You know you need an island holiday when tropical forests and sun-drenched beaches dance before your eyes. That’s why you need to visit Sri Lanka. For real though, this is where you’ll find the hottest wildlife reserves in the whole of Asia. An experience of a lifetime, sanctuaries like Yala and the Horton Plains National Park Sri Lanka offer you an unparalleled insight into the heart of the wild.
The Horton Plains is a world of ethereal perfection; a place seemingly untouched over the cycle of time. The forest is essentially a quiet, beautiful plateau set high up in the island’s central mountains. A refreshing escape from dazzling city centers, this is just one of those wildlife hotspots teeming with the most extraordinary surprises.
This picture-perfect mountain range is snuggled right between Nuwara Eliya and Haputale. If you’re coming in from Nuwara Eliya, take the entrance from Pattipola. If you’re journeying through Haputale, then take the entrance at Ohiya. Either way, you’ll be in for a 3 km ride from your chosen entrance point to the park.
First, go ahead take a look around the visitors’ center. It isn’t too shabby and you’ll actually find a few cool wildlife exhibits you might like. Then, you can get started on the best 9Km trek of your life.
You’re never going to get enough of these plains. Evergreen forests and incredible hilltop views await you at this soulful mountain destination. Carpets of emerald grasslands melt into golden marshes and rippling pools of rich aquatic life. The winds up here can blow strong and cold. So yeah, an extra sweater or two definitely won’t go amiss. At night, the frosts take over the quiet forest terrains, coating pristine beauty in soft silvery webs.
Prepare for intimate close ups with the best of nature’s iconic sights. There are herds of majestic elephants and freely gamboling deer to admire. Wild boars skulk and grunt their way through while sly reptiles haunt the thriving forest pools. You’ll see cheeky monkeys and song birds in the forest canopies, and leopards pacing menacingly on the forest floors. And last but never the least, you’ll see the prized slender loris. It’s pretty rare and shy to boot, so you’ll need to be lucky to catch a whiff of this elusive creature. Have your camera ready anyway!
Completing the main trek at the Horton Plains will take you just about 3 hours. But you’re bound to take longer if you also want to explore the open flowery fields and pretty forest covers.
The World’s End is probably the coolest thing you’ll see at the Horton Plains. You’ll find this infamous cliff at the southern edge of the mountain range. If you’re here early enough, and with a bit of luck to escape the fogs, you’ll be seeing a jaw-dropping view stretching all the way to the island’s southern coast. Absolutely brilliant. If you’re here for the view, make sure to be here in the early hours of the morning. The fog settles in soon after sunrise, making it near impossible to see your nose in front of your face, particularly in the rainy season from May to July.