The River Garden Nature & Adventure Related Activity Centre - Horton Plains, Nuawara Eliya - Hakgala Botanical Gardens - Holidays in Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka Hill Country Holidays - Hill Country Holidays Sri Lanka - Kandy and Knuckles Mountain Range - Meemure Village - Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
9 Nights & 10 Days
Arrival in Sri Lanka, Colombo
BELIHULOYA , a very picturesque little hamlet renowned for its eco tourism opportunities, is situated in the “Sabaragamuwa” province of Sri Lanka , approximately 160 km from Colombo . This beautiful hillside location is a climatically transitional area, linking both the dry and wet zones and the hill and low country at an altitude of less than 1500m. As a result, the vegetation consists of moist semi-evergreen forests, tropical savanna forests, dry patana grasslands and montane temperate forests, making it one of the richest bio-diversity spots in Sri Lanka – a perfect location for nature lovers.
The River Garden Nature & Adventure Related Activity Centre
Sri Lanka provides an ideal base for a wide range of nature and adventure related activities. Try anything from trekking across the Horton Plains (the Horton Plains mountain range is visible from the River Garden restaurant itself) to canoeing in the ‘Samanalawewa' reservoir. Whatever it is you want to do, we can help you do it!
Horton Plains and Nuwara Eliya
HORTON PLAINS NATIONAL PARK , Sri Lanka is undoubtedly one of the world's best nature reserves and eco tourism venues. It is characterised by a beautiful landscape of rolling hills, covered in upper montane forest and wet patana grassland. In general, the forests are seen on the hilltops or upper slopes the grasslands in the valleys and lower slopes, eventually giving way to wetland habitats.
Spanning approximately 10,000 hectares the park is also home to a wide variety of flora (57 species, 29 endemic to Sri Lanka ) and 24 species of mammal such as elk, deer, giant squirrel, wild boar, wild hare, porcupine and leopard. For bird enthusiasts, there 87 species (14 of which are endemic), including many migratory birds. The Plains also feature many interesting attractions such as ‘Bakers Falls', ‘Chimmini Pool' and the famous ‘World's End' (a 3700 ft sheer drop that offers fabulous views of the tea estates below and all the way out to the distant southern coastline).
Nuwara Eliya was home away from home for the british colonialist in the 19th century. This city with an elevation of 6200 meters is the highest in Sri Lanka (Ceylon).Hemmed in by three of the highest mountains in the country; Piduruthalagala, the Great Western and Hakgala, the city looks very isolated. Yet it's just a four hour drive from Colombo.
The Nuwara Eliya golf links, is said to be one of the finest golf courses in the asia pacific region. Other recreation activities include horse riding, fishing, camping and of course trekking. Thanks to the cool climes this is one city where you can never work up a sweat.The higher elivations are covered with lush green forests - rapidly being destroyed by combination of selfish politician ans ignorant citizens of Nuwara Eliya itself.
The lower elevations are covered with what seems at first site to be a plush green carpet. On closer inspection these turns out to be thousands of tea bushes freshly plucked. For this is the tea growing country, and the land of elegent plantation bungalows.Travellers from the UK will be particularly attracted by the architechture which is decidedly Victorian. Even modern buildings are build in the same fashion to preserve Nuwara Eliya's unique atmosphere.
Hakgala Botanical Gardens
Botanic garden at Hakgala is the second largest gardens in Sri Lanka situated in salubrious environment near the capital city of the hill country. It provides charm and cold atmosphere with picturesque beauty by its own landscape and many blooms seen in various sections in garden. It enhances natural beauty by small water steams run across the garden and wooden bridges built over them. The main reason caused to establish the garden at Hakgala was cultivation and promotion of Cinchona, a tree of commerce in Sri Lanka. The garden was established in 1861 with the auspices of Mr G.H.W. Thawaites then director of Royal Botanic Gardens at Peradeniya and M.R. W. MacNichholl was the pioneer curator of the gardens. Later, the garden was used for experimentation of tea cultivation in up country and then garden was developed to a botanical direction since Mr William Nock was appointed as a curator in 1884. Many sub tropical and some temperate plants were introduced and planted in the gardens.
It was recorded in the legend of Sri Lanka, Many thousands years ago, a famous king of Ceylon Ravana whose name is remembered in connection with the epic love story with Sita, a beautiful queen of India, made a pleasure gardens in the region where the Hakgala gerden spreads today. The king Ravana brought queen Sita, a famous female character descried in eastern here and kept hidden in the area vicinity to the botanic.
Kandy and Knuckles Mountain Range
Kandy, the last royal capital of Sri Lanka is a major tourist destination. ( 115kM from Colombo at 465 meters above sea level). Famous for the Temple of the Tooth and many other temples the city could be called the cultural capital of the island.
Kandy Perahera, the pageant of the temple of tooth where Buddha's tooth is kept is held either in July or August each year to parade the golden caskets is a must see itenary if one is visiting Sri Lanka during these months. The final night procession is the most spectacular event of the country. More than 50 elephants parade the city accompanied by the drummers, dancers and chieftains.
The city established in the 15th century was the last royal capital where 2500 years of royal rule ended.This bustling market town is rich in cultural diversity has plenty of iteneries to offer to the tourists from songs dances and handy crafts to ancient temples and adventure activities. Kandy is a good transit point to the cultural triangle to the north or hill country to the south. The city is also a good source of souvenirs or to experience many cultural performances at it's various hotels in the city.
The KNUCKLES MOUNTAIN RANGE (so-called because its appearance resembles a set of knuckles in a closed fist) is a major eco tourism venue of Sri Lanka and has been declared a conservation area, now known as the KNUCKLES NATIONAL HERITAGE AND WILDERNESS AREA .
The region stretches an impressive 155 sq km that contains five major forest formations, a wide variety of rare and endemic flora and fauna and some breathtaking mountain scenery of Sri Lanka . It is a real paradise for those who love to hike or mountain bike , offering numerous mountainous trails that journey across clear rivers, through dense forests, past flowing waterfalls and lush tea plantations, and alongside terraced paddy fields and colourful Kandyan home gardens. The chance to visit traditional small mountain villages in the area gives an interesting insight into the close-knit atmosphere that such a local community fosters and provides a welcome departure from fast-paced modern day life.
Meemure is a small remote village situated in the Central Province of Sri Lanka in the Kandy District. The nearest city is Hunnasgiriya, which is approximately 144km from Colombo and 34km from Kandy.The village is nestled within the Knuckles mountain range that spans across the central highlands. The name describes its outline and consists of 35 peaks. It spans about 90 square kilometers in extent and reaches heights of 915m (3000 ft).
The Knuckles range is known to contain a rich variety of plant and animal life. Some of the wildlife includes leopard, sambhur, mouse deer, barking deer, sloth beer, leaf monkey, toque monkey, wild squirrels, giant squirrels, wild boar and otter.The only access point to Meemure village is through Hunnasgiriya city and then via Loolwatte town.
Knuckles Mountain Range
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
See baby jumbos wondering around their cramped foster home or bottle fed and bathed by their human foster fathers at Pinnawala, about 90Km from Colombo towards Kandy is the home to some 60 or more elephant orphans. A place you will really enjoy and never forget. Most orphans are accustomed to their curious human visitors are harmless.
Started in 1972 the Elephant Orphanage was relocated to at the present site in 1975 Bathing time at Ma Oya just in front of the orphanage is sharp at 10.00am and 2.00pm. Feeding time is about and hour earlier.
Colombo and Airport
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