Sri Lanka Jungle Tours and Treks

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Sri Lanka Jungle Tours and Treks

On Sri Lanka jungle tours, travellers will have the opportunity to encounter a wide range of tropical trees, plants, and animal species. Other than the incredible wildlife experiences the travellers can also learn about the ancient native cultures on Sri Lanka jungle tours and trek while exploring the places like Dambana, where aborigines are still based in.

The travellers have a very good chance to encounter animals like elephants, leopards, buffaloes, bears, crocodiles,s and many other animals on their Sri Lankan safari tours. At the same time during the Sri Lanka jungle treks, travellers encounter and wide range of fauna and flora in different varieties such as birds, insects, spiders, geckos, orchids, and many other trees and plants. Sri Lankan jungle tours in national parks, rainforests, and nature reserves or through intriguing mountain forests in high-altitude areas, are very interesting and certainly an unforgettable experience.

What is the duration of the Sri Lanka jungle tour?

The duration of Sri Lanka jungle tours varies largely depending on the time available for the trip and the budget of the travellers. The tour operators such as Seerendipity tours organize 1 day Sri Lanka jungle tours to 7 days Sri Lanka jungle tours enabling travellers to explore many national parks and rainforests during their trip. Some of the jungle tours are planned with historical monuments, UNESCO world heritage sites, beaches, and many more. However, as the number of activities is increasing on the trip so is the duration of the tour.

This nature tour includes rainforest trekking, white water rafting, safari, hiking and trekking. This adventure tour also includes whale watching based in southern Sri Lanka.

When is the best time for the Sri Lanka jungle tour?

In general, From October to April, the summer monsoon or northeast monsoon is the best time of the year to visit the Sinharaja rainforest. Sri Lanka’s weather is largely controlled by the monsoon and it occurs in 2 variations. 1) north-east monsoons (October to November and 2) south-west monsoons (April to October). Most rain forests such as the Sinharaja rainforest are located in the southern and western parts of Sri Lanka. Southern and western parts of Sri Lanka are categorized as Sri Lanka’s wet zone, due to the heavy rainfall it receives throughout the year. Southwest Sri Lanka is heavily battered by heavy rain, especially during the southwest monsoon. Therefore, if you plan a Sri Lanka jungle tour and planning to visit the Sri Lanka rainforests, it is best to visit the island from October to November, at the same time, it is important to choose the western or southern coast as the base of your trip, in order to see the sunshine every day.

Sri Lanka rainforests

Only 2% of the earth’s surface is covered by tropical rainforests such as the Sinharaja rainforest and the knuckles forest, however, the rainforests harbour more than 50% of the world’s species. That’s quite a species-to-space ratio!

In order to categorize under a rainforest, a patch of the forest should fulfil certain conditions such as occupying land in the tropics, being lush and dense, and having a thick upper canopy. The upper canopy is consisting of 2 major parts namely the canopy layer and the emergent layer. Usually, the upper canopy is thick, which blocks the sunlight and thereby keeps the moist “trapped” underneath, between the floor and the upper canopy. Another unique feature of the rainforest is the frequent and suddenly heavy rain. Rainforest receives a large amount of rain every year and in Sri Lankan rainforest receives around 5000 mm of rainfall every year.  

The dampness and humidity of these mysterious places, usually which prevail throughout the year, is the main reason to call them “rainforests”. Rainforests have an incredible unique microclimate that helps all living beings at all stages of the journey from the jungle floor to the canopy, therefore the diversity of wildlife in the rainforest is always at a very high level.

Rainforests and national parks for Sri Lanka jungle tours

Sri Lanka jungle tours mainly revolve around rainforests and national parks such as Yala national park, Kitulgala rain forest, and Sinharaja rainforest, most of which are off-the-beaten-path tourist places. The guests that are attracted to the Sri Lanka jungle trek are usually focused on wildlife, eco-travel, photography, and cultural immersion. E.g Sri Lanka 4 days southern tour includes many wildlife experiences such as the Yala safari and whale watching off southern Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan jungles are often visited via jeep safari, or river cruise while some other jungles such as the Sinharaja rainforest are explored on foot. Sri Lankan dry-zone forests such as Udawalawe national park and Yala national parks are most popular for wildlife observations and rainforests such as Sinharaja are popular for bird watching and rainforest exploration.  

The patches of forests that dotted around the island have many similarities as well as differences, still, these jungles maintain their own unique personality, and all are well worth visiting. Entering a Sri Lankan jungle harkens back to the age of exploration when ancient Sri Lankan kings embarked on a hunting tour.

The giant in the jungle, the Elephant trumpet in the distance, the buzz of millions of species from tiny centipedes to the most vocal bird. Thousands of residents expertly camouflaged by dense foliage wait just out of sight.

Venture on a Southern Sri Lanka tour to see the important tourist attraction on Sri Lanka’s south coast such as Wildlife parks, beaches, forts, museums, parks and town

What are the 12 best places for Sri Lanka jungle tours?

  1. Sinharaja rain forest
  2. Yala national park
  3. Horton plains national park
  4. Kitulgala rain forest
  5. Kandy
  6. Knuckles mountain range
  7. Udawattekele sanctuary
  8. Minneriya national park
  9. Ecopark
  10. Wilpattu national park
  11. Habarana
  12. Sigiriya
  13. Bentota
  14. Madu estuary

What are the main variations of Sri Lanka jungle tours?

  1. Sri Lanka jeep safari
  2. Sri Lanka jungle trekking
  3. Boat tours

Sri Lanka forests for jungle tours and treks

There are many patches of forests and national parks in Sri Lanka. The number of rainforests, wildlife reserves, and national parks exceeds 2 dozen, and all of them have a large stock of Faun and flora.

some jungles that just seem to leap off the page of a collective traveller’s imagination. These are the mysterious and exciting lands of Kipling, Stevenson, and Burroughs. Of course, there is a complicated colonial history to this, with anthropomorphized animals, and an undeniably simple colonialist view of the native human inhabitants of these beautiful and haunting landscapes.

However, putting all that aside, a Sri Lanka jungle tour into any one of these classic jungles is sure to awaken your inner explorer as you seek the truth beyond the stories and create your own adventure.

Jungle tours and treks in Nuwara Eliya

The scenery along the highway from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya is simply gorgeous with cascading waterfalls, streams, tea gardens, patches of forests, and green-capped mountains. At the start of the journey, you may not encounter beautiful scenery, but as you make it further up on the hilly road and reaches a higher elevated area the travellers meet the awe-inspiring scenery. At the highest point of this route, at an elevation of 1800 meters above sea level, travellers can witness the highest point of Sri Lanka and the tallest mountain on the island mount Pidurutalagala. All around the mountain is tea plantation of varying sizes.  

The interior of Sri Lanka’s hill country is dominated by the dramatic landscape of waterfalls, patched forests, vegetable plots, tea plantations, and mountains. There are many hiking paths and trekking routes in the region. The tea plantation provides excellent routes for trekking and hiking, which are available all around the mountains. The Horton plains national park and Galway forest are the 2 main trekking and hiking sites in Nuwara Eliya.

Nuwara Eliya is a small and laid-back town, therefore nothing much happening here with regards to shopping, fine dining, discos, casinos, etc. Colonial influence is very much visible in most parts of Nuwara Eliya, especially around Gregory Lake. A large number of colonial mansions are on the display around the lake and most of them have been converted to hotels now. Those mansions demonstrate typical English architecture and were built by wealthy planters in the early 18s. After the independence of Sri Lanka in 1948 from the British crown, the wealthy planters handed over all their assets to the local people and left the country.

1. Sri Lanka jungle tour: Sinharaja rainforest

From kayaking, and jungle trekking to bird watching. Sinharaja rainforest attracts tourists to this virgin rainforest in all seasons. E.g You can join the one-day Sinharaja rainforest from Colombo, which is available throughout the year and it is a private rainforest tour with one of our nature guides. Read more about the 1-day Sinharaja rainforest tour.

Sinharaja rainforest tour is available as a 1-day tour from Colombo and it is also can be booked as a 2-3 days rainforest exploration trip, thereby having an in-depth knowledge of the fauna and flora of the forest. These trips can be booked not only from Colombo but also from most beach resorts on the western coast and southern coast as well as hotels in the hill country.

Sinharaja forest reserve is a paradise for a Sri Lanka jungle trek, due to its in-depth endemic fauna and flora. Birds both resident and migratory flock to the canopy especially between December and April. Therefore, a jungle tour of Sinharaja is a must for bird lovers. Sri Lanka jungle tour is a part of Sri Lanka nature tours and Sri Lanka bird-watching tours. Sometimes Sri Lanka jungle treks are included in the adventure trips too.

It is the Sinharaja rain forest that comes into one’s mind upon hearing the word “Sri Lanka jungle tours” because Sinharaja is the most popular rain forest in Sri Lanka. Same time there is no other patch of forest on the island that can surpass the magnitude of size and the biodiversity of the Sinharaja rain forest. There are many other places suitable for a Sri Lanka jungle trek such as Udawattakele sanctuary, Horton plains national park, and Knuckles rain forest. But most travellers prefer to have their jungle in the Sinharaja rain forest over the other jungles because it is not only very convenient to visit but also because the forest is very rich in Fauna and Flora.

To this day, new species are emerging from the Sinharaja rainforest, the researchers and scientists are carryout endless projects to identify new creatures. Sinharaja reminds us that there are still unexplored and untouched parts of the country.

Home to many thousand species, which occupies 118425 acres spanning through Sabaragamuwa, the southern and western province of Sri Lanka, the Sinharaja rainforest is the biggest rainforest on the island and the most ecologically diverse forest in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka jungle tours based on Sinharaja have been available for many years, however, it has gained much of their popularity within the last decade. Even though it is a double-edged sword. With more tourists the jungle can earn more recognition and increase the awareness of the plight it is facing, but it also can lead to many other new problems.

The tours to the Sinharaja rainforest are an opportunity to highlight the threats to the forest and provide the visitors with the context of how they can help. Travellers can start to work on this goal by being sustainable as much as possible when visiting this fragile ecosystem.

Trekking through the forest is the best way to explore the Sinharaja rainforest of which many options are available, from a few kilometres to many dozens of kilometres long treks.

What to see on the Sinharaja jungle tour?

  • Sinharaja rain forest
  • Dooli Ella (waterfall)
  • Aranuwa Upper waterfall
  • Aranuwa Lower waterfall

All places mentioned above come under “important places to visit in Singaraja” and they are located within the borders of the rainforest. However, there are many dozens of other interesting places to visit in the Sinharaja rainforest.

Sinharaja 1 day tour starts from Colombo or any other beach resort on the west coast of Sri Lanka. This one-day private tour includes 4 hours of trekking through the virgin rainforest of Sinharaja with one of our nature guides.https://sirilaktours.com/itinerary/sinharaja-rainforest-tour-2/

2. Sri Lanka jungle tour: Yala national park

Sri Lanka jungle tour at Yala national park (Yala national park 2 days tour) creates a totally different picture compared to the visit to the Sinharaja rain forest. The 2 Jungle tours differ in many ways from travelling through the jungle to Fauna and Flora that you encounter during the tour. Perhaps you may things that Yala is also a pristine, thick forest-like Sinharaja. Yala has a considerable population of trees, plants, and creepers, but it is not as dense as the Sinharaja forest. Yala is categorized under dry-zone forests. The rainfall is far lower compared to the rainfall at Sinharaja.   

Yala is the most popular jungle in Sri Lanka for wildlife jeep safaris. Thousands of travellers embark on Yala jeep safaris every day. Yala safari is one of the most popular draws in the southern province of Sri Lanka and an important income generator for the people in the area.

Yala offers a unique travel experience for its visitors: a leopard tour. Witnessing the big carnivore is the main priority of every visit to Yala national park. It has never been so easy to witness leopards anywhere else in the world like Yala. Yala has the highest density of leopards compared to any other national park in the world.    

Tourists need to get an entry permit and hire a jeep in order to qualify for the Sri Lanka jungle tour at Yala. Yala safari is available in 2 flavours, a regular Yala jungle tour, and a full-day jungle tour. A regular jungle tour lasts about 3 hours and a full-day jungle tour lasts 8 hours.

It is recommended to embark on a full-day jungle tour if you do not like to miss the opportunity to witness a leopard. The travellers get the opportunity to witness leopards even on the regular jungle tour but the opportunity to see a leopard cannot be guaranteed. Elephants, crocodiles, deer, wild buffalo, jackals, and mungos, are the other common animals at Yala national park.  

3. Sri Lanka jungle tour: Horton Plains National Park

When Wilbert Horton Entered the Mahaeliya (later named the Horton plains), who worked as the British governor of Ceylon from 1831 to 1837 on his search for Ratemahattaya (the local administrative officer in the area), he encountered an unknown world of shifting fog, filtering sunlight intermittently, covering and revealing small indigenous settlements along the way. Horton plains national park rests on a plateau between the 2nd and 3rd highest mountains of Sri Lanka. The elevation of the jungle swings between 1,200–2,300 meters.

There are few patches of mountain or cloud forests in the mountains of Sri Lanka. Horton plains are the biggest of its kind and most other mountain forests are, much smaller than Horton plains national park. They are named cloud forests because these jungles are covered with fog for most time of the day. They can be visited only during midday, even during midday, the bank of fog hovers at the canopy level. Horton Plains is the best place in Sri Lanka to experience cloud forests, where travellers can walk right among the canopy, getting a unique view of how special these jungles are. Horton plains are included in Most Sri Lanka tour packages meant for nature lovers and adventure trip

This one-day tour includes Whitewater rafting Off Kitulgala, jungle trekking of the Kitulgala rainforest, village walk, and bird watching. This private tour can be booked from Colombo as well as any other beach resort on the west coast of Sri Lanka. The tour includes entire ground transportation, all entrance, and activity cost as well as taxes.

4. Sri Lanka jungle tour: Kitulgala Rainforest

From Canoeing, jungle trekking, waterfall abseiling, Whitewater rafting, caving, camping to bird watching. The rainforest of Kitulgala has been nicknamed the adventure playground of Sri Lanka. The laid-back countryside offers dozens of interesting activities for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The rainforest of Kitulgala attracts tourists in all seasons. You can join the one-day Kitulgala trip from Colombo, which is a private rainforest tour with one of our nature guides. The trip includes many interesting activities such as bird watching, jungle trekking, and Whitewater rafting based on the Kelaniya River.

The hanging bridge, which dates back to English colonial rule (1796 to 1948) is located a few kilometres northern direction of Kitulgala town, bordering a rubber plantation, and is a good starting point for crossing the Kelaniya river and entering the Rainforest. Right after the hanging bridge is the village, where a handful of families live. The travellers need to cross the village to enter the rainforest and a guided jungle trek in the rainforests lasts about 2 hours.

This 2-day Sri Lanka tour includes 2 most important tourist attractions in southern Sri Lanka Yala and Galle Fort, on this 2 days private tour you will be visiting many tourist attritions such as the Madu river estuary, Yala national park, Galle Fort, Moonstone mines, sea turtle conservation project, Galle fort as well as Yala wildlife reserve. The tour includes a full-day safari at Yala national park with a picnic lunch. The tour includes entire ground transportation places to visit in Sri Lankan, a live guide, accommodation, and all taxes

5. Jungle tour, treks in Kandy

Kandy is the hill-country capital of Sri Lanka, which has large tracts of jungles, and tea plantations while Kandy is home to many hundreds of mountains, rivers, and waterfalls. Some of the very popular trekking sites in Sri Lanka such as Hantana and Udawattakele sanctuary are located within easy reach of Kandy. Udawattakele is popular for jungle tours in Sri Lanka and bird watching while Hantana is popular as a site for trekking in Sri Lanka.

For those, who wish to have a memorable trek, it is highly recommended to book a one-day trekking trip to Hantana. It has a unique and different landscape and provides very different trekking conditions. The Hantana mountain range sits towards the western part of Kandy city and runs down towards west coast beaches.

The trekking route is full of trees and plants and offers great walking in a magical area, with mountain ridges and deep gorges mixed with considerable forests and tea plantations, a fertile valley of vegetables, eucalyptus plantations, and isolated hamlets. The terrain may make for gentler trekking, but it still offers some challenges and plenty of rewards.

Hantana plateau is the gem here, a bewitching area of highland meadows that are particularly delightful during the rain season (from April to November) when they are hidden with wildflowers. Although much of the walking here is less demanding than in many other trekking routes in Sri Lanka’s hill country, the Hantana is still cut through by hidden gorges, thick with forests, edged with peaks, and studded with stunning small hamlets.

6. the Knuckles mountain range

The knuckles mountain range is declared a natural world heritage site by UNESCO. This is one of the last remaining patches of forest in the central mountain range. Knuckles is the largest forest in the central province of Sri Lanka and it is included in many Sri Lanka nature tours, hill country tour itineraries as well as Sri Lanka adventure trips.

The rugged terrain of Knuckles is covered by a large number of indigenous flora species. Knuckles forest harbours many species of endemic fauna and flora of Sri Lanka and it has one of the highest Biodiversity in Sri Lanka. Knuckles forest is not only one of the best places for trekking in Kandy but also one of the best places for nature exploration.

As the name suggests “Knuckles mountain range”, is a range of mountains with the shape of a knuckle, when you look at it from the distance. This mountain range is comprised of 9 mountains and peaks ranging from 1220 meters to 1900 meters above sea level.

The highest point of the mountain range is known as “Gombaniya” and it is located 1906 meters above sea level. The knuckles mountain range is another important catchment area in the island where the rainfall varies between 2500mm to 5000mm, for instance, the eastern part of knuckles receives about 5000mm annual rainfall while the northern part receives around 2500mm of annual rainfall.

Knuckles mountain range feeds several major rivers with its rainwater and Mimura Oya, “Kalu Ganga” or Black river and Kote Ganga are heavily dependent on the waters of these tributaries.

Knuckles mountain is very suitable for nature exploration and you are rewarded with some stunning scenery. There are several popular Sri Lanka trekking sites that can be found here and a large number of local and foreign trekkers arrive at the sites every day. Most of the tracks are well maintained and accommodated with campsites.

Pitawala Pathana nature trail, mini world end track, ash cave trail, Knuckles summit nature trails, and Nitre cave trail are some of the popular paths in the Knuckles mountain range. Apart from the earlier mentioned tracks, there are dozens of miniature footpaths for an exciting and enjoyable short trek in nearby villages.

01. Knuckles Mountains Range Day Hiking 80USD per person, Includes entrance tickets to the forest + Village lunch + Mineral water bottles + Tea + Guide & helper included– This one-day tour starts at 06.30 am from the trailhead and lasts about 10 hours.

02. Hanthana Mountains Range Day Hiking. (70USD per person per day hiking + Extra-person 20USD)Village lunch + Mineral water bottles + Tea + Guide & helper included– This one-day tour starts at 06.30 am from the trailhead and lasts about 10 hours.

03. Three Temples Culture day hiking. 70USD per person per day hiking + extra person 20USD) Entrance tickets to all temples + Village lunch + Mineral water bottles + Tea + Guide & helper included – This one-day tour starts at 07.30 am and lasts about 6 hours.

04. Kandy-based farms Village one-night Camping &  two days Hiking. (90USD per person per day  + Camping free) Camping accommodations + Village all meals + Mineral water bottles + Tea + Guide & helper included – This one-day tour starts at 07.30 am and lasts 2 days.

05. Riverston Knuckles 2 Days hiking & one-night Camping. (110USD per person per day  + Camping free) Entrance tickets to forest + Camping accommodations + Village all meals + Mineral water bottles + Tea + Guide & helper included – This one-day tour starts at 06.30 am from the trailhead and lasts about 10 hours.

When is the best time for Sri Lanka jungle tours?

There is no seasonality for Sri Lanka jungle tours. However, it is recommended to avoid rainy days while visiting the rainforest. It can be difficult to trek through the rain forest during the rain; you will encounter more leeches than usual apart from the muddy and slippery jungle path. Most Sri Lankan rain forests come under heavy rains frequently from April to November, which is the main rainy season in Sri Lanka, known as the southwest monsoon.

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Sinharaja jungle tour

A large number of leisure travellers and beach holiday lovers from the southern and west coast beaches as well as from Colombo also book the Sri Lanka jungle trek to Sinharaja. Local tour operators such as Seerendipity tours organize Sri Lanka jungle tours due to the high demand. Exploring the Sinharaja rain forest is also included in most Sri Lanka adventure tours because exploring Faun and Flora is also a part of the adventure trip. For instance, Sri Lanka 6 days adventure tour organized by Seerendipity tours includes a Sri Lanka jungle tour based in the Sinharaja rain forest.

7 Sri Lanka Jungle Tours and Treks in Ratnapura

Ratnapura of Sri Lankas Sabragamuwa province is the most popular gem bearing region in Sri Lanka; the word “Ratna pura”, means Gem City. This gem city is not only rich in gems but also rich in many natural assets. The large tract of wilderness, green-capped mountains, waterfalls, and rivers are some of the important natural attractions and they can be useful resources for the Sri Lanka jungle tours and treks. Ratnapura is categorized under the wet zone of Sri Lanka due to the very high yearly rainfall.

Due to its closeness and the well-built road network, Ratnapura is one of the best and easiest trip destinations for travellers in Colombo. It can be a very useful one-day trip place from Colombo as it takes only 2 hours to reach Ratnapura from Colombo. Ratnapura harbours many patches of forests such as the Wranagala forest. These forests offer a wide range of interesting activities such as trekking, hiking, mountaineering, caving, bird watching, etc.

Warangala rainforest tour

Warnagala rain forest is located in Kuruvita of Ratnapura, which is declared a conservation zone in Jan 2022. Warnagala forest is an evergreen lowland rainforest and shows some similarities to the Sinharaja rainforest. This valuable ecosystem has a very high value for its lowland wet evergreen flora. It is reported that there are 383 species of plants and animals in this forest reserve consisting of 219 species of animals and 164 flowering plants. Podochilus warnagalensis, an endemic species in our country, has also been recorded in this reserve. Eleven endangered species (11) and four (14) endangered and endangered species have been identified in the Warnagala Reserve. Webless Shrub Frog (Pseudophilautus hypomelas), an endemic species of frog was also found in this reserve.

Why you should travel with Seerendipity tours

Seerendipity tour is a fully locally owned travel company with a head office in Colombo. The highly experienced local staff is a key strength of Seerendipity tours and they can plan your dream holiday to Sri Lanka.

Best price for your Sri Lanka vacation packages

When you book a tour with us, you directly book the tour with the local company, which means there are no middlemen and therefore you can guarantee the best price. Simply get in touch with us and let us know when you travel and what you like to see.

Plan your best Sri Lanka vacation packages with experts

Our staff makes a personalized program for you, which you can change until you find the best package for you. You can also browse our existing tour packages for inspiration; all our ready-made tour packages are customizable and can be tailored to meet all your expectations. Write to us at admin@seerendipitytours.com