If you're looking for a taste of nature without the cost or inconvenience of travelling too far from Colombo then Water World might just be the place for you. Located on the banks of the Kelani River, Water World is a fair priced attraction, great for a family day out or a casual date with someone special.
Water World is South Asia’s first underwater tunnel aquarium and is the only public aquarium in Sri Lanka. Despite the name, the attraction is actually a combination of two parks, the aquarium and a bird park. The two parks can be visited separately or as part of a combined package, which will set you back Rs.280/ for adults and Rs.140/ for children.
Brilliant birds and funny looking fish...
In the aquarium there are interesting looking eels, sea stars and sea urchins and both local and foreign fish varieties, but unfortunately, the underwater tunnels were hot and the some tanks were bare and in need of a good clean. The shark dome is a key attraction and is home to several small but active reef sharks. Although I wasn't there for feeding time, it's apparently a great time to see the sharks in all their glory.
The bird park is a bird lovers paradise with good selection of vibrant birds from South America, Tropical Asia, Australia and Africa. With mainly foreign species, the selection is vastly different from what you find at Dehiwela Zoo. There are wood ducks and cockatoos and vibrant macaws, one of which was purchased for a whopping 2.5 million rupees! The selection is great, though some enclosures do make it difficult to see the birds and what they're up to.
Ambience and Environment
The grounds are fairly well maintained with ponds and artificial waterfalls scattered here and there. There many places to sit and relax including the park and playground area which overlooks the Kelani River. The 'cafeteria' offers a basic selection of bottled drinks, snacks and shorteats, but isn't the best choice for a proper lunch, so either bring your own or eat before you arrive.
Despite a few drawbacks, the attraction provides a good and reasonably priced opportunity to try something different, and with works going on here and there, it seems more additions and improvements are likely to be seen in the not too distant future.
Though you could skip through the park in less than an hour, it's easy to spend a good half day admiring the birds, the fishes and the scenery of the park and river. Take your time and enjoy the serenity of the environment before heading back to the hustle and bustle of Colombo.
Water World and Bird Park is open seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Adults - Rs. 240.00
Children - Rs. 120.00
Adults - Rs. 150.00
Children - Rs. 80.00
Combined offers (Water world and Bird Park)
Adults - Rs. 280.00
Children - Rs. 140.00
* prices given are for locals/residents
The combined Water World/Bird Park ticket offers the best value. Avoid weekends as the park can quickly get overcrowded.