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Sri Lanka Hard Adventure Expedition

15 Nights & 16 Days

Day 1

Arrival in Sri Lanka and transfer to Sea Shells Hotel Negombo on Half Board basis.

Day 2

Sinharaja Rainforest– Ratnapura – Adam's Peak

In the morning, arrive at the border of Sinharaja Rainforest and start trekking across the forest.


SINHARAJA is the last major undisturbed rainforest in Sri Lanka. Of the plant species found in this forest 70% are endemic to Sri Lanka , out of which 32% are endemic to Sinharaja. The canopy trees reach heights up to 45 metres, with the next layer canopy trees reaching about 30m. There are 45 species of reptiles, 21 of which are endemic. The venomous snakes include the green-pit viper, which inhabits trees, the hump-nosed viper and the krait, which lives on the forest floor. One of the most frequently found amphibians is the wrinkled frog, whose croak is often heard at night. There is a prolific birdlife in the forest - 147 species have been recorded with 18 of Sri Lanka 's 26 endemic species being seen here. For the less welcome inhabitants of the rainforest, our guides will take preventative measures to protect you, providing salt and some tips about how and when to use it. N.B. Leeches are not dangerous but they should be removed in the correct way, following the directions of our staff.


ADAMS PEAK.

This 2243 metre peak has a great significance for various different religions. The huge footprint at the summit is believed by Buddhists to be that of Lord Buddha (‘Sri Pada'), whilst Christians suggest that it was where Adam first set foot on earth, and Hindus claim that it belongs to Lord Shiva. As a result, the peak has been a pilgrimage centre for over 1000 years. Whatever its religious significance, this famous landmark offers some breathtaking views of the hill country. The majority of climbers begin their ascent at night in order to arrive at the top in time for a magical sunrise when the mystical shadow of the peak is perfectly cast across the clouds. It is one of those truly unique moments that will live on in your memory long after the aches and pains from the climb have gone!


SCHEDULE

You will be driven to the starting point of the trek (5.2 km from Deniyaya), crossing one of the most known low country tea estates – Ensalwatte Tea Estate. From there you will proceed 6-7 km till you see an escarpment onto your right. Just before entering the forest you will see a typical small rural house. Once you reach a small stream a bit further on, the real journey begins here as you proceed through the forest itself!

You will have to climb in the dense forest along a (sometimes difficult) footpath from an elevation of 391m to 1080m - the highest level of this forest. Though it is only 14 km trek, it may take up to 3 hours due to the tough terrain.

Packed lunch will be provided at a suitable location.

The vehicle will be ready at the other side of the border when you emerge from the forest and drive you to the base of the Adam's Peak (Ratnapura side). Make the most of the rest during the journey – a long night of hiking lies ahead of you!! Begin the Adam's Peak climb in the evening with experienced local guides – a packed supper, snacks and drinks will be provided.

Overnight at the Peak in sleeping bags provided.

Day 3

Adams Peak– Planter's Bungalow, Bogawanthalawa

Watch the sunrise from Adam's Peak and then come back down to the base.

Vehicle will pick you up at the base and drive you to a Planter's Bungalow / in Bogawanthalawa or a guest house at Maskeliya.

Late breakfast at the Planter's Bungalow or the guest house.

Relax for rest of morning. Lunch at Planter's Bungalow. Afternoon visit/short trail through tea plantation for 2 to 3hrs. Dinner and overnight at Planter's Bungalow, Bogawanthalawa or at the Guesthouse.

Day 4

Bogawanthalawa – Galpothuthenna

Breakfast at the Planter's Bungalow or Guesthouse.

After breakfast, drive to the starting point for the day's trek. Depart on trail from Bogawanthalawa – Galpothuthenna (approx 28 km). Packed lunch on the way.

This is a trail of incredible diversity – it will take you through forest, jungle, tea plantation and grassland, with ascents, descents and flat terrain, desolate and inhabited areas, changing vegetation types and some of the most spectacular views in Sri Lanka .

Beginning in the Bogawanthalawa tea plantation itself, you then start a rapid ascent up through jungle terrain. When you come out of the jungle, you reach a more open grassland terrain, similar to the landscape of the famous ‘Horton Plains' (which is situated slightly higher up). You are sure to see the footprints of the leopards and sambhur deer that roam here (you may even spot the animals themselves if you are very lucky!). Along the way, you will follow the river, also noticing a number of man-made holes (the result of the gem-mining that goes on in the area).

You will then go back into a scrub jungle area where the next part of the trail takes you on a footpath towards the ‘Non-Pereil' tea estate. On the way, you will cross the Belihuloya River – an ideal place to take a break for lunch and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

When you come out of the ‘jungle tunnel', you can see for miles beyond, including the ‘Samanalawewa' reservoir and the dam itself. You will pass the tea pluckers' homes, vegetable plots, a small nursery school before reaching the ‘Non Pareil' tea plantation itself.

Heading down through the tea plantation, you will get to a sparse and rocky area, you will continue on through forest patches where you can see bear monkeys and a wide variety of birds. This part of the descent is rather steep – the panoramic views are incredible! The last part of the trail leads down through a dense pine tree plantation and finishes up at the small village of ‘Galpothuthenna' (only a short drive from the River Garden Resort in Belihuloya). You will be met by the vehicle at Galpothuthenna and driven to River Garden Resort, Belihuloya for dinner and overnight stay (choice of Fully Serviced Luxury Camp, Eco Lodge or Cottages).

Day 5

Belihuloya – Kinchigune – Hulan Ella Falls

Early morning Breakfast at River Garden Resort (Campsite or Cottages) or Eco Lodge, Kinchigune.

After breakfast you will get into canoes from the western end of the lake and peddle acorss to the Eastern end.[4/5km and max 1 ½ hours.]. From here you will bike along the cycling trail to the point that you will start the Kinchigune – Hulan Ella Falls trekking Trail. Please note that some of the sections of this trail is tough and you may have to carry your cylce. [Baggage will be transported seperatly]

Lunch will be arranged at Kumbalagam village temple.

N.B. Trekkers are expected to carry their own necessities in a comfortable backpack so that our staff are able to carry tents/provisions etc. This is camping/trekking on a very participatory basis!

Beyond the temple, the trail goes through a very small village into a completely uninhabited area, characterised by intermittent patches of forest and savanna, eventually leading to the Walawe River . The river marks the 8km point of the trail, but to continue on we cross it at ‘Mulgammankada' and hike through the Riverine Forest, alongside and down the river. During the next part of the trail, we will not come across any human habitations, and apart from an occasional small group or two of gem miners, who come to this desolate area and camp out here to mine for gems, one will not meet other humans on the way. After another 2km walk, we come to a beautiful rocky area where there is a waterfall of about 40 ft in height. This waterfall is called ‘Hulan Ella' or the ‘Walawe Ganga Falls (West)'. The beautiful, serene, and ever-changing forest next to the river and waterfall is home to an abundance of varying flora and fauna. The fauna in this area consists of the occasional elephant, sambhur Deer, Indian Muntjak, flying and giant Squirrels, many birds (Changeable Hawk Eagle, Brown Fish Owl, Stork Billed kingfisher, Gray Hornbill etc.), Lizards (3 endemic), Geckos, Skinks, Snakes, Amphibians, Snails, Butterflies and Fishes.

Dinner and overnight stay at Camp at Hulan Ella. N.B. This will be camping on a ‘participatory basis' where trekkers will assist our staff in the setting up of the camp and cooking.

Day 6

Hulan Ella – Duwili Ella Falls

Breakfast at the camp

After breakfast we will break camp and continue through the forest, passing a place where the river divides into three and flows down as three streams for about 300 metres before rejoining. Always remaining in the cool shade of the Riverine Forest, we will reach our final destination in time for lunch. At the end of 10km walk from ‘Hulan Ella' we come to the ‘pièce de resistance' – the majestic, breathtaking and awesome ‘ Duwili Ella Falls '. This waterfall is also called the ‘Walawe Ganga Falls (East)'. It plunges a dramatic 80 ft from a level rocky ground into a large deep pool at the base. The falling of the water creates a cloud of spray, resembling a cloud of dust (hence the name ‘Duwili Ella' – in Sinhalese, ‘Duwili' means ‘dust' and ‘Ella' is ‘waterfall').

Lunch at the Duwili Ella Falls.

After lunch there is a short climb up some steps where you will be met by your vehicle and driven to your ongoing destination. Optional extensions to explore the area further can be arranged.

Drive down to Yala Village Hotel via Hambegamuwa on narrow bi-roads passing through typical Sri Lankan villages.

Dinner and overnight stay in Yala Village Hotel.

Day 7

After breakfast leaving to Yala National Park.

YALA NATIONAL PARKlies 24km northeast of Tissamaharama and 290km from Colombo on the southeast coast of Sri Lanka , spanning a vast 97,878 hectares over the Southern and Uva Provinces . The vegetation in the park comprises predominantly of semi-arid thorny scrub, interspersed with pockets of fairly dense secondary forest. Small patches of mangrove vegetation also occur along the coastal lagoons. The park is renowned for the variety of its wildlife (most notably its many elephants) and its fine coastline (associated with beautiful coral reefs). It also boasts a large number of important cultural ruins, bearing testimony to earlier civilizations and indicating that much of the area used to be populated and well developed.


SCHEDULE

  • Arrival at the entrance
  • Get in to 4 WD jeeps & transfer to the campsite
  • Relax till lunch time
  • Enjoy typical Sri Lankan lunch
  • Evening Safari
  • After the safari back to campsite
  • BBQ dinner & over night stay at camp site


Day 8

Buttala - Tree Top Jungle Lodge

After breakfast leaving to Tree Top Jungle Lodge.

Tree Tops Jungle Lodgeoffers a real jungle experience. It offers simple traditional adobe huts that are in an unfenced property and blends discretely with the beautiful surroundings; virgin forests, rocky hills, and scrub jungle. The lodge is located near Buttala in the South East of Sri Lanka, in the Weliara wilderness bordering the northwestern corner of the Yala National Park . The 5 km gravel road to the lodge gradually turns into a path through scrub jungle; at this point one leaves civilisation and enters the jungles of Yala, which stretches, to the south- and east coast far away


SCHEDULE

  • Guest will be picked up from Weliara Junction.
  • Reach the lodge for lunch.
  • After lunch enjoy some short walks in vicinity of the lodge.
  • Evening – have a bath in the fresh water well
  • Enjoy a native style dinner.
  • Dinner and Over Night stay at the Jungle Lodge

Day 9

Buttala - Tree Top Jungle Lodge

In the morning after breakfast, a trek to the Weliara Lake . Start about 10 am

A walk to the Weliara Lake , an ancient irrigation tank. This trek goes through a variety of tall forest, scrub jungle and abandoned chena fields. You will experience the richness of birdlife and we may be able to spot wildlife, even elephants. Rest, relax and swim in the Weliara Wewa, a large tank (reservoir) built in the 2 nd Century B.C by King Saddha Tissa. By 2.30 pm begin trekking back to the Farm. En route, stop over at a watering hole that is frequently used by wildlife.

Reach the Farm by 4.00 pm for tea. Stay at the Tree Top Jungle Lodge


Day 10

Mahiyangana – Veddha camp

DAMBANA is a remote jungle village of indigenous people, situated about 300km from Colombo . The population of these indigenous ‘Veddha'people now consists of only about 350 families, a number significantly reduced from a once thriving community. The ‘Veddha'are so influenced by the imposing dominant culture that they risk losing their traditions and what has been their livelihood for centuries. However, they remain determined that their way of life will continue into future generations. The Chief himself told us on a recent visit to the village that his main worry is that he may not be able prevent the ‘Veddha'traditions from dying out during his own lifetime. Visitors to this fascinating village have the opportunity to meet and chat with the people who live there, learn about their traditions, and gain a unique insight into their way of life. Your visit will also be of a direct financial benefit to the community because, as well as paying them a rent for the campsite and a fee for their involvement in the programme, Escape Tourism also uses local produce and labour whenever possible.

Our campsite is located next to the ‘Delikadeliwewa' tank in very close proximity to the Dambana village itself. During your stay, the ‘Veddha' people will visit the camp in their traditional costume in order to perform some traditional dances. The camp is also close to one of their former hunting grounds so guests can have the chance to participate in a mock hunt. Forget any ideas about cramped tents and sitting on the ground for meals – this is camping in style! The camp is set up prior to your arrival, transporting in comfortable tents, a fully equipped kitchen, chairs and tables, hammocks, flushable toilets, showers and even cold beer. In the evening you can enjoy a hearty barbecue meal in a magical setting – the whole area is lit up with traditional flame torches and a roaring campfire. So sit back, relax and let our experienced staff cater to your every need.


SCHEDULE

  • Breakfast at Tree Tops Jungle Lodge.
  • The Guest will be met at the Dambana Junction & taken to the Camp
  • On arrival a typical Sri Lankan lunch will be served
  • After lunch visit to see the Veddhas village
  • Have a meeting with their Chief- Wannilayeththo
  • Watch the Kiri Koraha Dance which they perform to invoke blessings
  • Return to camp
  • BBQ Dinner & over night at Camp

Day 11

Mahiyangana/ Kandy via Knuckles through Pallegame / Riverston / Matale

Breakfast at the Camp.

Cycling from Pallegama to Riverston

Over night stay at a hotel in Kandy

Day 12

Kandy

Kandy was the last stronghold of the Sinhala Buddhist political power against colonial powers. It is also the home of the Temple of the Tooth Relic. Its architectural monuments date mainly from the 19 th century, when Vikrama Rajashinha went on a building spree, the cost of which hastened the downfall and eventual surrender to the British forces.


Dalada Maligawa

The Temple of the Tooth or Dalada Maligawa dates from the 16 th century, though most of the present buildings were built in the 19 th century. Entering the shrine over a moonstone step, you pass a stone depicting the Indian goddess Lakshmi and a wall with frescoes illustrating the Buddhist conception of hell. The upper stories house the tooth relic, guarded behind gilded iron bars. Behind the tooth relic sanctuary is a hall with a number of golden Buddha statues and modern paintings, showing Buddha's life and the arrival of Buddhism in the land. We end our tour just before the evening drumming begins, which precedes the ceremonious opening of the window for the public viewing of the casket with the tooth.


Hanthana MountainThis beautiful mountain is a prominent feature in the Kandy area. It consists of a secondary forest with many streams flowing down. The mountain is a famous habitat for the three-toed king fisher and many other species of birds.

Dinner and overnight stay in Hill Top Hotel Kandy.

Day 13

Kithulgala

Leaving to Kithulgala after breakfast.


White Water Rafting

This thrilling adventure on the white water sections of Kelani River is suitable for amateurs as well as professionals alike. During the run you will experience the thrill of shooting rapids and euphoria of making it through. The river's clear water is born in the heart of the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary and tumbles through a rocky gorge just above Kithulgala.

  • Two houors of White Water Rafting.
  • Lunch at Rafter Retreat Kitulgala.
  • Evening Trek to Belilena Cave.
  • Dinner and overnight stay in Kitulgala.

Belilena Cave, which is, situated 2000 feet above sea level in scenic surroundings. The archaeological excavations at this cave have helped to uncover fossils of modern humans that are more than 32,000 years old

Day 14

Kaluganaga / Rathnapura – Kaluthara river run.

  • Transfer to Ratnapura from Kithulgala after breakfast.
  • After orientation depart from the Ratnapura Main Bridge around 10.00 am. We will be starting this canoe/raft ride, from “Rathnapura”- known for its gems. We will end the first day's run at a place named “Kiriella”.

This section is comparatively easy and do not require any special canoeing skills. Along the route you will be able to see many vegetation types and changing landscapes. Just passing the populated “Rathnapura” town area, the riverbank environment becomes more scenic and quiet with isolated sand collectors' homes surrounded by thick vegetation and palm trees! During most of the trip the only noises you are going to hear are the birdcalls and the sound of your paddle.

  • Lunch on the way at a suitable location.
  • Diner and overnight stay at a fully serviced movable semi luxury camp in Kiriella.

Day 15

Rathnapura – Kaluthara River run.

  • Leaving Kiriella after breakfast next day.
  • From here the adventure starts to buildup and you may need some previous canoeing experience to negotiate this section of the river. Where the river bends the water flow is rough and your canoe will be a bit shaky and unsteady.[Reminder -We will be doing an orientation for those who do not have previous canoeing experience]
  • Arrival at Kaluthara.
  • Transfer to Tangerine Beach Hotel Kalutara for a late lunch, dinner and overnight stay.
  • End of Programme.

Day 16

Departure after breakfast at Tangerine Beach Hotel.


------End of the tour------

Rates on request

Sinharaja Rain Forest, Adam's Peak, Misty Mountains in Belihuloya, Hulan Ella Falls, Kumbalagam village temple, Duwili Ella Falls, Yala National Park



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