Kitulgala Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 1 - 2 Days

Best Time: December - March Read More

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"Best of both worlds!"

Kitulgala Tourism

Nestled among forested hills, Kitulgala is a small Sri Lankan town in the western region of the country. Best known for being the most popular location in Sri Lanka for white water rafting, a visit to Kitulgala is a terrific combination of nature and thrill. It is also one of the wettest places in Sri Lanka. The Kelani River which flows through the town served as a filming location for the Oscar-winning movie ‘The Bridge On the River Kwai’, released in 1957.

Apart from being the base for white water rafting, Kitulgala has plenty of options for adventure sporting that sound too good to resist. These include jungle trekking, outdoor camping, mountain biking and waterfall abseiling. The natural attractions at Kitulgala are the most diverse, ranging from the Belilena Caves, where the 12,000-year-old remains of the prehistoric Balangoda Man (Homosapiens Balangodensis) were discovered, to the nearby picturesque Aberdeen Falls. Birdwatching is relatively common at Kitulgala, especially at the Makandawa Forest Reserve, owing to the myriad species of birds in the region. One can also see endemic bird species at Makandawa include the orange-billed babbler and chestnut-backed owlet and mammals such as the slender red loris. Whether you seek the adrenaline rush of adventure or solitude and tranquillity amid nature, Kitulgala is hands down the best of both worlds.

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Adventure Sports At Kitulgala

Kitulgala has countless activities in store for anyone in search of an exciting time. Adventure sports at Kitulgala mainly comprise white water rafting, rainforest trekking, rock sliding, mountain biking, outdoor camping, and waterfall abseiling. The most common amongst these is white water rafting on the river Kelani, suitable for both beginner and experienced rafters.

2 Day Itinerary for Kitulgala

Day 1: Complete your check-in at the hotel. The day commences with rock sliding and waterfall abseiling. After lunch, indulge in white water rafting on the Kelani River, which is the highlight of your visit. Day 2: After breakfast, visit the Makandawa Forest Reserve to catch glimpses of birds and mammals endemic to the region. Later, explore the Belilena Caves, where the skeletal remains of the Balangoda man were discovered.

Restaurants and Local Food in Kitulgala

Kitulgala has a limited number of restaurants, which mainly serve authentic Sri Lankan cuisine. The most preferred option among restaurant-goers is a satisfying but straightforward rice and curry meal. However, some of the adventure sports organizers provide snacks and tea or coffee during full day expeditions at Kitulgala.

Best Time to Visit Kitulgala

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FAQs on Kitulgala

What is the best time to visit Kitulgala?

Kitulgala is one of the wettest places in Sri Lanka, as it rains almost throughout the year. However, the driest months are generally from January to March; if you have little interest in white water rafting, this is the ideal time to visit the town. The peak season falls in June to August, which sees moderate rainfall.
The ideal time for white water rafting are from May to November, as the water levels of the river Kelani rise during to the monsoon months. At this time of the year, the river can often overflow, and rafting instructors decide if the activity is safe or not.
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What are the places near Kitulgala?

The top places near to Kitulgala are Kandy which is 40 km from Kitulgala, Nuwara eliya which is located 40 km from Kitulgala, Colombo which is located 62 km from Kitulgala, Galle which is located 106 km from Kitulgala, Anuradhapura which is located 147 km from Kitulgala

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