Pigeon Island National Park – පරෙවි දූපත් ජාතික වනෝද්යානය
|Main attraction||Marine life, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling|
Pigeon Island National Park consists of two small islands off the east coast north of Trincomalee . The island gets its name from Blue Rock Pigeon, a native endangered bird who lives within the rocks in these islands. The islands were declared a sanctuary in 1963 for the purpose of protecting these birds. In 2003 this area was upgraded to the status of a National Park and the boundaries were extended to include coral reef around them. The national park is situated 1 km off the coast of Nilaveli, a coastal town in Eastern Province, encompassing a total area of 471.429 hectares.
During the colonial oppression, Trincomalee was a highly strategic natural harbor which was valued by all colonial masters. This island been only about 20 kilometers away from the harbour, it was used as a shooting range by the colonials. for the Pigeon Island National Park is one of the only two marine national parks of Sri Lanka, the other been the Hikkaduwa Corel Reefs.-0-
The two islands are called large pigeon island and small pigeon island. The large pigeon island is fringed by a coral reef, and is about 200 m long and 100 m wide. Its highest point is 44.8 m above mean sea level. The small pigeon island is surrounded by rocky islets. The national park is situated within the dry zone of Sri Lanka. The mean annual temperature is around 27.0 °C (80.6 °F). The annual rainfall ranges between 1,000–1,700 millimetres (39–67 in) while most of the rain is received during the North-eastern monsoon season from October to March. During this period the sea is rough and windy on some days. The Navy will not operate their own boats or will not allow the private owners to operate their own boats during these periods. Therefore if you are visiting Trincomalee for the sole purpose of visiting the island, its best you have alternative plans in case the boats are not operating.
The reef here is shallow, making snorkelling almost as satisfying as diving, and it’s home to dozens of corals, hundreds of reef fish (including blacktip reef sharks) and turtles. This is a ideal place to spend your day under the shade of a tree or on the powder like white sand. The recent surge of tourism has somewhat damaged the corals in the shallow areas by trampling while bathing.
Number of Hotels and Guest Houses has opened up along the sandy beaches of Nilaveli since the end of war. There are Scuba Dive operators based on these hotels who organise dive trips. The National Wildlife Park Office lies Nilaveli Beach and the entrance tickets to the island is the same as entrance fee of any National Park in Sri Lanka as shown below. There is a hut operated by the local boat owners association where you could arrange a return trip. Boat operators who will charge Rs 3000-5000 for a return trip to the island. These can be organised outside hotel arrangements. The islands are looked after by the Sri Lankan Navy.
The busiest period of this site is May to September due to weather been the best during this period.
Pigeon Island Ticket Prices
|Local – Adults||LKR 40|
|Local – Children (6-12 years) – 50% of adult cost||LKR 20|
|Local – Children (below 6 years)||FOC|
|Local – Group Fee||LKR 300|
|Foreign – Adults||USD 10|
|Foreign – Children (6-12 years) – 50% of adult cost||USD 5|
|Foreign – Children (below 6 years)||FOC|
|Foreign – Group Fee||USD 8|
|Taxes on total cost||15%|
|Entrance Fee per vehicle||LKR 250|
for example, for 2 foreigners with 1 child between 6-12 will have the cost of
|2 x adults||USD 20.00|
|1 x child||USD 5.00|
|Group Fee||USD 8.00|
|Tax (15%)||USD 4.95|
Payments can be paid in USD or equivalent LKR by foreigners. You can call 1919 (government information center) for the latest ticket prices. If you are hiring a private safari Jeep, the prices vary from LKR 3000 – 6000 for half day based on the park.
Map of Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve
The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites
Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.
Travel Directions to Pigeon Island National Park
The Pigeon Island National Park can be reached through Dambulla and is approximately 280km from Colombo. If you are traveling from Colombo You will have to reach Kurunegala through Kandy Road or Negambo Road. From Kurunegala take the Dambulla – Habarana Road.
Route from Colombo to Pigeon Island National Park
|Through : Ja-Ela – Kurunegala – Dambulla – Habarana|
Distance : 280 km
Travel time : 6-7 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map