Address: River Garden Nature and Activity Center, Belihul Oya, Sri Lanka.

 +94 (0)710 66 22 36

 info@rivergardenresort.com

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Adventure Trekking and Hiking

PROGRAMME : Trekking expedition to Duwili Ella Fall
DURATION: 1 Night / 2 Days
PERIOD : Valid till 31st December 2014

Day 1

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(Approx. 20 km of trekking per day, moderate fitness level is required)

Arrival at Belihuloya around 6.00 am in the Morning.

BELIHULOYA this is a climatically transitional area, which links the dry and wet zones at an altitude of less than 1500m. As a result, the vegetation it consists is moist semi-evergreen forests, tropical savanna forests, dry patana grasslands and montane temperate forests. The vegetation in this environment has made this location an exciting one for the serious as well as the casual nature lover. The average temperature in the area is about 28.3 degrees Celsius and the mean annual rainfall is between 1,875 and 2,500mm.

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We start our trail from the Eco Lodge at the small village of Kinchigune , overlooking the famous Samanalawewa Reservoir. Properly speaking Kinchigune is no more. It is submerged in the Samanalawewa Reservoir itself, leaving only a few of the original houses (of which our Eco Lodge is one).

On leaving the Eco Lodge, we venture through a paddy field and vegetable plot before coming to a small gravel road. Shortly after getting to the gravel road, we pass a small village school with only two teachers and sixteen pupils! In the school garden, one can find scattered particles of pig iron - ample evidence of the early period steel industry. Further up is a small 'Kammala' (blacksmith's workshop) belonging to Piyasena, himself a head of a family displaced like many others, by the reservoir.

The gravel road then leads on to the tarred road from 'Kumbalgama' to the Samanalawewa Dam. We proceed along this road for about 2 km, and past typical vegetation belonging to the intermediate climatic zone, consisting mainly of a shrub called 'Maliththa' - Woodfordia fruticosa, (a rare medicinal plant) before arriving at a Buddhist Temple . Inside the shrine room of this temple is another small shrine room, about eight feet in length and breadth, built on a wooden frame with a wooden floor, and is about 350 years old. We can stop and rest a while to explore the temple and talk to the monks (again, our staff can translate).ex3

Beyond the temple, we go through another small village into a completely uninhabited area, characterized by intermittent patches of forest and savanna, eventually leading to the Walawe River . The river marks the 8km point of the trail, but to continue on we cross it at 'Mulgammankada' and hike through the Riverine Forest, alongside and down the river. During this next part of the trail, one will not come across any human habitation, and apart from an occasional small group or two of gem miners, who come to this desolate area and camp out here to mine for gems, one will not meet other humans on the way.

After another 2km walk, we come to a beautiful rocky area where there is a waterfall of about 40 ft in height. This waterfall is called 'Hulang Ella' or the 'Walawe Ganga Falls (West)'. The beautiful, serene, and ever-changing forest next to the river and waterfall is home to an abundance of varying flora and fauna. The flora and fauna in this area consists of the occasional migratory Elephant, Sambhur Deer, Indian Munjak, Flying and Giant Squirrels, many birds (Changeable Hawk Eagle, Brown Fish Owl, Stork Billed kingfisher, Gray Hornbill etc.), Lizards (3 endemic), Geckos, Skinks, Snakes, Amphibians, Snails, Butterflies and Fishes.

It is by the 'Hulang Ella' waterfall that we finish our first day of hiking, stop for lunch (if we haven't already eaten), enjoy a refreshing dip in the cool river and set up the camp for the night. As well as lighting a campfire on which to cook the food, we must also light other fires to warn any roaming elephants away (elephant fire crackers will also be provided and our staff will rotate on look-out duty all through the night).

The evening meal can be enjoyed in the most tremendous setting, sitting on a huge rock that overlooks the waterfall and listening to the forest's orchestral performance!

SCHEDULE

Start the Trail after the breakfast.
Lunch in a suitable location.
Continue the trail.
Set up the Camp by the 'Hullan Ella' waterfall.
Dinner and overnight stay at the camp.

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Phone:
+94 (0)710 66 22 36

Fax:
+94 (0) 45 22 80 223

+94 (0)710 66 22 36

Address:
River Garden Nature and Activity Center,
Belihul Oya,
Sri Lanka.

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