Horton Plains, one of the national parks in Sri Lanka, is an example of Sri Lanka’s unspoiled natural beauty. It is also one of the best places to visit in Nuwara Eliya. With thriving wildlife and milder climate conditions, the place offers a respite from the typical harsh weather conditions of the country.
What you need to know
You need to carry plenty of water with you as there aren’t any shops here. You cannot really bring plastic bags with you, and make sure you don’t litter. Also, if you are planning to visit in the afternoon, wear sunscreen.
There are plenty of hotels near Hotel Plains; all you have to do is take your time and find one that suits your budget. It’s best to choose a hotel like Araliya Green Hills, as Horton Plains is part of the experiences on offer.
You have to hike through uneven terrain to get here, but it’ll be worth it. Baker’s Falls is one of the principal attractions here. Named after Sir Samuel Baker, a British explorer, the waterfall has a height of 20 metres.
For scenic panoramic vistas, visit the World’s End. The journey is fairly easy, with frequent wildlife encounters. World’s End is a steep cliff that’s considered one of the best lookouts in the country. The views you get here stretch across two provinces.
To camp in Horton Plains, all you need is basic camping gear; however, as you are alone, you should consult a tour guide to ensure that you don’t do anything you are not supposed to. You can also get in touch with a tour operator.
Popularly known as the city of Senkadagalapura, the sacred city of Kandy was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988. Drawing tourists, pilgrims and other visitors in numbers, this city radiates a celestial atmosphere which makes it stand out among other cities in Sri Lanka.
Kandy is located in the central part of the country, with an elevation of 500 metres from sea level. Hidden in the thick forests and majestic mountain ranges, the city stands in pride in all its glory. These mountain ranges include two of Sri Lanka’s most beloved hiking hot spots, Knuckles and Hanthana. Kandy’s location and historical significance have been core reasons for opening up many hotels and resorts like Hunas Falls Hotel, Kandy. Most tourists and pilgrims who visit this sacred city often seek accommodation in a hotel in Kandy, Sri Lanka for a comfortable stay as a day’s trip will not do justice to the beauty of the city.
Kandy was the last capital of the country in the era of the ancient kings. It is also home to the Sri Dalada Maligawa, also known as the Temple of the Tooth which shelters the relic of the tooth of Lord Buddha. Although the locals rebelled massively to save the kingdom of Kandy from British rule, the efforts were finally beaten as the British Ceylon period rose from 1815 to 1948, until the country was freed of colonial rule and gained independence.
While Sri Lanka is widely known for its tropical weather conditions, Kandy’s geographical positioning deviates the city climate to a wetter and cooler temperature as a result of its 500-metre elevation from sea level. However, the city is still a part of the country’s tropical climate and faces the monsoon seasons from May to July and October to December.
The Kandy City
The cityscape of Kandy includes a quadrangular manmade lake at its centre, with two open spaces in which one corner is occupied by the administration buildings of the old capital. Although not as commercialised as Colombo, Kandy still welcomes tourists and hosts several hotels, shopping complexes and local eateries to taste the traditional flavours of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is one of the most popular destinations to visit in South Asia and the unique wildlife you can spot here plays a large part in all that. In many ways, Sri Lanka offers some of the best safari experiences in all of Asia – so, here’s a look at some of the key forest denizens that make exploring Sri Lanka’s wilds so exciting.
Sri Lankan Leopards
The Sri Lankan leopard is the top predator here in the island’s wilderness and it’s quite an elusive sighting too. National parks like Yala and Wilpattu are your best bet if you want to try your hand at spotting one in the wild.
Sri Lankan Elephants
The Sri Lankan elephant is the largest subspecies of Asian elephants found in the world. These massive pachyderms are most concentrated in a select number of national parks. At locations like Minneriya, they gather is huge super-herds that can be quite the sight to see up-close.
The sloth bear is definitely one of the stranger forest denizens you’re likely to spot in the wilds of Sri Lanka. This is a species of bear that specialises in eating insects and is characterised by a long snout and thick shaggy fur that’s black in colour.
If you’re staying by Sri Lanka’s coastline, perhaps at one of the Bentota hotels on offer such as the Cinnamon Bey Beruwala, you might have a chance of spotting blue whales off the coast. These gigantic marine mammals are actually the largest living organisms ever to have existed!
A vital part of the country’s ecosystem, the rainforests of Sri Lanka are rich storehouses of endemic flora and fauna, each one offering something new to discover.
The Sinharaja Rainforest
When it comes to primary tropical rainforests in Sri Lanka, Sinharaja is the last viable area and thus of immense importance. Nature lovers can stay at a Sinharaja eco lodge Sri Lanka has to offer at the reserve’s border such as The Rainforest Ecolodge and explore this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve; it is home to over 147 bird species as well as a vast amount of endemic trees, butterflies, mammals and reptiles.
The Makandawa Forest Reserve
Located near the island’s white water rafting hotspot of Kitulgala, this pristine reserve features a secondary lowland rainforest. The forest ecosystem is blessed with waterfalls, rock pools and a wide number of rare fish, bird, butterfly and dragonfly species.
The Kanneliya Forest Reserve
Another UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Sri Lanka, Kanneliya has lowland rainforests which have plenty of endemic flora and fauna. Amongst the highlights here are the varied snake, fish, lizard and bird species along with natural attractions like the Narangas and Anagimale waterfalls.
The Udawatta Kele Sanctuary
Located in the hill capital, Kandy, this sanctuary is made up of small forest areas where one will find a wide range of plant species as well as endemic bird species. Easy to explore, the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary is also known for its endemic mammals as well as amphibians and reptiles.
Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+