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Things To Do In Habarana
The city of Habarana, albeit small and with hardly any tourist attractions, is the starting point for reaching any major city in the cultural triangle of the Island Country Sri Lanka. With some really good and premium accommodation offerings and its convenient location en route to Sri Lanka’s Kaudulla or Minneriya National Parks, Habarana cannot be missed even whilst passing through! In addition to visiting the spectacular tourist attractions neighboring Habarana, here are a few things you can do in the city.
The only place to witness one of the largest gathering of Elephants on planet Earth, Minneriya National Park is best for a Jeep Safari to witness these glorious animals in their natural habitat, eating, drinking, playing and lazying around the lush greenery spread over nearly 21,000 acres of dry zone plantations, with nearly 160 bird species, 25 types of reptiles, 9 varieties of amphibians, over 26 species of fish and 78 varieties of butterflies and some rare types of bamboo trees that are found only here.
Overnight Hike to Knuckles Riverston
An overnight hike is one of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of a gorgeous mountain range through the Knuckles Riverston, a scenic hilltop that boasts of a glorious view of the surrounding highlands. With a steep drop of almost 300 m, Riverston’s misty peak is best to catch an amazing view of the countryside that includes the Thelgamuwa valley, its tiered fields and the range of Knuckles mountains.
About an hour from Habarana, you drive to the town of Matale and with an experienced guide to keep you company and lead you on the hike, you trek up about 1.5 km to the Riverston summit. You make the journey from there in a jeep for 5 km and then walk about 3.5 km to the mini end of the world spot! From there you’ll be driven down to a waterfall for lunch, after which you trek to clock rock for 3 km. Later in the evening, you’d be driven back to a hotel for night stay where you can enjoy the rest of your evening and finish with a BBQ dinner.
The next morning you can expect to begin at 8.30 after a hearty breakfast and drive 7 km to experience a trek through the jungle en route to the waterfalls of Sera Ella.
Day Trip to Hiriwadunna Village
Explore the wilderness and genuine lifestyle of a Srilankan Village at the Hiriwadunna Village with an authentic Srilankan lunch at the end of your trip. Travel to the Srilankan countryside aboard a Safari Jeep, enjoying the serene, scenic natural beauty on the way, feel the cool breeze and reach the tiny village of Hiriwadunna in 30 minutes, to witness an artificial reservoir encircled by a scrub jungle. Keep a lookout for the butterflies, birds and the rare but possible sighting of some magnanimous crocs, as you witness the villagers going about their daily chores of fishing and washing clothes by the lakeside. Enjoy a boat ride and sail to the other end of the lake or experience a bumpy bullock cart ride to a village house that will host you for an authentic Srilankan lunch through your day of the village tour.
Overnight Tea Plantation Adventure
If you’re a nature enthusiast, then you’d love an adventure with some magnificent views and peacefulness amidst the picturesque and calm ambiance of plantations of Tea and Spice, established by a former English planter who cultivated a forest patch called Simpson’s Forest at the edge of the plantation. About 4 ½ hours’ drive from Habarana, the Simpson’s forest will host a lovely Srilankan lunch for you followed by a cooking sit-down at the Gamagedara, an outdoor dining area that makes for an old-fashioned dining experience in Hill Country’s cool climes. Interact with the local naturalist at the hotel and become familiar with some interesting facts about the forest.
Experience the fulfilling art of plucking tea with the estate workers at the tea plantation, and hike up to enjoy the breathtaking views of the countryside, and witness the spectacular flora and fauna along the excursion. Finish up with high tea and travel down back to your hotel, unwinding with a light massage at a hotel spa and retire after a romantic candle-lit dinner by the poolside.
The next day, be greeted by a luxurious champagne breakfast at an outdoor dining area and proceed to the Sembuwatta Lake, 10 km away, next to the Forest reserve of Campbell’s Lane. It a lovely spot with a natural spring and is one of the most popular tourist attractions of the hill country, set amidst the expansive tea gardens and beautiful ambiance.