Popular Camping Hikes in Sri Lanka – 1

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1. Narangala

  • Location :  Katawala, Badulla. (Location)
  • Time needed : 2-3 hours to reach the peak
  • Difficulty Level :  Moderate  
  • Route from Colombo : Colombo > Rathnapura > Balangoda > Haputale > Hali-ela > Kandegedara >  Keenakele > Narangala

The Golden Peak Narangala is an amazing hiking site and the second most attractive hotspot in Uva, Sri Lanka. The mountain range is located within the boundaries of Haliela, Soranatota and Kendaketiya devisional secretariats in Badulla district. The top view of the peak, you can experience the beautiful nature and the shade of sunshine golden color.  Narangala is the fifth highest mountain in Uva with 1527m height which provides the best views in the entire tropical island. Because of that Narangala range became a famous place for both hikers and campers. Narangala has two entrances, Thangamalai dewalaya side and Keenakele side. But the Keenakele is commonly used by villagers with less fun.

The hiking trail starts at the Thangamalai estate area. When you reach the Hindu temple in the estate should have to stop your vehicles and go along the foot traits of the estate. You have to follow the foot trails until you find a large pipeline. This large pipeline supplies water to the whole tea estate. There are plenty of pretty views of slopes coated in the bright green of tea trees. You have to follow the pipeline until the point that it reaches a road that runs through the estate. When you go through this road finally you will reach the point. It is the place you have to start the climb up the mountain. In the beginning the climb will be through a grove of turpentine trees. The area is very slippery because the leaves fall from these trees. You have to hike through the yellow gold grasses of Narangala. During this route you can capture wildlife and their tracks. Before reaching the summit you will traverse four lower peaks of Narangala.

The picturesque mountain consists of a rectangular shaped plateau and a triangular shaped peak. The special thing is the location of the mountain. It is located at the edge of the Uva while pointing out towards a gap formed between the valleys of Uma oya, Badulu oya and Loggal oya. You will be able to witness the mysterious view you have ever come across in your life in the upper section of the mountain. You can view Nayabadda Madolsima area, Poonagala area on one side and the idalgashinna, Haputale plateau, the Namunukula mountain range, the Horton Plains, Randenigala reserve on the other side. These beautiful landscapes spread from the summit in the colorful panorama. The summit has a flat area where you can rest and refresh before starting down. Now you can select a campsites and enjoy with your gang. This will be a wonderful time. So, feel the nature, capture the best views and also, you will be able to catch the glimpse of the wonderful sunrise in the early morning.

  • After Kandegedara area you may not find any shops to eat or buy goods therefore packed up your stuff before leaving the area.
  • There are no water sources top of the rock.
  • Due to heavy wind on the peak and the lack of protective fences have to be carefull when observing.
  • It’s dangerous to hike if it is a rainy season.
  • Wear long sleeves as much as possible to hike through the grown Mana shrubs.

2. Yahangala

  • Location : Kandy (Location)
  • Time needed : 2-3 hours to reach the peak
  • Difficulty Level : Moderate to Hard
  • Route from Colombo : Colombo > Kandy > Ududumbara> Kalugala > Udailuka > Velangolla Pathana >  Yahangala

The bed rock mountain, Yahangala is a hiking area which is situated in central province with an elevation of 1220m above sea level. It is a mysterious mountain peak with a unique shape of bed situated at eastern edge of Knuckles massif. This is one of the difficult hike but this will be a real adventure for everyone. 

When you reach Uda Iluka, you can find the clear foot pathway to Velangolla Pathana. In the beginning it goes through the forest patch and then you have to go through Mana bushes. You can see the wild life during this road and after 1 hour of the journey you will reach Velangolla Pathana. There was a tapline crossing the foot pathway. The foot pathway continues to Udagaldebokka. When you reach the place you can see a small dewalaya. Right hand side is for Yahangala and left for Kehelpothadoruwegala. When you are using Velangolla Pathana should be careful in walking. You can see roaming elephants this road. To get on to the peak of Yahangala you can climb from the back of the mountain. It will be a rare experience in this journey. You can reach the peak in around 2hours time.

Now you are in the top of the rock. It is a flat area without big trees. The area cover with small bushes and this is the ideal place for camping. Now you can see Velangolla Pathana and its peak on one side. Knuckles massif, Kehelpothadoruwegala, Lakegala, Garandigala, Thelambugala, Galpadihela, Hetakatuwegala, Minipe Lake, Mahaweli river, Hasalaka lake and Sorabora wewa also can be seen here. The views from the top is incredible. This is a magical hike to experience the beauty of Sri Lanka. Take the journey. This will be a great experience to you to visit different landscapes with excellent views.

  • Should have to carry needed foods and water. ( no water sources in the top of the mountain)
  • If you are not familiar with pilot hiking and rope climbing better to take a support from a local guide.
  • Use a leech repellent.
  • Be aware of wild elephants.

3. Knuckles Mountain Range

  • Location : Matale and Kandy (Location)
  • Time needed : 2-3 Day Journey
  • Difficulty Level : Hard
  • Route from Colombo : Colombo > Kandy > Waththegama > Panwila > Bambaraalla > Knuckles peak

Hikers’ heaven, Knuckles mountain range is situated in the districts of Matale and Kandy, Central province, Sri Lanka. It also named as Dumbara mountain range. There are five peaks over 1500m in this range and the highest peak is Gombaniya. Other peaks are Kirigalpottha, Knuckles, Koboneelagala, Dotulugala. This is one of the wonderful nature paradise among hikers. You can do hiking, trekking, waterfall hunting, bird watching and number of things during this wonderful travel.

Most of the hikers use Kandy to Hunnasgiriya. At Hunnasgiriya, B grade road leads to the Corbett’s gap which opens up magnificent views of Knuckles range. The road that leads to the village of Meemure from Corbett’s gap. Other two entry roads you can use are, from Matale via Rattota and Riversten and from Waththegama via Panwila. 

There are clear foot pathways you can see up to second peak of this range. Second peak is the highest peak after this peak the foot pathway has a small ascend. You can see other peaks clearly here. Then the foot pathway goes through the forest. The beautiful Knuckles fall also situated in this area. There are some camping sites in the first peak and the peak covered with trees. The second peak provides wonderful landscapes rather than the first one. The camping sites in this peak are popular among campers. This is only covered with bushes.  But in this two camping sites (1st peak and 2nd peak) you can’t find water. So, you have to bring enough water for drink and cook. After third peak the directions of the mountain range is changed. There are ascends and descends in between third, fourth and fifth peaks. The third camping site is situated over fourth peak. This is a scenic and superb location for camping. And also, there you can find some water streams. 

At the southern end, there is a fine observation point and the best location to take a panoramic view. It’s the mini world end. On the way you will be able to catch several cascading waterfalls and streams. You can capture the peaks, stunning villages, beautiful animal and plant life during the hike. The area has rich biodiversity due to a wide variety of rare and endemic flora and fauna. You know, this range is home to thousands of animal species and plants. The streams of Knuckles feeding important downstream rivers like Mahaweli river, Heen river, Maha oya, Hasalaka oya and Theligamu oya. This will be a wonderful experience for hikers, campers and photographers too.

  • The climate here is unpredictable and constantly changing, so you have to be aware of that.
  • Carry a tent which suitable for wind and bring some warm clothes also.
  • Bring enough water but there are some streams to refill your water bottles. 
  • Bring enough foods, goods and other equipment for camping.
  • Use leech repellent.

4. Kabaragala

  • Location : Dolosbage, Kandy (Location)
  • Time needed : 2-3 hours to reach the peak
  • Difficulty Level : Moderate
  • Route from Colombo : Colombo > Gampola > Kurunduwattha > Maryville junction > Kabaragala peak

Kabaragala is the highest peak of Dolasbage in central province, Sri Lanka. This is the highest summit point in this range. Kabaragala is approximately 1506m in height. This has a flat terrain at the top and the huge drop similar to the world’s end. So, this is very similar to the Horton plains. Not only for the hikers and campers but also everyone who need a wonderful journey this is a great landscape to catch the beautiful nature.

When you reach Gampola, turn to the Gampola-Craighead road and travel along until Dolosbage. Maryville junction in the Nawalapitiya-Dolosbage road is the starting point of the Kabaragala. There is a foot pathway to the mountain. In the beginning the trail starts through a tea estate. Then you will come to a concrete road and go up. When you go through this way you will be able to see the pinus trees on the summit. The top of the mountain is a flat area where the highest point is on the right. There are two areas cover with Pinus trees. In between these two area is full of thick undergrowth. Here you can find lots of leeches. You have to come through this area until a small path created by a water stream. Then go through this and finally you can find a original foot path heading to the summit. You will have to struggle to reach this point. Now it is not so difficult. You can come to the main view point after going through this Pinus forest. 

Now you can see the surrounding hills and beautiful landscapes. Such a tremendous view..The view covers a large area including Nawalapitiya, Kothmale reservoir and Mahaweli Maha Seya. There is another view point closer to the pinus forest. You can find that foot pathway through the edge of the rock. But be careful when you are capturing different views. Here you can find imaginable camping spots with fascinating views.

So, come and explore the best highest peak of the Dolosbage range.

  • Bring water  and enough foods and never leave anything on the top.
  • Be aware of wild animals like snakes, insects.
  • Avoid rainy days for hiking.

5. Wangedigala

  • Location :  Badulla(Location)
  • Time needed : 3-4 hours to reach the peak
  • Difficulty Level : Moderate
  • Route from Colombo : Colombo > Avissawella > Ratnapura > Balangoda > Kalupahana junction >Wangedigala

Wangedigala is an another popular hiking spot which is situated in a village called Kalupahana. The top of the peak represents the shape of a pestle. This greeny mountain is one of the famous destination among local hikers because of the cool climate and amazing views at the top. It also a really good spot for camping. The highest waterfall in Sri Lanka, Bambarakanda fall and Lanka ella fall are situated in this mountain. You can have a refreshing bath here. The best view come from the second peak most beautiful scenary view with the waterfall.

You have to reach Kalupahana to start the journey. It’s around 2.3km from main road to Wangedigala. It’s a clear pathway and thereafter you have to go through the pine tree forest. After couple of time you reach the peak of Wangedigala. You can enjoy at the top of the peak. It is a huge flat open area. Now, you can put up your tent. You can bath from the nearby streams . The view from this point is unpredictable. In the morning, witness the magical sunrise at the top of the mountain. Samanala reservoir, Udawalawe reservoir, Walawe valley and Beragala area are the wonderful landscapes you can see in this location. Bambarakanda fall view through the Pinus forest. From the summit of Wangedigala, you can get a clear view of Horton plains also. This will be a mysterious experience for anyone who want to be with nature.

  • Be careful when you climb on slippery mountain slopes covered with Pine needles. 
  • Carry enough stock of water and foods. But travel light weighted.
  • Starts the hike early.
  • Do not throw plastic items, leave only foot prints.


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