As you fly above the vast wilderness of Sri Lanka you might think this vast wilderness is impenetrable, but in reality, it is a kind of place suitable for long distance road trips. Sri Lanka’s roads are well maintained, there can be busy towns especially on the western province with heavy traffic but you can see scarcely any traffic on the remote areas. Therefore you can drive with ease to a large number of extraordinary tourist attractions and soak up the scenic, panoramic views as you absorb the pleasure of the solitude.
From the central mountain region to the Indian Ocean, taking the vast wilderness and the dramatic wildlife reserves, and elephant’s habitats, there are only a few more wonderful journeys with this kind of wildlife galore.
Seerendipity tours offer the 6-days “Sri Lanka Ultimate Adventures Drive”, with jungle trekking, white water rafting, kayaking, whale watching, safari and many other activities, this tour cost from USD 360 per person. This includes entire ground transportation, accommodation with 2 meals a day, and activities including all entrance fees, rafting on the Kelaniya River, a Kayaking ride through Kitulgala forest, elephant-watching excursion in Udawalawe national park, and exploring the primaeval rainforest of Sinharaja. Call 00942238512 to get more information.
Kitulgala is just a few hours away from the international airport of Colombo, A highway which leads to Kitulgala is in very good shape and the traffic on this highway move with swift due to the less traffic, making it easy and surprisingly accessible from Colombo and peaks, mountains, rocky outcrop will rise around you within 2 hours drive from the airport.
Kitulgala is the adventure playground of Sri Lanka with the perfect setting for many adrenaline-pumping activities such as rock climbing, trekking, caving, waterfall abseiling, kayaking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting. Kitulagala is a quiet and peaceful countryside with a laid back small town. Kitulgala has an extensive green cover and claims for a very heavy rainfall throughout the year. Due to the Rocky outcrop, rivers, waterfalls, and rainforests Kitulgala grew its popularity as a mountain resort, which is also very suitable for adventure activities. During the last several years it has become the most popular adventure resort on the island and visited by thousands of adventure seekers every year.
The jungle trek in the rainforest of Kitulgala commences in early hours and starting the jungle trek at the daybreak is the best way to enjoy the mesmerizing natural wealth of the jungle. The visitors can hear the vivid bird calls; water springs while watching the muted tones turning into various colours on the trees and plants at the fall of sunrays. The rainforest is beautiful on the ground and very appealing in the early hours.
Travelling from Kitulgala to Sinharaja rainforest takes around 3 hours, but it is highly recommended to make a few stops along the way to make it more interesting and enjoyable ride. The highway here passes through paddy fields, gem mines, Gem museums, Buddhist temples, without doubt, one of the most scenic road trips.
If you are a picnic lover there are plenty of places for you to make a stop on the way. The bank of Kelaniya River is the best spot for a picnic with a view of the sparkling stretch of water of Kelaniya River. The water is turquoise in colour and very appealing to the eye. These places are remote from the busy towns and hardly any traffic on the nearby by road, therefore the river bank is a perfect spot to have a peaceful relaxation.
Sinharaja rainforest is the single most important forest cover on the island with its existence goes back to 180 million years. It is a well-known fact these forest covers was a part of the Gondwanaland (Gondwana supercontinent existed 180 million years ago). Today Sinharaja rainforest is a UNESCO world heritage site due to its importance to the world.
The Sinharaja is an ideal spot for a long trek. There are several routes to make the trek in the forest but in this tour, you will enter the forest in Deniyaya entrance and the trek lasts about 5 hours. Sinharaja is an isolated place with wet weather within the forest. The rainforest in the forest, as well as surrounding areas, is induced by the extensive green canopy. Therefore it is highly recommended to take a raincoat or an umbrella when you enter the forest. Don’t forget to gulp in a deep lungful of pristinely refreshing unpolluted air.
The landscape in the forest shows characteristics of mountains, flat grasslands, and uneven surface with rocks, logs and boulders. The slow patrol through the woods take around 5 hours and it can be bit longer or shorter depending on the time you can dedicate for the trek. Your trek culminates at one of the mountains in the forest, lifting you to a height of 200 meters from the starting point.
Sri Lankan leopard, Elephants, deer, wild boar and many others have made their home at Sinharaja rainforest, whilst the birds such as jungle fowl, Layard’s parakeet, the Spurfowl and many other endemic, residence as well as non-residence birds swoop overhead. Sinharaja also harbours a large number of butterfly species, most of them are fast disappearing in other parts of the island. Sinharaja is one of the best places for ornithology, due to the abundance of avian fauna species. I glue to my binoculars for many hours whenever I visit Sinharaja and forcing myself to look around me all the time, to take the endless stretch of a virgin wilderness.
Udawalawe national park
Udawalawe is a pocket of the farming community on the bank of Udawalawe and Lunugamvehera water reserves. After the green oasis of Sinharaja, it’s a quite a contrast to jump into a dry, warm and rugged wilderness of Udawalawe and see the extensive grassland, which is inhabited by large herds of wild elephants. Taking a day out and visit Udawalawe national park would be one of the best activities in this 6 days trip. Unlike in most other national parks, where you can spot wild elephant only from afar Udawalawe is one of the best places to have a closer look into Asian elephants. The wildlife reserve stretches down just south of Sri Lanka’s central mountain range, encompassing rainforest, dry zone forest, shrubs and grasslands.
During the private animal encounter at the park, the visitors can meet a large number of animals such as bear, leopard, elephant, deer, monkeys, wild boar, wild buffalo, jackal etc. Same times Udawalawe is one of the best places to see a large number of birds, vertebrates, butterflies and insects. Visitors are allowed enter the park from 6.00 AM to 6.00 PM.
Udawalawe elephant orphanage is a major hangout among the travellers and which is one of the foremost elephant conservations centres in the world. Udawalawe elephant orphanage is a remarkable conservation project and Hundreds of orphan, sick and old jumbos are treated and well looked after. The animal caretakers of the conservation project are eager to talk on their work, particularly on the success stories, rescuing hundreds of jumbos that encountered life-threatened situations.
Visitors are allowed to visit the elephant orphanage and see the animals from the gallery. The visitors are not allowed to get close to the animals due to the danger of encountering an unexpected situation and maintain the freedom of the animals. Feeding time is the best time to visit the elephant orphanage, during this time a large number of babies sneaking to the feeding spot from jungle to partake their milk bottle.
If you have a cultural buff on foreign soil, it is better to pay a visit to saman devala of Ratnapura. Saman devala, which is dedicated to god saman, is one of the very popular religious institutions and visited by hundreds of thousands of devotees every day. Saman devala is one of the best places to witness the devotion of native people to their religion. A large number of people are gathering here especially on weekends to venerate God saman and bring large plates of fruits as offerings.
At the final leg of this road trip, the travellers going down to the southern coast of Sri Lanka and later driver through the picturesque west coast up to Colombo. Mirissa is one of the best beaches in southern Sri Lanka and most importantly the best whale watching spot in the country. You will have plenty of time on this tour to enjoy the beautiful beaches in Mirissa and dive in the torque water. Don’t forget to have a leisurely stroll on the beach and enjoy the sunset.
Galle, the vibrant capital of southern Sri Lanka has an interesting blend of culture, nature and modern city life. Galle Fort is the most striking tourist attraction and which is a world heritage site that definitely deserves your attention. Most tourists fall in love with Galle fort which has plenty of B&B’s, pubs, restaurants, galleries, hotels, museums and plenty of opportunities for shopping. The visit to the Galle fort will be a delight for any traveller.
Madu River wetland
Just off the coast of Bentota is the Madu River wetland, which is a Ramsar wetland and harbours several dozens of islands. It is time to leave your vehicle on the mainland and head on to an island hop, in search of the natural beauty of mangrove forest. Boat tour at Madu river is one of the very striking activities with for travellers, who roam in the southern coast of Sri Lanka. The visitors of Madu River can see many animals such as water monitor, land monitor, monkey, crocodiles and a large number of aqua avian fauna species.