Transit Tour from Katunayake Airport – Boating in Muthurajawela Marsh

From: 54$

This excursion will take four hours to finish from Katunayake Airport. This is a perfect getaway to enjoy bit of nature & history. Enjoy the unspoiled mangroves, birds around & gullible flying fish next to the boat, which will always bring smile to faces. (updated on : 3 Sep 2020)

Muthurajawela Marsh - Sri Lanka
Muthurajawela Marsh - Sri Lanka
Muthurajawela Marsh - Sri Lanka
Muthurajawela Marsh - Sri Lanka
Muthurajawela Marsh - Sri Lanka
Muthurajawela Marsh - Sri Lanka
Muthurajawela Marsh - Sri Lanka
previous arrow
next arrow


With driving, this boating tour will last upto 3 hours.  We will pick you up and drop you off from BI Airport and Negombo area. Muthurajawela marshland and Negombo Lagoon is connected to each other.

On Google Map, you could clearly see the route to destination, local excursions and tourist interests. To have a clear view click "  " and then un-click "  " irrelevant layers.

Terms and conditions

Booking : Book online, call us or drop us an email.
Price :
 The price may slightly go up or down at the time of booking.
Payment : Full payment is settled prior starting the tour/excursion.
Days of the tour or the hours of excursion : The tour or the excursion is completed within mentioned time.
Per hour vehicle detention fee : 3 USD - Tuk Tuk / 5 USD Standard car & van
Weather : If weather conditions are unfavourable activities will be adjusted accordingly.
Today's Marine Forecast : Sri Lanka Department of Meteorology / Buoyweather
Transportation to a destination : Click Here to reserve with an excursion.
Refund : Refund will be determined after reducing third party's and our costs.

About this boating excursion

Best season : Throughout year
Available : Daily
Arranging time needed : 1 hour
Hottest month : 

Pick up point : BI Airport or Negombo area
Best time to start : Early mornings & late afternoons
Last intake : 4 PM
Whole boating time hrs : 1.30

Restrictions : Do not touch corals please / Be a responsible and ethical snorkeler and diver / No flash photography of ancient paintings / Cover your knees and shoulders before enter any temple. / Do not leave plastics behind / Please do not feed wild animals.

Price includes : Pick up & drop off / Boat / Tickets / Guide on board / Local snack / All Gov taxes.

Child price : Aged 6 - 12 is considered a child / Aged 0 - 6 is free of charge.

Feedback us : Our drivers and service providers are advised not to promote any other activities or nudge you for shopping. Please leave your feedback on Google.

Optional : A well-spoken local animal expert / historian could be arranged with an additional fee.

You may bring : Water / Hat and sun glass / Sun cream / Camera

We love holiday planning!

things to do & see


Muthurajawela Marsh

Muthurajawela Marsh - Sri LankaMuthurajawela is the largest saline coastal peat bog in Sri Lanka, located on the west coast between the Negombo lagoon and Kelani river and spreading inland upto Ragama and Peliyagoda in the Gampaha District. The marsh, together with the Negombo lagoon forms an integrated coastal wetland ecosystem (6,232 ha in total extent). The marsh-lagoon complex is estimated to have originated about 5000 years BC.

The study conducted in 2002 by IUCN Sri Lanka has identified 192 species of flora species at Muthurajawela. Vertebrate fauna documented includes 40 species of fish, 14 species of amphibians, 31 species of reptiles, 102 species of birds and 22 species of mammals. Among the total vertebrate species documented, 17 are endemic, while 26 are nationally threatened.

The main water source to the marsh is Dandugan Oya which drains a catchment of 727 km2 and discharges at the interface of the lagoon and the marsh, while the marsh is traversed by a navigational canal constructed during the Dutch colonial period. The area receives an annual average rainfall of 2000-2500mm, while the average annual temperature is 27 C.

According to historical evidence, Muthurajawela was subjected to extensive cultivation of paddy, more than 500 years ago.

Click to read more about flora and fauna of Muthurajawela Marsh here.

Opening time : 7.30 AM - 4 PM

- Early morning trips could be arranged on request
- last boat leaves 4.00 PM


Separate fee structure for locals available 

Fish - Muthurajawela Lagoon

Muthurajawela Marsh - Sri LankaMuthurajawela fish consists about 40 species (5 endemics) belonging to 23 families, representing approximately 45% of Sri Lanka’s native inland fishes. Among them, 5 species are nationally threatened while 4 are exotic.

The Tilapia (Sarotherodon mossambicus), Pearl Spot (Etroplus suratensis) and the Dwarf Panchax (Aplocheilus parvus) are the very common species of fish at Muthurajawela.

The nationally threatened fish species spotted at Muthurajawela are Filamented Barb (Puntius sinhalaya), Flying Barb (Esomus thermoicos), Day’s Killifish (Aplocheilus dayi), Smooth-breasted Snakehead (Channa orientalis) and Walking Catfish (Clarias brachysoma).

Amphibians - Muthurajawela 

Muthurajawela Marsh - Sri LankaMuthurajawela records 14 species (4 endemics) amphibians belonging to 4 families, including toads, narrow-mouthed frogs, aquatic frogs and tree frogs. The Common Toad (Bufo melanostictus) and the Six-toed Green Frog (Euphlyctis hexadactyla) are very common species of amphibians at Muthurajawela.

The nationally threatened amphibians species spotted at Muthurajawela are Athokorale’s Dwarf Toad (Bufo atukoralei), Corrugated Water Frog (Limnonectes corrugatus), Sri Lanka Wood Frog (Rana gracilis) and Hour-glass Tree Frog (Polypedates cruciger).

Reptiles - Muthurajawela

Muthurajawela Marsh - Sri LankaThe reptiles consists of 31 species (6 endemics) belonging to 18 families. These includes 15 species of tetrapod reptiles and 16 species of serpents. Among the total species, 9 are nationally threatened. The Water Monitor (Varanus salvator), Common Garden Lizard (Calotes versicolor), and two species of geckos (Hemidactylus frenatus and Gehyra mutilata) were very common reptiles at Muthurajawela. 

The occurrence of the Star Tortoise (Geochelone elegans) is of particular interest, as this species is known to occur naturally only in the lowland dry and intermediate zones in the island. A breeding population of the Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), the largest reptile in the Muthurajawela Sanctuary, occurs in the northern area. 

The nationally threatened reptile species spotted at Muthurajawela are Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), Flapshell Turtle (Lissemys punctata), Parker’s Black Turtle (Melanochelys trijuga), Star Tortoise (Geochelone elegans), Indian Python (Python molurus) and Wart Snake (Achrochordus granulatus).

Sri Lanka Kangaroo Lizard (Otocryptis wiegmanni), Common Pond Snake (Xenochrophis asperrimus) and Dumeril’s Kukri Snake (Oligodon sublineatus) are belong to & nationally threatened.The endangered species include Spotted House Gecko (Hemidactylus brookii), Common Lanka Skink (Lankascincus fallax), and Common skink (Mabuya carinata).

Birds  - Muthurajawela

Muthurajawela Marsh - Sri LankaBirds appear to be the dominant group of vertebrates at Muthurajawela, consisting of 102 species (1 endemic) belonging to 42 families. Among the total species were 19 winter migrants, while 3 species are nationally threatened.

About half of the bird species recorded were those associated with wetland ecosystems, such as herons, egrets, cormorants, teals, waders, kingfishers and terns which feed on aquatic organisms. The northern and central parts of the Muthurajawela Sanctuary are an important breeding habitat of native birds. This area, together with the Negombo lagoon, is also a preferred feeding and resting habitat of the winter migrants.

One of the endangered birds specie at Muthurajawela is Small Barbet (Megalaima rubricapilla). The nationally threatened birds species spotted at Muthurajawela are Alpine Swift (Tachymarptis melba), Greater Painted-Snipe (Rostratula benghalensis) and Ruddy-breasted Crake (Porzana fusca).

The Mammals - Muthurajawela

Muthurajawela Marsh - Sri Lanka

The mammals of Muthurajawela consist of 22 species (1 endemic). The Slender Loris (Loris tardigradus) is an extremely rare primate at Muthurajawela, and it is considered globally threatened species. The marsh is also an important refuge for the carnivorous
Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus).

One of another endangered mammals species at Muthurajawela is Toque Macaque (Macaca sinica).

Butterflies - Muthurajawela

Muthurajawela Marsh - Sri LankaThe butterflies recorded consists of 48 species. None of them are endemic, but 6 species are nationally threatened. 

The Blue Glassy Tiger (Ideopsis similis), Glassy Tiger (Parantica aglea) and the Tailed Jay (Graphium agamemnon) were very common species in Muthurajawela.

The nationally threatened butterfly species spotted at Muthurajawela are Large Oak Blue (Arhopala amantes), Dark Grass Blue (Zizeeria karsandra),  Tiny Grass Blue (Zizula hylax), Striped Albatross (Appias libythea), Large Branded Swift (Pelopidas thrax) and Dark Palm Dart (Telicota ancilla). 

Dragonflies and damselflies - Muthurajawela

Muthurajawela Marsh - Sri LankaThe odonates consists of 22 species. Among them, only one is endemic, while 2 are nationally threatened.

The dragonfly Rhyothemis variegata and the damselfly Agriocnemis pygmaea were abundant.

The nationally threatened draginflies specie spotted at Muthurajawela is Neurothemis intermedia. Elattoneura spp is both nationally threatened and endemic. 

Negombo Lagoon

The northern part of Muthurajawela is Negombo Lagoon.

Negombo Lagoon is one of the most productive estuaries in Sri Lanka.

It is 12 km in length from south to north and 3.75 km at its widest point. The mean depth of the lagoon is about 1.2 m. The greatest recorded water depth is 2.6 m but 10% of the lagoon has a water depth of less than 0.5 m. The lagoon covers an area of approximately 32 km2 and opens to the sea at its northern end. To the south, it is connected to the Muthurajawela marsh which covers an area of approximately 31 km2 and together the lagoon and marsh constitute a conjoined, tidally influenced coastal wetland.  

The Canal segment consists of thirteen islands of which Munnakarai is the largest. Four islands are already inhabited and all others are covered with mangroves. Names of the islands are Munnakarai, Siriwardena Pedesa, Wedi Kanda, Maha Moliya, Kakaduwa, Katukarai, Wilisiyanduwa, Kadolgas Nella, Kuda Moliya, Kakaduwa (2), Pittipana Duwa (1), Pittipana Duwa (2) and Kuttiduwa. The lagoon is surrounded by fringe mangroves and mangrove associates. Shallow areas of the lagoon bed are covered by sea grasses and mud whereas the bottom of the lagoon mouth is full of sand.

Zooplankton - Negombo Lagoon

The abundance of zooplankton in Negombo Lagoon varied from 48-198 individuals l-1. The average wet biomass of zooplankton in the lagoon was 0.5 g m-3. Copepods found to be the most dominant zooplankton group which comprised of 40 % of the zooplankton community of the lagoon. Copepod larvae (nauplius) contributed for 34 % of which 87 % was calanoid copepods (Table 2).. The most dominant calanoid taxa was genus Microcalanus which contribute 13 % to the zooplankton community in the lagoon. Zooplankton abundance in the inlet canals to the lagoon was estimated and found the highest abundance of 145 individuals l-1 in the Hamilton canal and the lowest was found for the Dandugan Oya (Table. 3). The copepods are the dominant forms of the estuarine plankton that constitute to the secondary production in the M environments which is the fundamental step in the estuarine food web.

Benthic organisms - Negombo Lagoon

The flora and fauna found on the bottom, or in the bottom sediments, of a sea or lake (benthos)

Altogether 89 species of benthic invertebrates belonging to 58 families consisting of 36 species of polychaetes, 13 species of crustaceans, 24 species of gastropods and 16 species of bivalves have been reported from Negombo Lagoon (Dahanayaka et al. 2008). Invertebrate species recorded from the lagoon are listed in Table 4. The list is almost totally confined to annelids, arthropods and mollusks, and more specifically to polychaetes, crustaceans, gastropods and bivalves.

Shrimp - Negombo Lagoon

Samarakoon and Raphael (1972) surveyed to find the seed availability in the Negombo lagoon and found that the post-larvae and juveniles of Penaeus indicus, P. semisulcatus, Metpenaeus dobsoni and M. elegans in sufficiently large numbers during the period of September to November, whilst P. monodon and P. latisulcatus were recorded in smaller numbers for a short period.

Crabs - Negombo Lagoon

The grapsid and ocypodid crabs have been abundant in the mangrove areas and on mud flats of the Negombo Lagoon respectively. The most dominant species of grapsid crabs are C. indiarum, and C. darwinensis. The first record of Metopograpsus thukuhar and Sesarma guttatum in Sri Lanka were recorded in mangroves in the Negombo Lagoon (Priyadarshani et al. 2008). Xanthid crabs, especially Baruna socialis and Pseidognathus dearira have been observed to occur in association with the oysters in the Negombo Lagoon (Pinto and Wignarajah, 1980). The mud lobster, Thalassina anomala inhabits inside the mangrove stands. Among the other crabs that inhabit this estuarine environment are hermit crabs belong to genus Eupagurus and genus Paqurus and fiddler crabs (Uca sp).

Some videos

Show your support to local issues

Show your support against illegal land grabbing, landfill and deforestation of Muthurajawela nature reserve.

Protect MuthurajawelaOtara Foundation / Cleaner Sri Lanka


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Transit Tour from Katunayake Airport – Boating in Muthurajawela Marsh”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.