This is a place where you meet so many trees with so much water. Many tourists, as well as Sri Lankans, love to have a visit in Kitulgala. The chilling weather will relax your body. Also, the environment will calm down your mind. Here it is wet and also in the West. But it belongs to the province of Sabaragamuwa. It will take only about two or three hours to be there from the capital. February is dry to the other parts of the country, but not to here. The January, February and March are the mostly raining period to this area. If you have watched the film “The Bridge over the River Kwai”, it had been shot in here. You can still see a few parts of the bridge.
There are many things to do here. Kitulgala adventure day trip is actually a big deal which you feel that one day is not enough at all. The first thing you can do is white water rafting. It is famous for this are. The Kelani River gives the sportsmen all the capabilities to raft on the water. You can do it alone or go as a team. You have to start it from a bit upper side, and the water will bring you floating down the river. That is amazing as well as a thrilling experience. You may raft about five or six kilometres with five or six minor and significant rapids. Your ten years old child can get the experience this happily, but not the small ones because this is enjoyable but a bit dangerous. You may get an instructor while rafting. Remember to ask for some modern rafts which have gears too.
What will you do if your children are afraid of this?
Can’t they enjoy it?
Do they sadly have to watch you all laughing?
No, there is another way. Some branches go out of the river. They are calm or not rough very much. Anyone who does not want to put his or her life in danger, he or she can select flat water.
Kitulgala is a jungle. Your team can go on a hike there. There are so many things to explore and many things to learn in this jungle. It is full of biodiversity. There are many kinds of birds, butterflies, reptiles, various types of beautiful insects, and a few mammals to watch. Also, the trees, vines, many different kinds of plants, herbal plants and flowers are always there to make the whole environment beautiful. Anyone can look, get photographs and review them.
You can ride a bicycle and go around the village. It will be a thrilling experience because the riding is not as similar to the usual road riding we do. There you will find hills and mountains, slopes, flat areas, rural areas, streams, muddy areas and so much more. Therefore your riding is changeable. Not only on the roads but also you can ride your bicycle in the jungle too. It is a different thrill.
Watching, bathing and abseiling in Kitulgala waterfalls will give you a memorable experience. You will find so many of them such as Olu Ella, Eli Hatha, Rukmal Ella, Sudugala, Nakkavita, Laksapana, etc. Usually, everybody comes to see and bath in a waterfall. But abseiling is something different and thrilling. It is good to test one’s self-confidence.
There are many more places for you to stay. Most of them are for the foreigners, but sometimes local people also stay in. You can get a room in one of these and have a delicious meal with Sri Lankan ingredients. One of the best is the Kitulgala rest house. It will cost about LKR four thousand for each room. This one has mini bars in the room, seating places restaurant and also the transport service to the Airport. Though you can get liquor in here, you must remember that this is a non-smoking place. You do not have to spend the night in here to have a meal. You can go in when you are passing by an order. They are thrilled to help you.
Besides that, you may find many Kitulgala hotels to stay or have supper. One is Paradise Eco-garden, and it is in the Ganepalla Estate. You can see five cabanas in there. Their best one has a pool attached to the room area. Others have a shared pool which you can sometimes sit on a swinging chair and put your feet into the water. They have tasty food too. They do not have set menus or buffets. That means you can ask for anything that you prefer. And also you can go hiking to see the waterfall named Arne’s fall. You can ask for the white water rafting facility in here too.
Most locals, as well as foreigners, will recommend you the Palm stone Retreat to stay. It has its swimming pools not only in the outside but also in the inside too. It has air-conditioned rooms and the food tastes delicious — many like its location. The hotel has many trees all around. It is a bit dark but cold. If you are a nature lover, the best place to stay is here. It seems that couples always book these rooms, but families come to enjoy too.
The Kumbuk Sevena Adventure Camp will give you cold accommodation surrounded by trees. Also, they have a pool with ten lodgings and can drop you to the Airport. You can have some activities in the water and can go fishing in the Rafters Retreat. The Heritage Resort costs a bit low. One noticeable thing in Royal River Resort is that it has a river sloping down through a large rock. The view is wonderful, and you can bathe in a natural swimming pool.
Whatever you do in there, the only thing you cannot do is to destroy the lovely Kitulgala. Do not break the leaves, do not pluck the flowers, do not throw stones to the animals and do not harm anything. Just bring the memory back home.