Horton Plains – tea country
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: 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 DESCRIPTION: 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.
Includes: Water, a guide, and back-up vehicle
Duration: 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: Strenuous. We categorize this experience as strenuous due to the weather conditions.
Suitable for children: The trek is suitable for children.
Times: Early morning (between 6am and 10am) is the best time to visit, before the clouds roll in.
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. The plains quickly warm up, so take a cap as well.
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.