Half day trek in the Knuckles mountain range
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The mysterious Knuckles Mountain range – named after its likeness to a clenched fist – offers some of Sri Lanka’s most hauntingly beautiful nature trails. Long studied by scientists and anthropologists alike for its high range of biodiversity and inhabitant native tribes, the area is home to 40 rural villages and a plethora of endemic wildlife, including some very rare species. Bordering both the dry and wet zones, the rugged terrain is almost always cloaked with a thick spectral fog that hangs low around the peaks year-round. With its volatile climate and regular heavy rainfall, the Knuckles presents some difficult trekking conditions, exasperated by, but not limited to, a large leech population. Therefore we recommend this trek to the more adventurous and intrepid trekkers who are prepared for a challenge. But do not let this put you off! The Knuckles is one of those wonderful parts of the island that is still deliciously off-the-beaten track with views and remote scenery that make a hike in this area extremely rewarding. Spend half a day trekking in the knuckles with your guide, an outdoors enthusiast and knowledgeable naturalist, and you are unlikely to see another soul along the way. It’ll just be you and the nature.
EXPERIENCE DESCRIPTION: Your guide will pick you up from your hotel at around 6am and you will take an hour and a half’s drive away from Kandy towards the Knuckles region. As you get closer, you’ll notice the scenery starting to change from palm trees, rice fields and tropical foliage to cloud forest, montane forest, and verdant plateaus of pygmy forest. You will be accompanied on your trek by a guide who knows the area intimately as well as one or two assistants (depending on your group size) who will serve as porters for the hike. You will be hiking the Corbett’s Gap Viewpoint track, starting at Leopard Rock and finishing up at one of the country’s highest waterfalls. The trek is about 14km but the terrain is fairly smooth and perhaps the most challenging aspect during the rainy season will be slippery tracks and leeches. You’ll wind your way across the grassland area of the Knuckles and in towards the cloud forests as you ascend Leopard Rock, finally reaching a plateau that offers stunning panoramic vistas across the forest. As it gets towards midday, you will stop en route for a hearty picnic lunch and then continue on to a hidden waterfall where it is possible to bathe in the crystal –albeit slightly chilly – water.
includes: Water, a guide, lunch, porters, leech socks and snacks
duration: Approx. 6 hours.
difficulty: Strenuous. We categorize this experience as strenuous due to the leeches. The trek, however, can be lengthened or shortened to suit your preferences.
suitable for children: The trek is suitable for intrepid children who enjoy being outdoors.
times: Early morning at 6am is the best time to start.
what to wear or bring along: Light, comfortable clothing, a good pair of trainers or hiking boots, a raincoat as it often rains, swimwear if you want to take a dip in the waterfall.
important to know: March –April & June – August are the best months weather-wise. If it rains, there will be leeches. There may also be leeches if it is not raining.
private or not? The visit is private. That said, there may be other people around on the trail.