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Kithulgala

Kithulgala

Kitulgala is a small village which borders the Kelani river and is surrounded by lowland rainforest. It was the location where the Hollywood classic ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ was filmed in 1957. Today, only the concrete foundations of the bridge can be seen by accessing a path signposted from the main road which takes you to the banks of the river. Along with Sinharaja, this area harbors one of the last remaining tracts of lowland rainforest in Sri Lanka and provides a refuge for a wealth of biodiversity. It is particularly popular for birding especially for endemics such as the Serendib Scops Owl, Chestut-backed Owlet and Green-billed Coucal. Today, Kitulgala is referred to as the rafting capital of Sri Lanka, where the rapids along the fast flowing Kelani river which flows through Kitulgala and the forested reserve provides ideal conditions for this high octane adventure sport.

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The ultimate adventure, experience white water rafting along the fast flowing Kelani River. This adventure covers five major rapids and four minor rapids. This is an activity for guests 10 years and older. Proper safety instructions and safety gear, modern rafts as well as worlds class licensed operators make this an experience of a lifetime. Some of the other outdoor based activities in Kithulgala include canyoning, kayaking, tube boat rides as well as hiking and cycling along the forested trails.

The lush green are of Kitulgala, is also home to one of the last lowland rainforests in the country. This beautiful area is bountiful in its endemic birdlife. Taking a “ferry” which is in-fact a dugout canoe across the Kelani River, one comes to the entrance of the Kelani Valley Forest Reserve. There are several walking trails in the deep dark forest, which are home to some of the rarest and elusive species of birds, amphibians, and reptiles. A walk through the village bordering the forest will give you a better chance to see these rare birds such as the Green Billed Coucal, Orange Billed Babbler, and the colorful Three Toed Kingfisher out in the open.

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