Diving at Great Basses Reef

One of Sri Lanka’s most popular diving sites

Often considered one of the best diving sites in Sri Lanka, the Great Basses Reef off the nearby coast of Kirinda is one filled with underwater canyons that house exotic marine life and historic shipwrecks alike. In addition to porpoises, tuna, gray reef sharks, stingrays and more, the reef is also famous for its eponymous wreck of a ship carrying silver coins for the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, which was later discovered by Sir Arthur C. Clarke and Mike Wilson in 1961. As the reef is exposed to the forces of both monsoon seasons, the currents here are rough, and only recommended for experienced divers between March and April every year.

From Jetwing Safari Camp, your journey begins with a 20-minute drive to the Kirinda Beach, followed by a 45-minute boat ride to the Great Basses Lighthouse – an iconic 19th century iron tower which survived the force of the 2004 tsunami, and still functions for navigation around Sri Lankan waters today. At this point, the reef sits directly below – invitingly open for you to explore.


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