Monday, March 22, 2021

Royal Botanical Gardens - Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Part of our itinerary in Sri Lanka, created by our guide Sanjay, included a visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, 3.4 miles west of the city of Kandy. I was not excited by this at all and suggested we do something else. Judy liked it and persisted we go and I'm so happy we did. 

In 2016 alone, the Gardens were visited by 1.6 million people, including 400,000 foreign visitors. It covers 147 acres, has more than 4,000 species of plants, including amazing orchids, and more importantly to me, gave us a glimpse of the most exciting animal find in Sri Lanka, the Indian flying fox bat. 

As we were walking through a section of large trees I noticed some large birds flying. I walked off a pathway onto a large area of grass towards the large birds and then it dawned on me that these were not birds at all, but large bats. Then I saw hundreds of them hanging upside down from tree limbs, then hundreds as they took to the air in flight. I was a kid in a candy store taking photos and seeing more and more of them. 
Look at all of these bats, just covering the tree limbs. 

Hanging and flying bats. 

The other spectacular find at the Botanical Gardens was the pale-fronted toque macaque, a subspecies of the toque macaque. The macaques were virtually oblivious of us and we watched them for a long time interact with each other, climb trees, squabble and otherwise act like monkeys. It was our longest and best view of macaques in Sri Lanka. 

Aside from the bats and macaques, we did see some other wildlife, although paling in comparison. 
Yellow-billed babblers. 

Gray heron

1 comment:

  1. That was a fun visit, but we spent way too much time looking at the bats. The monkeys were much less creepy and much more entertaining.