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Review Highlights
Amazing Visit

We visited in February this year and had a wonderful time. Mr Amarasinghe took us round, explaining... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
kerryellenn
,
Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
via mobile
Amazing Wildlife

We enjoyed a wonderful Arboretum tour with Jayantha the manager. A “one off” in Sri Lanka. Needs... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
KevinA262
,
Matale, Sri Lanka
via mobile
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Recommended experiences in and around Dambulla
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Reviewed 17 August 2017 via mobile

Dedicating your life to nature,you will be always a winner.A great place to get a full idea of Sri Lanka's wildlife and beautiful plants it has.A well educated guide who has a huge amount of information and knowledge about nature,birds,animals and plants especially medical ones, guided us through the woods and provided us with unique information about the plants and animals there.Thanks a lot for giving us this opportunity to discover true Sri Lankan wildlife.
Alsuhaibany Family

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank white g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jayabuddhi, Manager at Popham's Arboretum, responded to this reviewResponded 20 August 2017

thank you for the kind review

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2017

The Arboretum, is full of rare trees, an ancient ebony and a vast array of exotic birds, lizards, butterflys and of course the Grey Slender Loris (an endemic species, worthy of support). The knowledgeable staff are keen to show you around and explain the now famous "Poppham method". Well worth the donation, the Loris walk in the evening is an exlperience nt to be missed and is incredible value.
Please go and support this oasis of biodiversity, you won't be dissapointed.

Date of experience: July 2017
Thank Old_Fotofart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2017

I would recommend the arboretum to anyone who is visiting! A true sanctuary for wildlife in Dambulla! In the day you will see many birds, reptiles, insects and primates! In the evening, I often saw ring-tiled civets, spotted deer, common palm civets and of course the slender loris! I visited the arboretum many times during my stay in Dambulla and we saw atleast one loris on every night walk!

Date of experience: July 2017
Thank Meike S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jayabuddhi, Manager at Popham's Arboretum, responded to this reviewResponded 14 August 2017

thank you

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Reviewed 1 August 2017

It's not easy to get to this place, largely because it's known by a completely different name to locals (Suddage Waththe....which kinda translates as "white guy's place"). We did not manage to call ahead but fortunately the guy in charge was right there. He took us around the arboretum for an extensive tour with great explanations of the history and mission of the place. Granted, I'm a total botany nerd, so maybe it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I was in heaven. This is a great effort to recreate native Sri Lankan forest, and should be supported.

Date of experience: July 2017
1  Thank joeblitzflick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2017 via mobile

We went here based on the information in a few years old Rough Guide book that the entrance is 250 Rs / person. However after we went in, we were asked for a "donation" of 1000 Rs / person. If it really is donation, then it should be up to people how much they want to give and AFTER the visit. However after taking the ride with tuk tuk we decided to pay it and see what is there. Honestly, it is just a forrest with some marked paths, now after some more travelling in Sri Lanka I would not recommend this, there are much better places for free.

And one more comment to the owners - if you want to charge for entrance, please, call it an entrance fee as normal person would do and don't play stupid games with "donation". And put the sign at the entrance with fees. Now it gives an impression a "donation" goes to the pocket of the person "selling" it.

Date of experience: June 2017
3  Thank Ondřej K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sam Popham Arbo... D, Manager at Popham's Arboretum, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2017

Thank you for taking time to review us on TripAdvisor about your recent visit to the Arboretum. We regret if you had an unpleasant experience.

However, Arboretum is a collection of trees and for people who understand, it is a treasure trove comprising of many trees with medicinal and other values. True, for people who are not that familiar with native tropical plants/trees its “just a forest with some marked paths”. I offered my services to come along with you and to explain the history of the Arboretum and the importance of the trees but you preferred to walk in the forest alone.

The Popham Arboretum is mainly run for educational and conservation purposes and funded through donations and contributions from visitors and well-wishers. For all donations received we issue an official receipt. Trust you collected yours. For day time visit (no time restriction) the expected donation is Rs.1,000 ($10). We had to enforce a minimum donation, considering the maintenance and upkeep cost which keeps escalating. If you wish you could refer to it as an “entrance fee”. It's your perception.

Given the opportunity i could have explained the true value of the Arboretum during the "walk". If you’re still keen on learning about the trees and the conservation work we do, please drop in again when you are in Dambulla. I would be more than happy to spend time with you and explain everything even without a “donation” from you.

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