When approaching Colombo International Airport from the open ocean, aeroplanes cross the Negombo Lagoon just before landing. The lagoon, situated south of Negombo town and west of the airport, is 10 km long from north to south and 3.5 km wide on average. The palm-rich spit separating it from the ocean is only 500 m wide on average, at some places only 250 m. The southern end of the estuarine lagoon is the sanctuary of the Muthurajawela wetland in the river delta of the Attanagalla Oya. This mangrove swamp attracts a wide variety of water birds including gulls and other shorebirds.
The Negombo fishing harbour is situated at the northern end of the lagoon, where it opens to the ocean via two narrow channels. The lagoon is used for fishing, too. Traditional Oru boats, sometimes wrongly called katamarans, can be seen on the ocean and in the lagoon alike. The crabs and prawnd of the Negombo lagoon are held in high esteem for their taste. Motorboat tours can be arranged at the fishing port as well as in the Muthurajawela wetlands. Oruwa “katamaran tours” can be organized, too.
Nuwan Chinthaka Gajanayaka