Kitulgala is a hamlet in a valley of the Kelani River, it is famous as the setting for the award winning movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai”. The main attraction is Sri Lanka’s best white water rafting opportunity. “Kitul” is the name for the Fishtail Palm (Caryota urens), which is cultivated in this area, plantations produce Sri Lanka’s popular syrup (called “honey”) and jaggery in its crystallized form. Kitulgala is famous among bird-watchers, too. Located in a transitional area between tropical lowlands and cool highlands, the Kitulgala bird sanctuary is inhabited by bird species from both very different biospheres. The Mountain Hawk Eagle inhabits the hills above the valley. Sri Lanka's most recently discovered bird species, the Serendib Scops Owl, was originally heard calling in the forests of Kitulgala. The dominating fauna in the valley is wet zone rain forest.
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:
Kitulgala is worth an overnight stay when you are travelling from the higlands, Kandy or Nuwara Eliya or Adam's Peak, to the western beaches or Colombo. A good range of accommodation is available.
Don't miss the river rafting, rubber rafts are available a few kilometres upstream, but there is much more to see and to do in Kitulgala. For example you can have a little bit of canyoning feeling in a side valley in only two kilometres distance from the village centre. You can jump into pools or even sliding down within small waterfalls. The calmer water of the scenic main valley are good for canoe rides, too.
There are rarely visited waterfalls in the vicinity of Kitulgala, perfect hiking detinations along small pathes through the jungles. However, to reach some of those trails you have to leave Kitulgala and take a vehicle for a few kilometres. One rarely visited waterfall in a northern side valley is Manneketti, it is an idyllic place and even a little bit spectacular.
Crossing rubber and tea plantations you can reach Beli Lena, one of Sri Lanka's most important prehistoric sites. Seasonally a small waterfall veils one of the cave openings.
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!
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