We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Simply amazing ”
Review of Popham's Arboretum

Popham's Arboretum
Ranked #4 of 21 things to do in Dambulla
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The IFS-Popham Arboretum, Sri Lanka's only dry zone arboretum was established over five decades ago on 7.5 acres of thorny scrub jungle and abandoned 'Chena' land in Dambulla which is in the geographical center of our island, where history and culture merge amidst a natural landscape of water and mountains. The arboretum is not only about trees. There and many species of Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Spiders and Mammals including Bats that can be seen within the premises.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago 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 2 weeks ago

thank you very much

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (102)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages
All reviews
"slender loris"
in 15 reviews
"nature lovers"
in 5 reviews
"night walk"
in 5 reviews
"mouse deer"
in 4 reviews
"conservation project"
in 4 reviews
"night tour"
in 3 reviews
"nature walk"
in 3 reviews
"yellow trail"
in 3 reviews
"plants and trees"
in 3 reviews
"endemic species"
in 3 reviews
"slow loris"
in 2 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 6 reviews
"medicinal properties"
in 2 reviews
"red light"
in 2 reviews
"peaceful haven"
in 2 reviews
"falmouth university"
in 2 reviews
"sri lankan nature"
in 2 reviews
Filter

2 - 6 of 102 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago 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 3 weeks ago

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.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2018

A truly unique, beautiful and friendly place that should be on everyone's list to visit.
I spent a month at the Arboretum during the summer of 2017 and would happily go there for another month if I had the money!

I was blown away by two things:

The Wildlife - We went on many day time and night time safaris and during these walks we saw some incredible wildlife, from birds of paradise through to Slender Loris. It was amazing to see a regenerated area of forest that was home to so many endangered and endemic species.

The Staff - Jayantha and his team are amazing. Their knowledge about the arboretum and it's inhabitants was endless. They were eager for us to learn and were incredibly accommodating throughout the whole month. The respect they also had for the environment of the animals that lived there made their wildlife safaris even more special.

I highly recommend this place to anyone and really hope to visit again in the future.

Thank Rose S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2018

What a fantastic and interesting place to visit! I had the pleasure of staying at the Arboretum last summer while on a trip with Falmouth University and fell in love with the woodland. Learning about it's history, the trees and the animals like the Grey Slender Loris was hugely exciting and the curator Jayantha is more than happy to spend as much time with you as you need. Mr Popham must have been a fascinating man and what achieved is incredible! A thoroughly recommended attraction for education and for cleansing the soul!

Thank Josh P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed February 26, 2018 via mobile

Visiting the Arboretum I was astounded by the variety the 36 acres contained. I got to see three species of Kingfisher including the dwarf kingfisher during a morning walk along the trails as well as many other bird species. On a night walk I got to see a grey slender loris, palm civet and mouse deer.

I want to go back and would recommend to anybody visiting Dambulla!

Thank Chloe B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Popham's Arboretum also viewed

Dambulla, Central Province
Dambulla, Central Province
 
Dambulla, Central Province
Dambulla, Central Province
 

Been to Popham's Arboretum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing