Pottuvil Lagoon – Magic of the Mangroves


… Gliding across the lagoon, the surface pristine, calm and flat… The sun directly overhead reflecting off the water… Slowly and carefully we worked our way across the lagoon passing tangled mangrove roots interlaced with thick jungle vegetation providing an impenetrable sanctuary for the water monitor lizards who watched us warily as we passed… Suddenly, barely 30m in front of us, an Elephant powered through the scrub and climbed majestically into the peaceful, cool waters of the lagoon…

When visiting Arugam Bay, one of the absolute highlights will be a lagoon safari in Pottuvil. While A-Bay can feel comparatively crowded, Pottuvil Lagoon has a calming backwater feel to it… We arranged a very reasonable price with one of the boatmen and soon found ourselves spread out across the front of a raft as we glided effortlessly across the lagoon.

The lagoon has a calming effect on all who visit… The silence and peace is only punctuated briefly by the call of a hornbill or the splash of water as a fish jumps in front of the bow of the raft.


We pass under the mangrove trees watching eagles roost and monitor lizards bask in the sun on the branches overhead. The scenery is awe inspiring, but its the peace and stillness that stays with you… Far away from any of the stress or pressure of day to day life, here we are at one with nature, savouring our natural environment.

Suddenly our day dreaming is interrupted as from nowhere a giant bull Elephant has appeared and climbed down into the lagoon. Unsure of the Elephant, our raft draws to a stop as we watch the mighty king of kings cross the lagoon and disappear back into the jungle as if he had never been there.

The raft made its way towards the far shore of the lagoon where in the early evening sky the rose granite boulders dotting the spit of sand between the lagoon and the Indian Ocean were casting long shadows across the beach… The feathering lip of an incoming wave cast a rainbow against the horizon as the swell worked its way around Pottuvil Point creating perfect slow breaking right handed corduroy lines across the bay.


As the sun began to sink in the sky and behind the mountains in the hinterland, the sky took on the hues of a million different colours… To the north heavy looking storm clouds were gathering creating an electric atmosphere as we made our way back across the lagoon.

Day dreaming and spell bound by the scenery and magic of the place, we watched lazily as another lone Elephant walked slowly and majestically across the grassland… Against the setting sun and the silhouettes of jungle and mountains beyond, it is hard to imagine a more perfect sight or place.

By evening we were lying in hammocks between the palms on the beach… The storm clouds had vanished as quickly as they appeared and a billion stars took their place among the inky sky as the light from the moon shone delicately across the Indian Ocean.

There is mystery in the mangroves… Mystery and magic. In a land that time forgot, you forget time itself and nothing else matters. This is life as it was meant to be lived.





2 Comments Add yours

  1. love the post and pictures. love mangroves.
    have been to Sri Lanka over 5 times, never to Arugam Bay. will definitely visit next time around.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tom says:

      Thank you for your comments 🙂 It’s an amazing place. Different feel to other parts of Sri Lanka, but possibly our favourite part of the Island!


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