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.

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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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.

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Top water sports in Bentota – Splash around with your friends!

Holidaying in Bentota inevitably succumbs you to taking part in some of the best water sports in Sri Lanka. Some of the top ones that we would recommend are:

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

Diving into the warm Indian ocean and swimming with the fish while taking a peak at all the sea creatures and corals is a fun activity to enjoy with the family. Stay at a resort in Bentota that is near areas that have this activity so that it is easier and faster to travel.

Wind Surfing

Weather its your own gear or something hired, wind surfing is quite a popular water sport on the beaches of Bentota. Hotels like AVANI Bentota Resorts and Spa help you sign up for such activities. Just speak to their front office concierge for more info.

Banana Boat Rides

One of the most fun and thrilling water activities you can do in Bentota is the banana boat ride! As per its name, the banana boat is shaped like a banana and accommodates a group of people while being pulled by a jet-ski. If you are tipped over, you are bound to fly off and end up in the lake so hold on tight!

Jet & Water skiing

From beginners to pros, everyone can take part in this super exciting water sport! Bentota has professional instructors who can assist you if you need help. Whizz around in the jet ski with your friends and make memories that will be cherished forever!

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Adventuring Chiang Mai from the Skies – Up, up and away!

Incredibly popular among almost everyone who visits, hot ballooning in Chiang Mai offers the greatest view of the entire area. Want to know how it happens?

Booking

Offered by almost any Chiang Mai Hotel, you must make sure to make an advanced booking, especially if you are booking it during the December winter season of Chiang Mai. Most flight bookings include a 2-way transfer from the launch site to the hotel.

The process

With most places offering two flights per day, it’s best to stick to the schedule. Each basket can generally hold up to six adults, however, they usually limit it to one pilot and four passengers. First, the balloon is laid out, the crew then proceed to inflate it with cold air utilizing a powerful fan as well as turning the burner flame on afterwards.

The views

You’ll witness a breathtaking sunrise if you fly in the morning, upon a backdrop of terraced paddy fields and mountains. The highlight of the trip.

Wrapping up

It is a common tradition to have a champagne toast at the end of the journey upon landing, before heading back to the hotel. If you’re staying at Anantara Chiang Mai Resort, the launch sites are pretty close by.

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Conquer the rocks in Oman – Up, up and away!

With Oman being a rather mountainous nation, it comes as no surprise that it’s an ideal location to go rock climbing. Want to know more about the perfect places in Oman to go climbing.

The Wall

Whether it’s before or after your climb, treat yourself to some comfort at a nice Nizwa hotel, you’ll find plenty around like the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort for instance. The Wall is a great place to start as it is Oman’s only indoor rock gym. Here you can inquire about the climbing scene and the local routes and get some gear. You can even hire a local guide to help you out.

5 O’Clock Rock

Located just 5 minutes up Al Amerat Road, you can drive up here. It’s a big slab of limestone and has 10mm expansion bolts equipped to make things easier for you.

Qantab (Bandar Al Jissah)

Invoking the feel of sea-cliffs off southern Thailand or eastern Spain, Qantab will most definitely leave you pumped and asking for more.

Khubrah Canyon (Secret Canyon)

Located around an hour from the busy capital of Muscat, Khubrah Canyon offers a thorough sense of solitude and independence. It features beautiful weather and a boundless rock that is ideal for any skill level.

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Top rock-climbing spots in Oman – A rock climbers paradise! – Explore the vast rocky outdoors of Oman

Known as the Riviera of Middle East Oman attracts a substantial number of rock-climbing enthusiasts due to its mountainous topography. While in Oman luxury resorts the likes of Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort provide speciality packages for guests to experience rock climbing with the aid of a guide, you always have the option find adventure on your own in the rocky terrains. Here are four locations for you to explore if you are planning to go rock climbing.

 

5 ‘o’ clock Rock

A slab of limestone which is just a five-minute walk from the Al Amerat Road towards Wadi Adai. This rock is easily accessible even by your 4×4.

Qantab

For those searching for a deep-water Soloing experience, Qantab is the ideal climb. With mountains ridges, the likes of sea cliffs in Eastern Spain or Thailand Qantab is for those searching for that extra thrill. There are nine spots overall for you to climb and take the plunge.

Via-Pixabay,fcja99,CC0

 

Khutbah Canyon

Experience miles and miles of boundless rock. Ten hours away from the nearest rescue base this sparsely populated canyon is the epitome of rock climbing in Oman. Khurabh or the secret canyon as it is known has something to offer for all types of skill and taste. The climb, even the lower reaches can be a struggle but is always worth it when considering the scenic views and the amazing weather.

La Georgette

This crag considered one of the steepest climbs in Oman and is surrounded by beautiful camping spots.

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