Horton Plains Things to Do
Available under regulations. Please do not bring any packed food items as it disrupts the eco systems and endangers wildlife. You may be searched for plastic items (food wrappings, bottles, disposable items) - If any are found they may be confiscated.
Since camping is well regulated, you will need to obtain a permit and be escorted to the campers site by a park ranger. Most of your stay will be overlooked by Park Rangers (Food & Dining is overlooked by the Staff). Since vehicles are not allowed into the Park, be prepaired to hike a mile to the Camp site. Also Note: Camp fires are prohibited. Only battery operated lanterns and eco friendly products are allowed.
For specific information regarding the articles that are allowed, please contact the Horton Plains National Park Administration.Related to:
Named after the famous explorer Samuel Baker, these falls suddenly appear out of nowhere after a short trek through the woods. Getting down to the water's edge can be tricky, particularly if it has recently rained, but most people can manage it and it's definitely worth the effort. There's a large flat rock where you can sit within splashing distance of the falls themselves. Some people are brave/crazy/stupid enough to go swimming in the pool downstream - personally I'm not a big fan of hypothermia!... but the opportunity is there if you fancy a dip. Let's just say it's refreshing!
One of Sri Lanka's most famous natural attractions, World's End is a spectacular cliff face with a dramatic 1000 metre drop. It's a fairly easy 5km walk from the main entrance of Horton Plains, through grassland, gentle streams and eventually forest. First up is Little World's End, about a quarter the size but still with excellent views of the valleys and village below. About a kilometre further on is World's End proper. On a fine day you can supposedly see the sea (several hundred miles away), but I've never had the luck to confirm that! You need to get here as early as possible as once the afternoon mist sets in the view is much impeded. If you're visiting Baker's Falls as well, I'd suggest doing World's End first while the weather holds.
Horton Plains Transportation
One of the best ways to get to Horton plains is via Bus or Van! The cost of entry will have you in for a surprise as they have increased the rates dramatically. The cost for 2 people including vehicle is almost Rs 750/- which is quite steep for locals. You journey will be bumpy by tradition and will certainly take approx 1 hour to ascend the plateau.
Once you reach the plateau, the plateau will greet you with its lush vegetation and scenery. The only disappointment I encountered was with my telephoto lens which I selected for the journey instead of the wide-angle. BIG MISTAKE! The scenery is indeed majestic with fewer wildlife to photograph on sight! I would reckon spending time amongst the flora and fauna if ones wishes to photograph every single biological life form :))
The trip to World end is a good 10km hike between forests and lush valleys. The most fascinating was the massive temperature difference between the valleys and the forests. The great temperature flux is attributed to the valleys heating and cooling rapidly, while the forests remains insulated from the extremes thus making them far cooler than the valleys.
A good pair of hiking boots, caps, water bottle, sun tan lotion would be more than adequate for the journey. Dont forget you Camera gear!Related to:
- Jungle and Rain Forest
- National/State Park
Probably the most common route for getting to Horton Plains is from Nuwara Eliya. The long, winding and very scenic road takes about 90 minutes, climbing upwards through Ambewela (home to the highest railway station in Sri Lanka) and mountains Totapola and Kirigalpotta (both over 7000 feet). There are a few buses but the easiest way is probably to hire a driver or join a jeep tour - remember, you need to get there early. Alternatively you can spend the previous night in Haputale, which is much closer to the Plains than Nuwara Eliya.
Coming from Colombo, you can take a train to Badulla and get off at Ohiya station, from where it's several hours walk to Horton Plains.
Kandapola to N.Elliya to HP - how many bends!!!! We saw monkeys in the trees on the way, deer when we got there. Walked for a couple of hours - so peaceful, and lots of birds. Altitude affects were a surprise. Bring a sweater and sunblock.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Work Abroad
Horton Plains Warnings and Dangers
The forests of Horton Plains are said to be dwindling, many of the wild animals have disappeared from the area, and the growth in tourism and hiking has added to the threat of land erosion. Various steps have been taken to reverse these processes and tourists are now expected to be considerate to the local environment. You will be searched before you can enter the park and any plastic wrapping, even sweet wrappers or a pack of crisps or water bottle, will be confiscated to prevent littering.