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A visit to Horton Plains

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The Horton Plains National Park, is a protected area covered by mountain grassland and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of 2,100–2,300 meters (6,900–7,500 ft.) and has been said by many to resemble the African savannah. The National Park is unlike any other in the island; it’s as beautiful as it is eerily, and offers a world that is oddly different from any other part of Sri Lanka. The Horton Plains National Park is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. The Horton Plains are the headwaters of three major Sri Lankan rivers, the Mahaweli, Kelani, and Walawe. In Sinhala the plains are known as Maha Eliya Plains.

Experience Overview

The Horton Plains National Park offers amazing hikes amongst the shadows of Sri Lanka’s second and third-highest mountains; Kirigalpotta (2395m) and Totapola (2359m), each of which rear up from the edges of the plateau. The ‘plains’ form a plateau of rises and fall over 2000m high, covered by wild grasslands and interspersed with patches of thick forest, rocky outcrops, filigree waterfalls and misty lakes. The plateau’s sudden end is famously known as ‘World’s End’, a stunning near 880m drop. Entrance tickets are sold until 2:30pm daily, and travellers must exit the national park by 6pm.

Includes:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style

Water, a guide, and back-up vehicle

Duration:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style

Approx. 4 hours. If you are coming from Nuwara Eliya, the drive is approximately 45 minutes to get to the starting point for the trek.

Difficulty:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style

Strenuous. We categorize this experience as strenuous due to the weather conditions, worn gravel pathways and occasional waterlogged paths.

Suitable for children:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style
Suitable for children:

The trek is suitable for older children.

Times:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style

Early morning (between 6am and 10am) is the best time to visit, before the clouds roll in.

What to wear or bring along:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style
What to wear or bring along:

Light, comfortable clothing, a raincoat as it sometimes rains, a jumper as it can get cold at the summit, and a cap to keep your ears warm. Wear trousers and a sweater for the evening and early mornings. We recommend wearing sturdy walking or trekking shoes.

Important to know  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style
Important to know

January to March are usually the clearest months, weather-wise. Other months mean heavy fog and poor visibility. We recommend that you carry a picnic lunch with you. If it rains, there will be leeches. Private or not? The visit is private. That said, there may be other people around at the park.




Managing Expectations

It is important to remember that, whilst they are experts in their field, the people who run or host our experiences are not necessarily used to working in the tourism industry and may not offer the level of service you would find at a five-star hotel. For example, instead of a formal lecture, you may get a relaxed conversation where open discussion is encouraged. All of our hosts are, however, extremely engaging, knowledgeable and passionate about educating visitors about their chosen subject and we have worked with them to ensure that they deliver worthwhile, fulfilling experiences. We welcome feedback, so please let us know what you thought and if you think any improvements could be made to the experiences we offer.

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