Kanneliya Forest Reserve is a nice place to visit in Galle District. It is a part of the Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya (KDN) Biosphere Reserve. This covers almost 5306 ha in the southern province. The Kanneliya forest reserve is also regarded as one of South Asia’s most valuable forest resources. KDN was designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2004. It is also the last remaining rainforest area after the famous Sinharaja Forest. Kanneliya is a catchment area for both the Gin Ganga River and the Nilwala Ganga River. Those are two major rivers in southern Sri Lanka.

 

Location:

Galle City is situated 35km away from Kanneliya Forest. The distance from Colombo is 150km. If you are starting from Colombo, then you can choose the southern highway and should exit at Pinnaduwa. Then you need to follow the Udugama road to reach the place, and overall, it takes around 3 hours.

If you are starting from Galle, then you can travel along the Udugama road from there to reach Kanneliya. It is around 35km away and will take 1 hour to get there. To enter the forest, you need to buy a ticket. The ticket counter is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Flora and Fauna

Kanneliya Forest is home to many flora and fauna. A large percent of them is endemic to Sri Lanka. 17% of lowland endemic floral species can be found here. There are over 220 known species of fauna. It includes 86 mammal species, 36 snake species, and 26 bird species. 20 bird species are endemic only to the Kanneliya. There are also 23 lizard species found here.

 

Attractions

There are many sightseeing places in Kanneliya Rain Forest. We need at least 2 days to explore all of those attractions. When you receive tickets at the entrance, the guide will help you explore those places. Here are some of the major attractions in Kanneliya:

  • Waterfall Anagimale Ella
  • Cave Trail
  • Elephant Creeper
  • A Giant Navel Tree
  • Malamura Waterfall
  • Kabbale Mount Trail.

 

Other facts about Kanneliya

  • There are over 10,000 people living in 78 villages around the KDN biosphere area.
  • Anagimale Waterfall is a fantastic looking waterfall to visit. It is very water heavy in the December–February season.
  • Narangas Ella is another tiny waterfall which is located inside the deep forest.
  • The March to September period is the ideal time for hikes in Kanneliya Forest.
  • This is a superb place to enjoy a day with your family. There is a nice spot to bathe near the entrance.

Udawattakele Sanctuary, or Royal Forest Park, is a wildlife sanctuary in Kandy city. You can observe this sanctuary behind the Temple of the Tooth Relic. It covers almost 104 ha (257 acres). Udawattakele was declared as a forest reserve in 1856 by the British government. Then it became a sanctuary in 1938. Today, travelers can enter this forest park, which can be described further as ‘ a nice place to trek in the Kandy area’.

Udawattakele Royal Forest has a long history. It runs when the Kandyan Kingdom starts torment. It runs when the Kandyan Kingdom starts in the 14th century. In those days, this was a large forest area, which was considered a rainforest. Later, this was called the “Udawasala Watta during the Kandyan era. The British captured the Kandyan kingdom in 1815, and the forest area became destroyed because of the cutting of trees. However, today it is a conservation area that is a habitat for many wild plants and animals.

You can see the canopy, sub-canopy, and underground forest covered here. The dense forest cover doesn’t allow sunlight to penetrate to the floor. Therefore, you can experience a very cool climate. As we mentioned earlier, you can observe many types of plants. Sources say that Udawattakele Sanctuary is home to 405 plant species, and almost 100 of them are endemic to Sri Lanka. Apart from that, it is home to 81 bird species and 21 snakes. The forest area is also a water source and it supplies essential water to the Kandy Lake.

You need to buy a ticket to enter to the forest and it is open between 8am to 5pm.But you are not allowed to take plastics and polythene.  This is certainly a fabulous place to do a relaxing walk with fresh air. You can further experience a stunning view of the Kandy City from here. Giant Pus Wela is key attraction of the Udawattakele Sanctuary. Waterpond, Kodimale, Senkada Cave and Garrison Symmetry are the other major attraction of this forest.

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(Udawatta Kele Image Source: I Love Kandy facebook page)

Wasgamuwa Safari Tour is a superb wildlife experience to take in Sri Lanka. As a leading tour agency in Sri Lanka, Mahaweli Tours & Holidays offers Wasgamuwa Safari Tours to travelers. Before we talk more about this tour, let us give you a brief introduction to the Wasgamuwa National Park.

 

Introduction to Wasgamuwa Safari Tour

Sri Lanka is located in the heart of Indian Ocean and is one of the most loved islands in the entire world for its natural beauties, wildlife, historical value, and people. There are many places for all tourists to see in Sri Lanka in many areas. Wasgamuwa is one of those places which are admired by the whole world.

Wasgamuwa Safari Tour is a private tour dedicated to you or/and your group where we will be allocating a professional guide/ chauffer guide who is qualified and well versed with the local knowledge. We will be providing guides who are proficient in English. On special request, we can provide guides who are language specific.

What is Wasgamuwa National Park?

Wasgamuwa National Park is one of the most loved wildlife sanctuaries in Sri Lanka. It is full of endemic wild creatures and birds. During the tour, you will come across rare species of the animal kingdom and birds that are quite amusing. A few of the rare and exotic species include cloth bear, leopards, endemic monkeys, and water buffalo. This park is a paradise on earth, with trees, birds, and animals hovering across the land. It is protected by Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Where is it at?

Wasgamuwa National Park is geographically located neighboring the historical city Polonnaruwa, which make it even more precious to the island. It is surrounded by rare and endemic species of flora and fauna which brings forth fresh air throughout the day. The neighboring city Polonnaruwa is one of the most powerful kingdoms that existed in the olden days, thus making the entire area a special place for visitation.

Enjoy the majestic opulence of natural habitat!

The park is full of scattered water ponds and pools which enable aquatic creatures and elephants to enjoy. For wildlife enthusiasts all around the world, Wasgamuwa is a must-see as it is condensed with species that are very rare and that you may not see anywhere else. For those that are taking the tour, can also visit the ancient ruins and historical places in the nearby cities; Polonnaruwa and Dambulla. It is home to more than 23 species of mammals. Endemic and endangered animal species are highly protected by the authorities and they are a sight to see and behold!

Come and see for yourself!

Everyone who is eager to explore nature, wildlife, and animal kingdom, Wasgamuwa National Park is a must. The best time of the year to visit the place is in between November to May where the largest herds of elephants wander around the park. With great national and historic value, the park holds one of the most appraised places in Sri Lanka. These large and gentle mammals enjoy the nature and other species through the day and it is beautiful to see how they get along. You can enjoy rejuvenating fresh air as soon as you enter the premises and see the miracles of nature in their best element. Want to experience the beauties and unseen realities of wildlife?

Come; let us go on a Safari Tour in Wasgamuwa National Park to experience the best of the bests.

This is a call for all those enthusiasts who admire and love nature and wildlife. There are a handful of places in Earth where wildlife is so condensed. This is one of those places you will get to see numerous species in one place. Don’t miss out the chances you might not get again.

Wasgamuwa Safari Tour with Mahaweli Tours & Holidays

Possible Starting / Pick-up Locations :
Wasgamuwa, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Mathale, Kandy, Mahiyanganaya, Pasikudah  (You can let us know your exact location for us to check and confirm the possibility)

Duration : Safari Tour will take around 3 ½ on average.

Tour Type : Our Wasgamuwa Safari is a private tour. Vehicle and the Guide / Chauffer guide are dedicated to you / your group. Wasgamuwa Safari Tour will be done by an off-road vehicle and traveling to the starting point and back will be done by Comfortable Car / Van / Mini coach.

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(Wasgamuwa Cover Image Credit: AsianDating from Twitter)

Sinharaja Trekking is an absolutely awesome activity to do for nature lovers. It is a world famous rain forest situated in Sri Lanka. In this guide we will explain all the information about Sinharaja Forest and how you can plan a trek to Sinharaja with Mahaweli Tours and Holidays.

Here’s what’s amazing about Sinharaja:

Sinharaja is full of flora and fauna that are endemic to Sri Lanka. According to research, more than 60 percent of the forest’s trees are considered rare and endemic. How amazing is that? A lot of natural elements are hidden inside this forest. There are waterfalls, rainforest vegetation, streams, and canopies. It is situated in the south-west lowland of Sri Lanka and is surrounded by local villages.

History and formation of the forest

According to some old folklore, the territory was once royal, belonging to ancient kings during the colonial era.It also has a name called “Rajasinghe Forest.” Nonetheless, this rainforest is untouched by any alteration by humans. Trekking in this virgin rainforest, which is the last viable one in Sri Lanka, is truly an exquisite experience. The forest gets thicker with every step you take. Once the trekking starts, you will feel yourself detaching from your world and attaching yourself to nature with every step you take. Sinharaja still has many places where a single human foot has not yet stepped in. It is full of biodiversity.

Calling out all nature lovers to join trekking at Sinharaja Rainforest

If you are a nature lover who loves seeing the beautiful diversity, Sinharaja is the best place in Sri Lanka. When you start venturing into the forest, you will understand that the forest consists of only the sounds of nature. There is no human intervention whatsoever. It is beautiful to experience endless birds chirping and see snakes and reptiles in their truest element. You will even hear leaves falling off the trees because there is no other sound other than the dominating sound of nature. It is the truest dimension of natural beauty.

There is no such thing as “the best time to go” to Sinharaja forest. But if you need to avoid the monsoon, then it is better to avoid February, March, May, and July. Depending on the amount of it you want to see, the time duration varies. There is a research center inside the forest. So for all you nature lovers and researchers, you have everything you need to know right inside the forest. We will take you on an unforgettable trekking session where you will get to see the endemic amphibians and birds of Sri Lanka. The Sinharaja Rainforest is one of its kind. So come with your backpack prepared to go trekking at this majestic site.

Sinharaja Trekking with Mahaweli Tours

Sinharaja is none other than the last sustainable rainforest on this small island. Trekking in a place as prestigious as this is a privilege. This tour is uniquely constructed and designed to give you an experience of the natural world at its best. We will provide you with a guide who will communicate with you effectively in English. If you require language-specific guides, they can be arranged upon request. This is a forest reserve that has been declared a World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. It is amazing to know that this tiny island has so many natural treasures, such as Sinharaja.

So, it’s your time to book your Sinharaja Trekking Tour with us. For more information, please contact +94777 111553 or info@mahaweli.lk

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Read More About Safaris:

Kumana National Park Safari

(Sinharaja Rain Forest Cover Image by: Walk Through Sri Lanka)

Minneriya National Park is another famous tourist destination in Sri Lanka. The place is widely popular due to its largest elephant gathering. It belongs to the Polonnaruwa District of North Central Province. Minneriya National Park is the home to many wild animals. This covers 8889.4 ha.

Location

Minneriya National Park is situated 182km away from Colombo city. It needs almost 4 hours to reach the capital. The distance from Kandy is about 105km. It will take around 3 hours to reach this from there. Google Maps will help you find the location. Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa are some of the most visited tourist destinations on the island. Those locations are not far from this national park. Therefore, many of them don’t miss this place to visit.

History

Minneriya Tank, or what the locals call “Minneriya Wewa,” is an ancient construction. It was made by King Mahasen in the 3rd century AD. The purpose of the tank was to supply essential water for paddy cultivation. The surrounding forest was the main water source for the tank. Apart from that, the Amban River and Elahera Canal bring water to the Minneriya Tank.

The tank and its surrounding forest were declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1938. It was further declared as a national park in 1997/08/12. The aim of the declaration was to protect the tank and wildlife of the area.

Climate

The Minneriya National Park and surrounding area receive an average annual rainfall of 1000–1500 mm. The average annual temperature is around 25–30 °C. The North-Eastern Monsoon is the main rainfall source and it is active from October until February. There is a clear dry season from May to September.

Wildlife

Minneriya National Park is home to 24 mammal species, 1600 bird species, 9 amphibian species, 25 reptile species, 26 fish species, and 75 butterfly species.

Some of the birds that you can watch here are the Sri Lankan Junglefowl, Sri Lankan Hanging Parrot, and brown-capped babbier. It is a paradise for both resident and migrant birds. Along with them, you can identify the Sri Lankan Leopard, Sri Lankan Sloth Bear, Sri Lankan Sambar Deer, Buffalo and two types of endemic monkeys.

Elephants

Minneriya is best known for its largest elephant gatherings. Group of 150 – 300 wild elephants can identify together in the dry seasons. Elephants in Matale, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee disticts migrate to Minneriya National Park in the dry season. They gather around the Minneriya Tank because of the food and water. Therefore, May to September time period consider as the best time to visit this sanctuary.

There are many Safari service providers around this national park. So, you can pick one of them to plan your wildlife tour. As well as you, there are many hotels and lodges for tourists in Dambulla, Sigiriya, Habarana and Girithale areas. This is the National Park that you should visit if you love Sri Lankan Elephants and widlife.

Read more from our Website:

Day Tour at Polonnaruwa Ancient City

( Cover Image Credit: Stephen Blaxhall )

Sembuwatta Lake is one of the must-visit travel destinations in the Matale District of Sri Lanka. It is situated near Elkaduwa, a small town in the Ukuwela divisional secteriant area. The distance from Kandy to Sembuwatta is 31 km, and from Matale it is 22 km. The place has become widely popular among local and international travelers in the last decade.

There are two major routes to reach Sembuwatta. first route from Kandy via Wattegama. The next route is from Matale via Ukuwela. You can easily find the location with Google Maps. Since its opening in 2005, the area has been managed by Elkaduwa Plantation Company. You should buy a ticket to enter the location.

Sembuwatta Lake and its surroundings are absolutely beautiful and nice to see. The cold breeze will bring amazing feelings to anyone. There is a forest near the lake, and it’s called “Campbell Lane Forest.” The majority of the forest is pine trees. You can also see tea estates in the area. The elevation of the area is 1072m. So, you will feel the cold weather. The average annual temperature is around 20C and the average annual rainfall in the area is around 2000 mm.

Sembuwatta Lake was built in 1949. It was a polo ground in the British Era of Sri Lanka. Later, it became a lake to generate essential electricity for the tea factory. The lake has been made up with natural water streams. It is 9–12 m deep and not allowed for bathing. Anyhow, it is open for many water activities. There is another small pool near the main lake for bathing activities. So, you can bathe there.

Summer huts are available for those who would like to spend the night in Sembuwatta. are also available for those who don’t like to stay in them. But you need to get permission to do that. So, we request that you visit this place if you love to travel in central Sri Lanka.

Read More:

Hakgala Botanical Garden

(Sembuwatta Lake Image Source: @diskdimuth from Instagram)

Sri Lanka is blessed with so many natural resources. It is also home for so many animals. This visit is for you to experience one of the major steps taken by Wildlife Conservation in considering the wellbeing of orphaned baby elephants. This establishment is called “Ath Athuru Sevana” or Elephant Transit Home and is situated in Udawalawa.

 

Ath Athuru Sevana – the home for the orphaned elephants

This great step was taken in 1995 at the Udawalawe National Park since a lot of big herds of elephants are gathered in the area. The birth of this establishment had many hindrances as many assumed this would be a failure, considering the feasibility of the objective. But a brave and determined officer Dr. Nandana Atapaththu worked tirelessly with minimum resources to bring “Ath Athuru Sevana” to life. The Elephant Transit Home’s objective is to care for baby elephants until they are big and independent enough to be released to the wilderness. The home does not have boundaries and baby elephants get to freely wander about. In a short span of time, it succeeded so much and now it is considered as of the best wild animal rehabilitation centers in the entire world.

 

The first member of The Elephant Transit Home

An orphaned baby elephant was found in a forest in Anuradhapura district. It was one year old females and was brought and registered as the first resident. This baby elephant was given the name “komali” and was reintroduced to the wilderness at the age of five. Till date, more than 250 orphaned elephants have been under the care of the Home.

 

A memorable visit to Ath Athuru Sevana

What an amazing place is this rehabilitation center! It takes a lot of patience and courage to maintain the place. The regular milk feedings, taking care of the sick ones, post-illness treatments, etc. takes a lot of time and endurance. That is why it is considered as one of the most admired places in Sri Lanka. With baby elephants, it is never a dull place.

All nature lovers and animal lovers from all across the globe pay a visit to Elephant Transit Home when they come to Udawalawa. They never miss out on the chance of seeing young elephants being rehabilitated. With our subject specific guides, you can enjoy a nostalgic visit by spending time seeing baby elephants being taken care.

It is one of the most admirable services rendered to the wildlife and mammals in general, thus making it a top-notch establishment. Come with us to experience a refreshing happiness by seeing this conservation done at a large scale. Assuredly, this will be in red letters in your journey.

 

Visit Udawalawa with Mahaweli Tours & Holidays

You will be given a guide throughout the visitation who is capable in communicating with you in English as well as share a lot of local knowledge. We will make sure your visit is worthwhile as it is considered one of the major establishments in the department of Wildlife Conservation.

Possible Starting / Pick-up Locations :
Ella, Udawalawa, Thissamarama, Rathnapura, Haputhale, Bandarawela, Katharagama, Yala (You can let us know your exact location for us to check and confirm the possibility)

Tour Type : A private tour. Vehicle and the Guide / Chauffer guide are dedicated to you / your group. Safari tour will be done by an off road vehicle and traveling to the starting point and back will be done by Comfortable Car / Van / Mini coach.

 

(Cover Image Source and Credit Goes to: @natalinipon from Instagram

Udawalawe National Park is the third most visited national park of Sri Lanka which is located on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa & Uva Provinces. Total extend of the park is over 30,000 hectares and a popular place among the tourists who love sighting water birds and Sri Lankan Elephants in their natural habitats.

The rusty-spotted cat, fishing cat, Sri Lankan leopard, The Sri Lankan sloth bear, Sri Lankan sambar deer, Sri Lankan axis deer, Indian muntjac, Sri Lankan spotted chevrotain, wild boar and water buffalo are among other mammal species. Golden jackal, Asian palm civet, toque macaque, tufted grey langur and Indian hare also inhabit the park. A study conducted in 1989 found that considerable numbers of golden palm civets inhabit the forests of Udawalawe.[1] Five species of mice also have been recorded from the park. The endemic Ceylon spiny mouse, known from Yala National Park, was recorded in Udawalawe National Park in 1989. Indian bush rat and three species of mongoose are also recorded in the national park.

Jeeps are available to hire at the entrance of the park and you can decide if you prefer a half a day safari or a complete full day one. Camping inside the park under strict guidelines also possible with the prior approval of the authorities.

 

Distance to the Udawalawe National Park from some of the key places are as follow.

From :

  • Udawalawa – 10 km
  • Katharagama – 60 km
  • Ella – 90 km
  • Nuwaraeliya -144 km
  • Kandy – 200 km
  • Colombo – 160 km
  • CMB Airport – 170 km
  • Galle – 130 km

 

You can see some of the beautiful photos below;

Elephants in Udawalawe National Park

Wilpattu National Park is the largest and one of the oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka. Located 30 km west Anuradhapura and 26 km north of Puttalam (approximately 180 km north of Colombo).
The park is 1,317 km2 (508 sq mi) (131, 693 hectares) and ranges from 0–152 m (0–499 ft) above sea level.

(Cover Photo Credit: Thilina Kaluthotage Photography)