Kanneliya is a small UNESCO biosphere reserve in Galle District in southern Sri Lanka. This lowland rainforest belongs to the hilly region of the so-called KDN forest complex. (Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya). The average annual precipitation in this wetland area is 3,750 mm. It is one of the botanically richest areas in South Asia. It is not far from the Sinharaja Forest Reserve and there are plans to connect both sanctuaries by a forest corridor. 50 % of tree species in Kanneliya are endemic in Sri Lanka, 45 % of plant species in Kanneliya are categorized rare. 41 animal species are endemic. Kanneliya is a habitat for the very same 20 endemic bird species that occur in Sinharaja. Kanneliya is well-known for its diversity of freshwater fish and water snakes.
Sinharaja rain forest
Kanneliya small rain forest
Pinnawela elephant orphanage
Dry zone south
Yala NP camping-safari
Bundala NP bird watching
Kumana NP birds and wildlife
Okanda village life and beach
Rufus Kulam remote lake
Lahugala NP with heritage site
Gal Oya NP lakeside wildlife
Udawalawe NP wild elephants
Ussangoda serpentine rock
Dry zone north
Minneriya NP elephant gathering
Kaudulla NP elephant gathering
Habarana oxcart excursions
Nelumpure authentic village life
Mihintale ancient sanctuary
Namal Uyana ironwood sanctuary
Rasvehera monastery and wildlife
Tabbowe lake near Wilpattu NP
Horton Plains trekking hotspot
Bambarakanda 240 m waterfall
Adam's Peak pilgrim mountain
Hakgala Botanical Garden
Kitulgala white water and birds
Peradeniya Botanical Garden
Meemure village life and trekking
Knuckles Range trekking highlight
Randenigala NP alternative camp
You can find a similar linklist with images just below:
For those who are interested in exploring the tropical rain forest in the southwest of the country and already know the Sinharaja camp or want to visit another place, we can arrange a holiday stay in Sri Lanka's second largest rain forest called Kanneliya. As in the case of Sinharaja it is administered by the Forest Department. This is why overnight stays here are less expensive than in the Wildlife Department's national parks. Kanneliya only can provide rooms, but there are no restaurants attached. There will be local helpers supporting the sightseeinglanka group leader preparing meals for the guests. Of course, guests could take part in the cooking.
Kanneliya ist well-known for its abundance in birds, similar to Sinharaja. There are hiking trails to nice waterfalls. There are two main hiking trails in Kanneliya. Kabbale mountain trail leads to a summit with a panoramic view. The trail to the waterfalls called Narangas Ella also goes to the famous Giant Navada tree. But the rainforest area is compartively small. You could visit the waterfalls on a day excursion from Galle, too.
A forest department guide will always accompany you on your hikes.
As in the case of the nearby Sinharaja rain forest there should be issued two kinds of "warnings":
Firstly, chemical prevention of being infested by leeches is essential. There are vast amounts of leeches in Sri Lanka's rainforests, and unlike European species they can leave much bloodier trails at your cloths. They even can byte through tightly fit cloths.
Secondly, we strongly advise against visits of rainforest regions during the monsoon season between June and September - except you are particularly interested in a monsoon-experience as an end in itself. Animal observations are not possible during those months of monsoon rainfall.
Sightseeinglanka is a tour operator based in Sri Lanka and 100% owned by Sri Lankans, specialized on organizing eco-friendly and extraordinary safari and authentic Sri Lanka village-life experiences - truly no tourism industry fake! Kapila, founder and leader of Team Sightseeinglanka, is a biologist. Please read more...
Enjoy Sri Lanka's charming cultural and natural heritage with Team Sightseeinglanka!
... but why not, later on, travel to another lovely Theravada Buddhist country? The world-famous Cambodia jungle temples are astonishing...