In 2010 Chatu and I joined forces to open Malubanna Watersports & Activities Company. Chatu is a watersports nut, as well as an experienced fisherman and qualified dive master. I work for an independent tour operator in London selling tailor-made holidays to Sri Lanka and travel to the country regularly.
Chatu started work for his uncle Thusala Gunawardana at the age of 16 and became a key member of their watersport team, working with customers and also winning a host of competitions. Chatu then spent a couple of years in the Middle East and on his return was keen to start his own business. I had just taken on the management of a new villa in Bentota and was keen to promote the area. I knew Bentota had a lot to offer visitors, both through the watersports it is so well known for and other exciting local pursuits.
So we started… We had a bare piece of riverfront land on which Chatu’s family home sat, two boats (one of which was the best deep sea fishing boat in the area), one wake board, a dog and a name – MALUBANNA. The word means fisherman and refers specifically to the iconic Sri Lankan stilt fishermen that you can see along the coast. Given that Chatu was fishing almost daily at that point and our deep sea fishing boat was our main asset it seemed appropriate.
Now four years on things have completely changed. We lovingly relocated Chatu’s family and replaced the family home with a brand new building, now home to our restaurant, changing rooms, toilet and showers. We have 6 boats - speed boats, leisure crafts and of course our trusted deep sea fishing boat (which is still the best deep sea fishing boat in the area). We have three state of the art jet skis, canoes, a banana boat, a selection of inflatables, wakeboards, paddle boards, water skis, mono skis, knee boards, wind surfs and mountain bikes. We have a wonderful and dedicated team of professional staff and an excellent head chef.
All in all, we are thrilled with our progress over the last four years and can’t wait to see what the next four hold for Malubanna and Bentota as a destination.
Thanks for reading our story and we hope to see you soon!