentota river and enjoy the mesmerising riverine forest of  Bentota. 1 boat can accommodate up to 4 persons. The dense foliated mangrove forest is made of hundreds of thousands of giant mangroves, whose roots spikes from the sea bed and shelter many marine creatures such as water monitor, land monitor, crocodile, snakes, chameleon and a large number of avian fauna species.

Trip highlights

  • Learn about traditional riverine vegetation
  • 2 hours boat trip through the backwaters of the estuary
  • Ride through one of the longest tunnels in Asia formed by mangroves
  • Witness many marine creatures such as crocodile, monitors and birds
  • Enjoy the natural beauty of mangrove forest
  • Private tour for just you and your party
  • The guide provides navigation and engaging commentary

Additional information

  • Confirmation will be received at the time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible Infants must sit on laps
  • Travellers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This is a private tour/activity.
  • Only your group will participate

Trip includes

  • Mangrove forest visit
  • Live guide
  • 2 hours of a boat trip
  • All government taxes

Trip excludes

  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Transport
  • Gratuities

COVID-19 Special information

  • All customer touchpoints are frequently cleaned
  • Social distancing is maintained in vehicles
  • To reduce crowds, all tours are private
  • Masks are required, please bring your own
  • You must fill out a travel information form
  • Temperature checks are mandatory
  • You must book this activity online, as the ticket office is closed

Madu river safari with Galle and southern Sri Lanka.

Madu River safari with Bentota sightseeing.

Madu River safari with Galle fort and whale watching.


The boat trip does not include a transfer from your hotel. However, we organize the hotel pick up and drop on request. Please contact us on 0094774440977 for more details. You can also text the same number via WhatsApp.


Day 1

Time : 8:00 am

Madu river safari

Meet and greet by your boat trip organizer upon visiting our boathouse in Balapitiya

Madu River, duration: 2 hours

Madu River is a wetland, near the Small-town "Balapitiya" along the Colombo Galle highway. This is the point where the Estuary of the Madu River. The river flows through a terrain where it creates a large number of islands, and the ecosystem creates a beautiful wetland. The hotels around provide boat rids through the canals created at a good cost. And there are loads of places to stay, dine and wine.

A visit to Cinnamon island

After about 30 minutes from the starting point you will be reaching the cinnamon island. Cinnamon Island is one of the 64 islands in Madu estuary. It is inhabited by a family, who run a family business, where they grow cinnamon. Here, you can see how the cinnamon is prepared for commercial use.

Visiting Buddhist temple

Another small island with a Buddhist temple, where you make a stop. The island belongs to the temple, which is visited by the people living on the other island in the estuary. The temple is quite isolated during the day as the most devotees visit the temple late evening. Visitors are allowed to enter the temp please kindly respect the dress code. The garden of the temple is full of green and there are many fruits, vegetables and spices are among them.

  1. Saira:

    Went on a boat trip on Bentota river surrounding area and it was quite boring.
    During the 1 hour trip, we saw a few aligators, a monitor lizard, the mangroves and alot of garbage!

    The river is quite dirty (plastic bags, bottles, tyres and other house hold rubbish eg cosmetic bottles floating around) and unless you just want a boat ride or haven’t seen mangroves anywhere else, its best to skip this one.

  2. Ron:

    This is an excellent tour. Gihan and his crew were so nice and informative. Even though we went during covid times, it was still great. There were less tourists.

  3. Gonzales:

    This had been one of the best day trips we took in Sri Lanka. Bentota beach, sea turtles, and most importantly the river cruise. The river cruise in Bentota was very unusual. I have been on many river cruises before & i was expecting the usual routine. But this cruise turned out to be very different. First the cruise started off from the jetty towards the sea, it was nice & regular as usual, then the boat took u turn and then turned into another direction where things became totally different. We entered an Amazon like ecosystem with huge water monitors and crocodiles! Yes we saw 2 huge estuarine crocodiles. We had to duck under mangrove trees & branches to move up the river. Enroute we visited a herbal & spice garden. All in all two hours spent in the cruise were simply fantastic. I have not been to Brazil & Amazon, i got a small glimpse of what can be a riverine mangrove forest. Excellent trip.

  4. Ingrid:

    We had excellent experience in bentota river safari with Bentota boat safari guys. We saw many birds, baby crocodile and beautiful mangrove lagoon. lagoon was wonderful place for relax 🙏. We highly reccommend them to anyone .

  5. Majorie:

    We booked this day trio from our hotel in bentota. The booking was very simple and they picked up us exactly at the time they told us. The tour was on a private small boat, really great time on this beautiful river. Saw so much animals and different plants. Dont miss it but if you have the chance go with a person that grew up close to the river

  6. Olivier obichowski:


  7. Mahmood:

    Nice trip and local company organized our pick up from the hotel, everything perfectly organized.

  8. Mano:

    Highly recommendable

  9. Peter:

    Very nice family activity

  10. Sylvia:

    Madu trip we booked with Seerednipity tours because they are a local tour operator, the rates are very affordable and service is also very good.

  11. Rubel:

    We wanted to do a short trip on the last day of our Sri Lanka holiday because we had to come to the airport by 4.00 pm. It was perfectly planned by the local office and they picked us sharply at 07.00 (Ocean hotel Colombo) and took us to Madu river in Bentota. The boat was ready by the time we came to the boathouse and we started the boat tour right away. during which we had seen crocodiles (about 4 meters long), snake, water monitors (about 1 meter long), lizards and many bird species. Our guide then took us to Colombo and dropped us at the airport at 02.00 pm.

  12. Milan:

    Madu river trip was one of the best activities for us and had enjoyed a lot.

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