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All reviews slender loris night walk night tour nature lovers spotted deer yellow trail local flora and fauna trees and plants sri lankan nature sleeping birds morning or afternoon civet cat his enthusiasm endemic species local environment couple of hours certainly worth a visit
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Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

We did a night walk from 7pm for the price of 1500 rupees per person. If your goal is to spot the loris in the wild then its definitely worth the short amount of time and little money you will spend, as the guide is very good at finding them and also any other animals such as the very cute mouse deer. Unfortunately I can't say that we learnt very much as the night guides English was quite limited, which is a shame as he had great enthusiasm and is studying a related course at university.

Thank Daniel W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 days ago

Just did a short walkaround under the tutelage of quite a competent ranger who, despite the fact that he was rather ill, took the time to do a short walk with us.

1  Thank maatstaf
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 5 days ago

thank you

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Reviewed 4 September 2018 via mobile

Please please go visit this wonderful place. We went twice, once during the day and once for a night tour to see the Loris - and we did!!!! Mr Jayarantha went with us both times and we have become great friends. Thank you Mr. Jayarantha!!! And thank you Mr. Popham.

Thank Piet V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2018 via mobile

We went to the arboretum as it sounded like a intriguing place for a relaxing exploration of local flora and fauna.

We were met by the curator who gave us a personal tour of the arboretum with a fascinating incite into its history and challenges. We couldn’t help but be moved by his passion.

We chose to go in the afternoon, however, it turns out that evening or early morning are the best times to see the wildlife.

It is certainly worth planning a visit.

1  Thank kandaps
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 5 July 2018

thank you very much your quick review , it will help me to protect this arboretum for future generation.thank you again

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Reviewed 25 June 2018 via mobile

Was an interesting experience, well worth the 10 USD charge, however instructions could be a little more clear and politely stated. We managed to see 3 slender Loris, 1 mouse dear, a sleeping Warbler and some spotted dear, plus a terrapin in an old water tank (I suspect he's trapped there.)

Thank Philip B
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 26 June 2018

during the heavy drought he was fallen to this well not trapped one ..many .thank for your comment . and review it will help us to
improve visitor promotions

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Reviewed 24 June 2018 via mobile

We stayed here for one night and it was lovely. The curator is very knowledgable and passionate about local plant and animal species and the arboretum. We were also able to go on a night tour with the naturalist and saw some mouse deer and spotted deer, a loris, a babbler bird, some turtles, a civet cat and a baby rabbit. The next morning we were able to walk around the property and spotted some monkeys too. Perfect for travellers who love nature, comfortable but no-frills accommodation and genuine people. The indoor/outdoor shower was beautifully executed. We would definitely recommend Popham's!

Thank Ruby J
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 26 June 2018

thank you very much for your kind review

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Reviewed 3 June 2018

The arboretum was very different from the usual exotic and luxurious Sri Lankan foliage. The very knowledgeable resident guide explained all the unusual plants, their provenance and their purpose as we walked around. It would have been good to do a night time tour of the arboretum, hopefully to see the slender loris and other unusual nocturnal creatures - another time perhaps. However we did get to see a colony of tiny bats who were not fazed by our presence. The tour ended in the cottage with a cup of delicious green tea while our guide patiently fielded lots of questions.

Thank Val H
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 4 June 2018

thank you very much for your valuable review . It will help me to protect this progect for future generation . Thank you again

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Reviewed 20 April 2018

We booked a triple room to stay here overnight. The plan was to do a night walk on arrival and an early morning walk next day before check out. The manager was very helpful in explaining and arranging by email.

We arrived later than expected on Sri Lankan new year night, and were told the night walk was done at 7pm, and since it was 8:30, it was too late. However, as I said the kids were really looking forward to it, the guide agreed to do an hour of walk but warned us that the chances of seeing Loris were much lower at this time of the night as the nocturnal animals now were active and moving about. Anyway, we decided to take the chance. Walking in the dark jungle tracks was good, although occasionally you've got to mind low branches etc. The animals were very difficult to see, and we ended up seeing a wildcat very fleetingly, and 3 sleeping birds near the accommodation block. So, one can conclude that the night walk was a disappointment, but it was us who had arrived late and the guide did his best despite obviously wanting to go home for new year, so he deserves a special thanks. There are suggested donation amounts for guided walks that help with conservation efforts.

I did a short unguided morning walk, again birds were difficult to see and photograph but there were lovely birdsongs. I recorded audio on my phone instead of trying to take pictures. 4 walks of varying lengths are clearly signposted through acres of trees and woodland.

The room was great bargain, clean with a decent bath, cold shower. Perfect for a warm jungle stay. No a/c but a pedestal fan was enough for us.

They only provide tea in the morning, they cannot provide breakfast etc as they are primarily a research and conservation center with small number of gardening staff at hand. There is a small office, where you can learn more on local flora fauna through posters.

My only suggestion to the management would be to clearly inform the visitors that the night walk is best done around 7pm, otherwise sightings are rare. I've been to many night walks in India even much later and seen wildlife so I didn't think timings would be an issue and therefore did not try to get there earlier to my regret.

Thank worldtravelplus
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 22 April 2018

Thank you very much for your review

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Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

A unique magic place in the world, amazing staff and very warm welcome for everyone. I definitely recommend to visit! Thank you for accommodate us and for the great service provided.

Thank Albertoguialondres
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 5 April 2018

thank you very much

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Reviewed 30 March 2018 via mobile

We did a night time visit to the Arboretum specifically to spot slender loris. During the 90 minutes there were two brief encounters. Unfortunately once they spotted a loris our guides made a lot of noise and shone strong torch lights at the loris. Unsurprisingly the loris beat a hasty retreat.
You need to be sure footed and watch out for overhead branches across the path. Although our tour company had prepaid we were charged 1500 rp each at the end of the night. Only $24 so we did not make a big issue of it. Subsequently our tour company refunded this charge.
We wouldn’t bother to revisit. As we found out later there are several public areas around Habarana where loris can be freely viewed at night.

2  Thank Graham L
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 4 April 2018

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.

The Popham Arboretums core functions are conservation and education. Tourism is actually a secondary activity that we provide, which enables us to take the conservation message to a wider audience. Arboretum is not merely a place to watch Loris though some tour agencies tend to market us saying so.

The organization is mainly funded through donations, contributions and proceeds from ticket sales. A small fee is charges for guided tours, as we need to pay our guides for their work. Your tour company did not prepay us, though they would have told you so. Even the company representative who came with you was clueless on it.

The Grey Slender Loris has a good distribution in the Dry zone. The forest habitats of Habarana would surely shelter a good population. Why would people visit the arboretum instead of going into the woods at night to see Loris is due to safety concerns, safety from wild Elephants. If your doing a night tour on foot please visit a safe location. Visit a location were they would guaranty your safety.

We use red light headlamps to locate the animals and use a soft white light to show the animals. We never use bright white lights like the once used by your tour company representative. We told him not to use it several times during the tour but he kept on using it. If we were only interested in the $24 and not the wellbeing of the animals we would have not been able to carry on a project for more than 5 decades.

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