Quite apart from the incredible ruins of this medieval city, Polonnaruwa is home to a large monkey population who were famously featured in Disney’s engaging documentary film ‘Monkey Kingdom’. Polonnaruwa is a gloriously majestic backdrop for this experience, which allows you to closely observe the three diurnal primates of Sri Lanka: grey langur, purple-faced leaf monkey and toque macaque. Although these creatures can be seen in various parts of the island, this is one of the best places for travellers to get up close and personal with the monkeys of Sri Lanka.
This beloved monkey population are protected by the Smithsonian Primate Research Centre, who have been conducting research into conservation here for over 50 years. Your guided walk around the ruins will be led by one of their researchers, who will explain the social behaviour of the different species and the various challenges of their conservation as you observe them. This experience begins at 6:30am, when Polonnaruwa is not busy with tourists and when the climate is still cool enough to walk around in comfortably. This is also when the monkeys are active in this area. Please bring your passport or a copy of your passport for this activity.
Read more about the experiences that we offer for those interested in exploring 'wildlife in Sri Lanka'.