Hambantota is an enterprising city on Sri Lanka’s south coast. Originally a sleepy fishing port, it is now a beacon for the future of southern Sri Lanka with a brand new International Cricket Stadium, Seaport and Airport all under construction. Despite the city’s modern outlook, fishing is still a thriving industry and makes up the livelihood for many locals. Local fishermen return every day to sell their catch on the street and in the markets. This is fascinating to watch and gives a great insight into local life.
Hambantota is also a great base for exploring some of Sri Lanka’s best National Parks. Both Yala and Bundala national parks are within easy reach. Yala is without doubt the best place in Sri Lanka to spot leopards and with 10% of the world’s elephant population being on the island there should be quite a few of those to look out for too. Bundala National Park is a bird watchers' paradise and is home to deer, monkeys and the ever elusive pangolin.
The hot arid climate of Hambantota coupled with its coastal location make it the perfect place to manufacture salt. The shoreline is dominated by glistening salt pans. This is also a great place to spot birds such as flamingos, pelicans and sandpipers. The city is also an ideal location for unwinding for a bit and escaping the crowds that are found along the traveller trail.