Sri Lanka, Kitulgala: Travel/Tourist Information Guide

Kitulgala is a small town located in the west of Sri Lanka. It is in the wet zone rain forest and it has two monsoons each year. It is also one of the wettest places of the country. The driest month is February and it is possible to swim safely and enjoy the waters and surroundings especially during the first three months of the year. Kitulgala is an ECO Adventure zone with rafting facilities in the Kaleni River. The town is famous for its white water rafting facilities. In addition to white water rafting, Kitulgala offers the opportunity to engage in nature adventure, jungle trekking, outdoor camping, mountain biking, bird watching and many more activities. The name of Kigulgala comes from the Kitul Palm Tree that is found in abundance in the village of Kitulgala. For various traditional Sinhalese sweets, Kitul palm syrup is an essential ingredient. The town is famous for the 1957 Oscar winning movie Bridge on the River being filmed. The town is located 95 km away from Colombo, halfway along the Avissawella – Hatton motor road. Therefore, it can be reached via Colombo – Avissawella main motor road.

Activities

BirdwatchingBirdwatchingJungle TrekkingRain Forest Adventure CampingRain Forest Adventure CampingRain Forest Adventure CampingWhite Water RaftingWhite Water Rafting

Rain Forest Adventure Camping

Kitulgala has many camping opportunities inside the jungle. Camping is a good opportunity to engage white water rafting, bird watching, jungle walks, river bathing and many more adventure activities.

White Water Rafting

White water rafting is the favourite sport in Kitugala. The rafting adventure on the Kelani River is divided into three sections. The middle section’s rapid is suitable for adventure seekers. It consists of 10 level two rapids. The lower rapid section is very calm and sordid and the upper section is the most dangerous. Each rapid has a distinctive character.

Birdwatching

The area is famous for birdwatching and 23 of Sri Lanka’s 27 endemic bird species inhabit the surrounding forest.

Kitulgala Jungle Trekking

Kitulgala is covered in forest and the area makes for some decent day long jungle hikes. There could be a need for a guide, good footwear, waterproofs. Most hotels arrange a guide and suggest suitable routes for trekking.

Where to Stay

Ceylon Adventure Sports and ResortKitulgala Rest HouseKumbuk Sevena Adventure CampKumbuk Sevena Adventure CampPalmstone RetreatPalmstone RetreatRafters RetreatRafters Retreat

Palmstone Retreat

The guest house offers an outdoor swimming pool and a waterfall. Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the property. Rooms are spacious and bright and they come with air conditioning, flat screen cable TVs and a seating area. The bathrooms are fitted with a shower. Rooms also have the option of a private plunge pool and sauna or a spa bath and private deck. Guests can enjoy water rafting and bird watching at the property. Guests can enjoy international and local cuisine in the restaurant. Address: Koskanuwala, Watta, Mahabage, Kitulgala, Sri Lanka.

Rafters Retreat

This resort features views of river and adventurous activities. The accommodation features wooden interiors and a balcony. Each room is fitted with a fan, and a private bathroom with shower facilities. Free private parking is available on site. Free Wi-Fi is available in public areas. The property can be guidance for airport shuttle or the rental of barbecue facilities. Guests can enjoy the open air restaurant. Address: Hilland Group, Kitulgala, Sri Lanka.

Ceylon Adventure Sports and Resort

The property offers a garden and barbecue. There is a restaurant and guests can have fun at the water park. Rooms come with a seating and dining area. Some units have a terrace and/or balcony with mountains or river views. Each unit is fitted with a private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries. Bed linen is offered. The property also includes a sun terrace. Bike hire and car hire are available. Address: Kalukuthenna, Kitulgala, Sri Lanka.

Kumbuk Sevena Adventure Camp

The guest house offers a barbecue and views of the river. Free Wi-Fi is available. There is a shared bathroom with a shower in every unit. Towels are provided. The guest house includes a sun terrace. Guests can enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant and a drink at the bar. The property has water sports facilities and car hire is available. Guests can enjoy various activities in the surroundings. Address: Bibile Oya, Kitulgala, Sri Lanka.

Kitulgala Rest House

The hotel offers views of Kelani River. It features a restaurant, tour desk and rooms that overlook the greenery. Rooms come with modern interiors and dark wood furnishings. Rooms are equipped with a seating area, TV and en suite bathroom with shower facilities. The hotel offers car rental services.

Excursions

Belilena

Belilena is a famous large cave in Sri Lanka. It is located 8 km from the town of Kitulgala. The 12,000 year old skeletal remains of the prehistoric ‘Balagoda man’ (Homosepiens Balagondensis) have been found here. In order to reach the cave, there is a need to walk through the jungle, close to the Inoya estate. The cave is located 2000 feet above sea level. Recent archaeological excavations conducted at the cave have unearthed several fossils believed to be more than 32,000 years old.