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Adventure travel Sri Lanka

A large number of travellers, who visit Sri Lanka are actively engaged in some form of adventure activities. Unlike earlier, when Sri Lanka was popular only for Sun, Sea and sand, today it has become very affordable and convenient to book an Adventure trips in Sri Lanka such as mountaineering holiday… Adventure travel Sri Lanka

Adventure trips in Sri Lanka

From upcountry of Sri Lanka to extensive palm-fringed tropical beaches, Sri Lanka entices with best possible manner. Whether on cool mountains and tea plantations or cascading waterfalls and rivers, in rainforests or parched desert-like arid zone, gliding above it or probing underneath it, Sri Lanka offers fascinating adventure activities and landscape to make any type of adventure lovers happy. Here are some of the features on adventure trips in Sri Lanka.

This tiny island is 65610 sq km in extent and shows a fascinating variation of landscapes and natural resources across the island. In the centre of the country is the mountain that rises up to 2500 meters from the sea level while the elevation gradually sinks in the surrounding area to zero near the ocean. Therefore, Sri Lanka is one of the best places to experience awe-inspiring mountain scenery and breathtaking geography along with other interesting natural attractions.

Historical cities with several thousand years old monuments, historical, cultural and natural museums, trekking sites, mountain biking,  zip-lining, mountain climbing, bird watching, rainforest exploration, safari are some of the several activities that can be performed here. The travellers also have the opportunity to engage in water-related sports such as whitewater rafting, diving, snorkelling, canoeing, kayaking, deep-sea fishing, and whale watching due to the abundance of inland water resources such as rivers, canals, tanks reservoirs and the warm Indian Ocean around Sri Lanka. If you love to have more extreme adventure sports such as rock climbing, paragliding, mountaineering, you are well on the way to accomplish your target in Sri Lanka.

Also, Sinharaja rainforest, knuckles mountain and KDN  are ideal places for people who look for less adventurous engagements such as trekking, walking, medium difficulty mountaineering. The tour operators such as Seerendipity tours provide itineraries, guide service, and equipment needed for travellers.

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Jeep safari at Minneriya national park allows you to spot a large number of wild elephants

The underwater world off Trincomalee is the home for pigeon island marine reserve. It is located on the east coast of Sri Lanka near the beach holiday destination Nilaweli. Pigeon island marine reserve can be reached in about 15 minutes of boat ride from the mainland. It is extremely rich of fascinated underwater exotic fish species, coral reefs and various types of sea plants. It is one of the most valuable adventure jewels of Sri Lanka. Other than being a destination for snorkelling and diving, it is one of the best places for whale and dolphin watching on the East coast of the country.

Biosphere Reserve of Sinharaja is one of the most valuable natural assets of Sri Lanka. This primaeval rain forest harbours hundreds of thousands of fauna and flora species. It is the patch of forest with highest bio-diversity in the island and nearly half of the species are endemic to the country. The fragile eco-system of Sinharaja is still largely undisturbed and visitors are allowed to explore only the buffer zone of the forest. Even though you are not in the main forested area, you need to respect nature and need to maintain the calmness without making unnecessary noise during the tour. Sinharaja is declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO.

Biodiversity of Sri Lanka

The environmental activist group Conservation International (CI) has identified the island as one of the bio-diversity hot-spots in the world.

Number of flowering plant species of the island estimated to be 4000 and 107 freshwater fish species, 59 amphibian species, number of reptile species 174, number of bird species 435, and number mammal species 140 with many hundreds of invertebrates

Sri Lanka posses a high percentage of endemism among its fauna and flora: endemism among the freshwater fish estimated to be 41%, it is 65% among the amphibians, Reptiles 52%, endemism estimated to be 10% with 125 species Birds, Mammals 5% while the Land Snails 80% and Freshwater crabs endemism is 100%.

The CI publication under the title “Heroes for the Planet: Earth Angles” in America suggest more preservation effort of the green cover in the region. The magazine reveals western Indian and the island Sri Lanka posses 2,180 flora species that identified uniquely to each hot-spot. Fragile eco-system in some of the tropical forests in Sri Lanka has been destroyed during the last few years mainly due to the deforestation. With the stern action against poaching and illegal timber harvesting, the island has managed to protect the remains of the green cover.

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Horton plains national park in the mountain sits at an elevation of 1200 meters above sea level and harbours large number of endemic Fauna and Flora species.

Flora – Number of species described to date in Sri Lanka

GroupNumber of described speciesPercentage endemism
Ferns and Fern allies31418
Angiosperms (Flowering plants)3,35023

Fauna – Number of species described to date in Sri Lanka

GroupNumber of described speciesPercentage endemism
Protista  (One celled animals)40+NA
Anthozoa (Corals)171NA
Annelida (Earthworms and Leeches)18NA
Monogenea (Flatworms)23+NA
Crustacea  (Prawns, crabs and allies)400NA
Mollusca (snails and allies)325NA
Arachnida (Spiders)400+NA
Pisces – Coastal fish400+NA
Pisces – Freshwater fish6139
Amphibia (Frogs and Toads)4852
Reptilia (Reptiles)16243
Aves (Birds)4415
Mammalia (Mammals)9016

Mountaineering in Sri Lanka

Mountaineering is a major component of Adventure trips in Sri Lanka and walking through the rugged terrain in the mountainous area is one of the ideas that every adventure enthusiast wish to have. Adventure lovers, who like to have Adventure trips in Sri Lanka with moderate difficulty can go for mountaineering holiday activities such as trekking. The central highland of Sri Lanka with a large variation of the landscape within a small geographical area, due to the geological upheavals, is a popular mountaineering holiday destination in Asia. The central part of the island is dominated by mountains, is the main reason for the popularity of Sri Lanka as a mountaineering holiday destination in the region.

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Trekking through the buffer zone of Sinharaj primaeval rain forest

A large number of travellers who make Adventure trips in Sri Lanka are actively engaged in some form of adventure activities. Unlike earlier, when Sri Lanka was popular only for Sun, Sea and sand, today it has become very affordable and convenient to book an Adventure trips in Sri Lanka such as mountaineering holiday. If you book your next mountaineering holiday in Sri Lanka, you have the opportunity to experience the lifestyle in the Sri Lankan mountains. It allows you to enjoy fascinating landscapes across the Sri Lanka Mountains and awe-inspiring scenery over the uneven surface of the central highland.

Adventure trips in Sri Lanka in the mountainous area of Sri Lanka definitely rejuvenate your physical fitness and allows you to have solitude and peace of mind. If you plan your Adventure trips in Sri Lanka with a tour operator such as Seerendipity tours, they will take care of all the services and equipment that you required for your Adventure trips in Sri Lanka. Adventure lovers, who wish to have a mountaineering holiday in Sri Lanka, can opt to have their own tour, which is commonly known as Tea-house trekking or tour with a guide. But most adventure travellers join a tour guide and it is the most popular method of travel among foreign travellers, who wish to have an Adventure trips in Sri Lanka.

Mountaineering holiday in Sri Lanka can be combined with other adventure holiday activities too. Whitewater rafting, kayaking, can be combined with mountaineering holidays due to the abundance of rivers and stream in the mountains. Mountain biking is another very suitable activity to combine with other activities of mountaineering holiday in Sri Lanka and there are a number of biking trails in varying difficulties.

Trekking /Hiking

The mountains of Sri Lanka that are ranging from a few meters to 2524 m above the sea level offer hundreds of sites for adventure tourism. Horton plains the highest elevated national park in the island offers excellent opportunities for hikers. The unusual environment of Horton plains consists of many natural habitats such as grassland, forest patches, montane forests, streams, waterfalls etc.

Climbing of Holy Mountain (Adam speak) is starting at night in order to witness the beautiful sceneries at sunrise from the top of the mountains. Adams peak is the third highest mountain in the country and one of the most popular destinations among the pilgrims. Ella is another popular place on the island with a number of walks including the little Namunukula mountain range, Adams peak and Ella rock. The knuckles mountain range is another important site for exploring nature and heritage. Knuckles range spread over 155 will all five major forest types in the country. The knuckles mountain range is an important biodiversity hotspot and home for many species of endemic fauna and flora in Sri Lanka.

Forest exploration

Mountaineering holiday in Sri Lanka accompanies many other activities apart from hiking and trekking.  Forest exploration, there are a large number of patches of forests in the mountains and you can spend some times exploring the interesting vegetation in the mountains.  If you are a bird lover, Sri Lankan mountains give you the opportunity to see a large number of bird species in Sri Lanka. The mountainous area of the island is inhabited by a large number of bird species and some of them are endemic to the island. Here, you also can enjoy the awe-inspiring scenery in the mountainous area during the day, so take a walk around your hotel or camp and enjoy the different scenery in the mountains. There are many hiking, trekking, spots in the Sri Lankan mountainous area and you can spend your entire holiday in Sri Lanka with adventure activities.

The mountaineering path can be very exhausting or less adventurous but you can choose a suitable path for your physical fitness. Therefore, it is definitely a good idea to go with a tour guide because they have been through those mountains and know the most suitable path for your requirement, physical and mental fitness. The path with steep gradients and the rocky surface can be challenging for novices. Sri Lankan mountains record a heavy rainfall every year and don’t forget to check the weather forecast before you heading to the mountains.

Sri Lanka Wildlife

Sri Lanka may not have as many elephnats as in Africa or as many leopards as in India but Sri Lanka is a destination its own to explore fascinating wildlife and can give become a real rival for any wildlife holiday destinations in the world. Sri Lank is very rich in biodiversity and home to 425 species of birds, 90 species of mammals, many thousand species of Flora. Sri Lankan big cat the leopards is the biggest carnivore in the jungle. It might be very default to spot leopards in India even in Africa but in Sri Lanka case it is totally different. The visitors see leopard along with other animals such as bear, Elephant, crocodile very often during the safari in Sri Lanka. Yala and Wilpattu are the most popular wildlife reserve to see leopards and in fact, Yala is the best place in the world to spot this big-cat due to its largest concentration within any park of its size in the world.

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Modernization, expansion of settlement and poaching is exerting pressure on the Sri Lanka government to strengthen their commitment to protecting wild animals. Sri Lanka is home to several dozens of wildlife reserves and sanctuaries. About 10 of them are inhabited by leopard and bear. The number of the leopard on the island was many hundreds at the beginning of the 18’s. The number of leopards drastically reduced mainly due to the habitat loss and poaching under British rule. Todays all wildlife reserves and sanctuaries are protected under government law. But still illegal poaching takes place and animals like leopard still being killed in the jungle. Once numbering more than many hundreds, Sri Lanka’s famous leopard population now reduced to many dozens- through the number of leopards is on the rise for the last several years due to the conservation effort.

Sri Lanka wildlife tours a part of most adventure trips of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka wildlife tours/safari tours typically undertaken via jeeps (either 4 wheel drive or 2 wheel drive), safari tours on the elephant is not available in Sri Lanka like in India. Walking safaris available only in a few national parks such as Horton plain’s national park, Singaraja rain forest, where there is no chance of animal attacks. Walking safari make low-impact in nature and provide great opportunity to get close to nature and explore the Flora and birdlife of Sri Lanka. The chance of spotting a big cat, elephant, crocodile, the bear should be ruled-out during the walking safaris but you have a good chance of spotting a large number of other species including birds.

Sri lank is home for more than 5000 wild elephants and the number of elephnats is also on the rise. Hence Sri Lanka is one of the best places to spot majestic Asiatic elephant. It is very common to see a large number of the elephant at a single location numbering many hundreds of them sometimes. Hundreds of elephant can be spotted in one place during the Minneriya safari and Udawalawe national park safari. Udawalwe national park and Minneriya in the central province are the 2 most popular wildlife reserves to see wild elephnats in Sri Lanka.

All the national park and wildlife reserves offer accommodation, sometimes within its borders, but mostly outside of the reserves and catering to the travellers of any budget – from dormitories and rent room to the luxurious game camps. The nature of accommodation facilities and rates differs from wildlife reserve to wildlife reserve, so do your research before travelling and decide, which is the best suitable for your Sri Lanka safari.

Whitewater Rafting one of the popular adventure activities in Sri Lanka

There are several exciting places on the island for intrepid whitewater rafter, Kitulgala is the most popular of them all. You feel the adrenaline is pumped into the blood as you reaching the waterfalls and makes you scream unintentionally, it’s all happening against the backdrop of beautiful scenery.

The whitewater rafting experience in Kitulagal is at the highest class. Anyone with any type of skill can do the white water rafting here, with the local expert at the helm. If you wish to do it your own you should be very skilled at it. Check before you heading to Kitulagala for white water rafting, because it is not available sometimes due to the danger of rushing water, especially during the rain.

here you feel the power of Kelaniya river! The rapids at Kitulagla is ranging from class 1-6. The best time to show up here is from November to April.

Surfing in Sri Lanka

For a different view of Sri Lanka, how about surfing? Every year, Arugam Bay on Sri Lanka’s east coast hosts the international surfing contest. Surfing in Arugam bay come to life as surfers from around the world with all skill level fight for the championship. attracting surfers from all around the world, Arugambe is already on the radar of surfing enthusiasts in the world.

Best surfing destination in Sri Lanka

Weligama, head to this idyllic coastal town if you travel from November to April. The best weather conditions for any type of beach holiday activity can be seen from November to April, parallel to north-wast monsoon. Most Sri Lanka beach resorts on the west coast such as Marissa, Weligama, Ahangama, Narigama are best places to experience a top-notch roller coaster ride as surf. If you are a beginner, there are many surf schools that are ready to help novices in the game. If you are an expert in surfing choose Weligama, where surfing is a bit difficult for novices.

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Adventure in Kalpitiya-Paragliding

Kalpitiya in the North-west corner of the island is an emerging beach holiday destination in Sri Lanka. Kalpitiya popular whale watching and mostly for paragliding. Kalpitiya emerging as a paragliding destination in the region with training programs, equipment and instructors readily available, and tourists gathering in Kalpitiya just to paraglide.

Cycling / Mountain biking as adventure activities

There are many dozens of interesting trails for biking in low land of Sri Lanka; the trails are running through the beautiful landscaping of Coconut plantations, tea estates, rubber plantations, and forests. The hill country of the island provides more challenging tracks for those who look for more of a challenge. The knuckles mountain range offers many very steep tracks, which are more suitable for professional bikers.

Kayaking / Canoeing

Sri Lanka is boasted to have 103 lagoons, swamps, and interconnected canals and these inland water resources are very valuable resources for Adventure travel, Sri Lanka. All these water resources provide ample opportunities for kayaking and canoeing in the country. Many numbers of rivers in the country also provide an important source of transport. Well, known river kalu ganaga which starts from the central mountains and flows to the west coast of the country, where it meets the Indian Ocean. This beautiful river is a great resource for an interesting canoe trip. Fascination variation of fauna and flora along the river with ever-changing landscapes provides one of the most beautiful canoe trips in the country.

If you wish to have an Adventure trips in Sri Lanka, Seerendipity tours can make the best package for you. Don’t hesitate to call us or write to us with regards to any holiday package in Sri Lanka on


Sanjeewa Padmal (Seerendipity)

This blog is all about travelling in Sri Lanka, I am trying to illuminate my readers with a wide range of information related to Sri Lanka travel. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you need more information. Furthermore, we can organize your holiday package or any travel related requirement in Sri Lanka. Please contact us on read more