The Legend of Lover’s Leap in Trincomalee – An Intriguing Tale

Have you heard of Lover’s Leap, located in the east coast city of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka? There’s quite a fascinating legend to go along with this well-known attraction!

 

Where it Can be Found

Lover’s Leap in Trincomalee (not to be mistaken for the one in Nuwara Eliya!) can be found tucked away by the edge of Swami Rock, within easy reach of centrally located resorts Trincomalee has to offer. The most prominent attraction here is the Koneswaram Hindu Temple, located around 20 minutes from Trinco Blu by Cinnamon.

 

The Name’s Origin

The most popular legend associated with Lover’s Leap dates back to the 17th century; it is said a woman named Francina van Reed had her heart broken when a Dutch officer broke off their engagement and returned to Holland. As she watched the ship carrying her bellowed sail away, Francina van Reed, overcome with sorrow, threw herself off the rock to the ocean below.

 

Taking It All In

While today a fence prevents lovers from flinging themselves off the cliff, it does make for an interesting sight especially when you know the story behind the name. You can find a pillar here which records the date of the tragedy of Francina van Reed. Depending on when you visit you may even spot blue whales in the ocean beyond.

 

Temple Visit

Make sure to explore the Koneswaram Temple when here; dedicated to Lord Shiva, this magnificent sacred site features golden statues and imagery of various Hindi deities worth seeing.

Leopard Spotting in Yala National Park – A Thrilling Safari Adventure

Did you know the Yala National Park in Sri Lanka has the highest density of leopards anywhere in the world? What this means is that you have a great chance of spotting these majestic creatures on a safari here!

 

Introducing Panthera Pardus Kotiya

The endemic Sri Lankan Leopard or “Panthera pardus kotiya” has a rusty yellow coloured coat with characteristic dark spots. Generally a solitary hunter, it is the island’s apex predator and has been listed as endangered.

 

Planning Your Excursion

Leopard spotting is best done early in the morning or later in the afternoon. It’s best to stay at a Yala hotel right near the park itself. Such hotels generally provide their own guided safaris which add to the convenience.

 

Nocturnal Sightings

For a truly unique experience look to undertake a safari at night! One such experience you can try is the Infrared Night Drive offered at Cinnamon Wild Yala that features night vision goggles to spot leopards and other creatures of the night without disturbing them.

 

Best Times to Visit

Leopards may be spotted at Yala all year round, though the park is generally closed in September. May to August is usually the rainy season and you have a better chance of seeing leopards early morning. December to March marks the dry season and an afternoon leopard safari is ideal. Of course, the king of Sri Lanka’s jungle doesn’t follow a particular schedule so you never know when you may spot it!

 

A Thrilling Safari at Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka – A Ride to the Wild Side!

From stealthy leopards and grinning crocodiles to majestic eagles and iconic elephants, the Wilpattu National Park in Sri Lanka offers an unforgettable safari into the wild.

Wilpattu National Park| Img by: Hasitha Tudugalle via FlickrCC BY 2.0

 

Getting There

Wilpattu is located around 188 km away from Colombo and the main Hunuwilgama Entrance can be easily accessed from Anuradhapura or Puttalam. The best times for a safari are generally from 6am to 10am and from 3pm to 6pm. Excursions organised by wildlife tour specialists like Nature Odyssey are an ideal option since they offer transport, accommodation and guided jeep safaris.

Mammals

On your adventure tours in Sri Lanka at Wilpattu National Park, you have the chance to see leopards, sloth bears and elephants which are amongst the biggest draws at the park. Spotted deer, water buffalos and wild pigs may also be spotted here.

Birdlife

Wilpattu is made up of “villus” or natural lakes which attract a large variety of bird species. The whistling teal, white ibis and garganey are a few of the wetland bird species that can be spotted, while the Sri Lankan junglefowl, painted stork and eagles also call this park home.

Reptiles

The mugger crocodile is one of the most prominent reptile species in Wilpattu and makes for a great photo opportunity too! The common cobra, Indian python, soft-shelled turtle and monitor lizard are also found at the park.

 

 

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Arugam Bay – The Surfers Paradise

Located in the southeast coast of Sri Lanka’s dry zone, 320 km east of Colombo, Arugam Bay is a 7-hour ride from Colombo. The first international surfing competition was held in the summer of 2004. Golden beaches, amazing surf spots, tiny cafes along the beach and ample wildlife is what Arugam Bay has to offer to its visitors!

Arugam Bay | Image Credit - Indi Samarajiva, CC BY 2.0 Via Wikimedia Commons

Arugam Bay | Image Credit – Indi Samarajiva, CC BY 2.0 Via Wikimedia Commons

The beaches

World famous for the waves during high season, Arugam Bay is an excellent spot to bring out the surfer in you. Even if you’re just a beginner, surfing in Sri Lanka isn’t difficult as there are surfing schools around the beach area to help you get started! The beaches in Arugam Bay are also home to different species of tropical fish, ideal for a colourful snorkelling experience.

Elephant rock

This rock is a small climb, after which you can treat your eyes to scenic 360 views of the spectacular landscape around you.

Kumana National Park

You can opt for a tour package, such as the likes of Walkers Tours, if you want to experience the wildlife ventures Arugam Bay has to offer to you. Catch the mesmerizing spectacle of elephants in their natural habitat. The most popular feature of the park is the 200-hectare bird reserve.

Panama Lagoon Eco Safari

Travel through the mangroves by boat whilst getting to experience the life underwater, on the marshes and up above. This wildlife watching journey is sure to leave you in admiration.

Muhudu Maha Viharaya

Located between Arugam Bay and Pottuvil, this temple can be spotted from the Arugam Bay beach. It’s thought that this temple is where Princess Vihara Maha Devi embarked.

Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.

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Wildlife in Sri Lanka – A venture into the wilderness

Despite being a relatively small country, the wildlife in Sri Lanka is one of the finest. You’ll be surprised at the number of habitats, herds of elephants, different species of birds, leopards and schools of dolphins are a few to name. The biodiversity on the island is one that will not cease to amaze you.

National Park | Image Credit - Ji-Elle, CC BY-SA 3.0 Via Wikimedia Commons

National Park | Image Credit – Ji-Elle, CC BY-SA 3.0 Via Wikimedia Commons

Yala National Park

Yala forms a total area of 1269 sq. km, 260 km southeast of Colombo. This huge area of grassland, lagoons and the light forest is home to plenty of wildlife. adventure tours in Sri Lanka include Yala National Park as a must visit, since it boasts animals from leopards, elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, etc.

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sinhajara is a vast area of tropical rain forest bounded by rivers on three sides, another biodiversity hot spot found in the Island. You can opt for a tour package such as the likes of Silvertree Travel to coordinate and plan.

Pigeon Island National Park

A marine national park in Sri Lanka has located 312 km from Colombo. The sanctuary spans 471.4 hectares in total. On entering the Island, the first thing you’ll witness would be Blue Rock pigeons, an endangered species, nesting and breeding. The island possesses 100 species of exquisite corals, making it a breeding ground for over 300 species of fish.

Uda Walawe National park

This park centres the Uda Walawe reservoir and is ideal for elephant watching. Besides elephants, you’ll spot deer, buffalos, jackals, crocodiles, etc as the lack of dense vegetation makes way for easy spotting.

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Venture into the dark corners of the ocean floor in Hikkaduwa – Explore under sea marvels

Venture into the dark corners of the ocean floor in Hikkaduwa to explore under sea marvels of ship wrecks, rock formations, caves and the beautiful coral reefs. The sea surrounding Hikkaduwa has hidden underwater mysteries and magical marine life for people to explore.

Water sports, Hikkaduwa| Img by: Amila Tennakoon via FlickrCC BY 2.0

 

Water sports

There are many things to do in Hikkaduwa while staying at luxury hotels such as Hikka Tranz by Cinnamon. Hikkaduwa is ideal for many kinds of water sports, deep sea diving, snorkelling and viewing of coral reefs under water via taking a ride on a glass bottom boat. There are variety of colourful tropical fish and other gorgeous marine life to be viewed as well.

Deep diving

There are so many under water sites for divers to explore; ship wrecks, reef and rock formations, underground caves and multi-coloured coral and tropical fish inhabiting the reefs are all part of an exciting diving experience in Hikkaduwa.

Historic shipwrecks

The shipwreck is a main attraction for divers here. Many divers visit this site to enjoy the adventure of diving to explore these underwater shipwrecks. An oil tanker known as Steam Ship SS Conch transporting oil to Madras hit the rocks and sank on 3rd June 1903. The parts of this broken ship are scattered over a large area on the sea beds of Hikkaduwa and part of the hull had turned upside down forming a large cave which became a safe haven for marine life and a variety of fish inhabiting it now. Divers can have a great experience swimming through this cave.

 

 

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A Thrilling Kithulgala Adventure Experience – Adrenaline-filled Escapades

If you are an adrenaline junkie or are just looking for a thrilling outdoor adventure, then make visiting Kithulgala in Sri Lanka a top priority! From white water rafting to abseiling down a waterfall there is plenty of action-packed excitement to look forward to.

Kithulgala Adventure| Img by:  Nature Odyssey

White Water Rafting

The Kelani River has made Kithulgala the most popular place in Sri Lanka for white water rafting. Local tour specialists the likes of Nature Odyssey give you a chance to enjoy grade 2 and 3 rapids which have some rather unusual names for certain areas; Butter Crunch, Rib Cage, Killer Fall and Head Chopper are a few. Don’t be put off by their names though, it really is a lot of fun!

Waterfall Abseiling

A quintessential part of the Kithulgala adventure experience, abseiling down a waterfall is a pure adrenaline rush that lets you truly be “one” with the cascading water. Reputed operators ensure safety comes first as you make your way down the rock face, which sometimes can be over 100 feet high.

Confidence Jumps

Also called a waterfall jump, this activity involves jumping down from a height to natural pools below. The jump-off point can be at varying heights depending on where you are taken; greater heights require greater confidence in yourself! Do make sure to choose experienced excursion providers who follow proper safety measures.

Rainforest Walks

For a land-based adventure in Kithulgala, travellers can embark on a trek through pristine rainforest areas. On your journey, you will encounter picturesque waterfalls and streams along with wildlife including colourful bird species.

 

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A Guide to Hiking in Sri Lanka – A Trekker’s Paradise!

The temperature in the hill country barely goes over 21 degrees normally, and the best way to start your hikes would be during the early morning hours.

World’s End in Horton Plains

If you ask anyone the most famous hill country hike in Sri Lanka, they would tell you about World’s End in Horton Plains featuring a stunning precipice. The trail here is approximately 4km, with an additional 2km if you visit Baker’s Falls. Early morning between 6-9am is the best time to visit so that you can see right to the bottom of the sheer drop; or else you will just be seeing a cloud of white swirls. You can easily plan a day excursion here from properties like Bandarawela Hotel.

Central Sri Lanka

Bandarawela, Ella and Haputale are some of the most famous areas for hiking in Central Sri Lanka; they are lined with beautiful green tea estates where you can see colourful tea pluckers in the wee hours hard at work. Best is to stay at a Bandarawela hotel that can help organise your hiking excursion.

The Knuckles Range

If you explore Central Sri Lanka more, you will come across a broad mountain range called “Knuckles”. Like its name, the mountain is shaped like the knuckles on your hand. Located off Kandy, the Knuckles Mountain Range is approximately 18,512 hectares and is a hiker’s paradise, with rocky mountain tops and cascading waterfalls.

Lipton’s Seat

In Haputale, you can hike up to the point known as Lipton’s Seat where stunning views of the Dambetenne Tea Estate await. This enchanting spot was once used by Sir Thomas Lipton and this lofty vantage point can be reached via a 7km track.

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Bentota river safari in Sri Lanka – time to explore!

Discover a whole new experience that is exciting and tranquil all at the same time. Bentota river safaris are extremely popular amongst all who visit. Want to know more about it?

Image by Hafiz Issadeen from Dharga Town, Sri Lanka, Bentota River in Dharga, Sri Lanka, CC BY 2.0

1) Where

There are tons of places to check out when you’re looking for accommodation, from villas to even a simple resort. Bentota is beaming with many options such as the AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa for example.

2) When

It’s best to visit during the months between January and March as its mostly sunny during this season. The monsoon season here begins in April and must be avoided at all costs. The wettest months, however, are between June and September. Another interesting time to visit is during Diwali, which falls between October and November.

3) How

Whether it’s through your resort or privately, you’ll find numerous ways to book a boat tour in Bentota. Most usually take around 2.5 hours and cost about 2000 rupees per person.

4) Discover

On your boat safari, you will come across all sorts of amazing creatures such as water monitors. Native to southeast Asia, these massive lizards grow up to 2 metres in length. The largest one found in Sri Lanka was a gigantic 3.2 metres.

 

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Kaudulla National Park in Sri Lanka- A wildlife spectacle

This is one of the 26 national parks in the country and was opened in 2002. It can be visited all year-round and is, therefore, a good option for the wildlife lovers.

Image by Christophe Meneboeuf, SriLanka Elephants (pixinn.net), CC BY-SA 3.0

The landscape

Located in Polonnaruwa district, the park is a dry evergreen forest spanning more than 6500 hectares of land. It also connects to the other well-known national park named the Minneriya Wildlife Park.

Best time to visit

Despite being a year-round destination, it is best visited between July and December which marks the dry season. One of the most notable sights to witness during this period is the elephant gathering; the time hundreds of elephants congregate around the water reservoirs. The peak number of elephants recorded at one sighting can exceed 150!

Wildlife

To better explore the wildlife, sign up for programs like the Kaudalla National Park Safari which is known to be organized by Cinnamon Nature Trails. You will come across black bears, deer, leopards, peacocks and many monkeys. There are 160 species of birds in the park including the Asian Spoonbill, Painted Stork, Black-headed Ibis, Giant Eagle and the many hundreds of pelicans.

Climate

The average temperature varies from 20 C to 34.5 C, with the rains being a result of the north-eastern monsoon.

Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.  Google+