Camping & Safaris in Sri Lanka
The diverse terrain of Sri Lanka allows for numerous locations for camping and safaris. The most popular safari tour would be at Yala National Park, where visitors can spend a couple of nights inside the park itself. These camps are usually placed by the waterfront so there is a good chance of seeing some interesting species. Campers should also take time to see the indigenous people of Sri Lanka, the Veddahs, who live in their own communities in the wilderness.
Bird-Watching in Sri Lanka
The many sanctuaries and national parks in Sri Lanka play host to a massive variety of resident and migrant bird species, and bird-watchers are sure to be enthralled by what they find. Due to the range of habitats varying from forests to swamps to grasslands, each region of the island is home to its own unique set of species. Of the 427 bird species found in Sri Lanka, 250 are resident and 33 are endemic. The foremost places for bird watching in Sri Lanka would be Adam's Peak wilderness sanctuary, Sinharaja Rainforest and Kumana Bird Sanctuary.
Turtle-Watching in Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan shores may receive a lot of tourists, but they are also important to these humble natural visitors. Sea turtles frequent the shores off the south and west coasts, although only five of the original eight species remain today. They are now protected by the Flora & Fauna Ordinance in place, and tourists can see these turtles in hatcheries or in the wild at Induruwa and Kosgoda.
Dolphin- & Whale-Watching in Sri Lanka
The activity of whale watching in Sri Lanka has only recently gained publicity, but it is fast growing into a major attraction. Dolphin watching is usually best in the pristine waters of Kaplitya, while Dondra Point in the south will give visitors a chance to see magnificent blue whales and sperm whales. These gentle giants follow a migratory path that brings them close to Dondra Point and the best season to spot them is between December to March.
Cave-Exploration in Sri Lanka
For those who yearn to discover nature's marvelous secrets, exploring caves in Sri Lanka might sate your hunger. While the activity itself is somewhat new to the island, some of the caves date back to over 500 million years ago. The south-central region of the island is where most caves can be found.
Whitewater Rafting in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has a few good locations for whitewater rafting, ranging from easy drifts to turbulent rapids. Kitulgala is the foremost of these, with a mix of beginner- and intermediate-level rapids. The Kelani river rapids afford a more challenging experience for expert rafters.
Hiking & Trekking in Sri Lanka
The hill country and rainforests in Sri Lanka make it a dream destination for hikers and trekkers. What truly makes this activity so rewarding, however, are the massive expanses of untouched natural environment that hikers will see on their journey. Horton Plains and Adam's Peak are two of the most frequented places for treks due to the misty weather and grand views.
Cycling & Mountain Biking in Sri Lanka
Exploring the island on two wheels is also a good idea. There are several trails through the lowland areas which will take bikers through picturesque hills and fields. The main trails along the coastal line pass through cities and villages, affording a unique perspective of Sri Lanka. Experienced cyclists can also attempt the bike trails in the Knuckles mountain range, which are steeper and more challenging.
Canoeing & Kayaking in Sri Lanka
The numerous waterways create many opportunities for canoeing and kayaking in Sri Lanka. A canoe ride down the Kalu Ganga or Mahaweli River will pass through a transitional series of landscapes, guaranteeing a mesmerizing experience. Visitors can also try kayaking or canoeing at some of the large reservoirs towards the central province.
Hot Air Balloon Rides in Sri Lanka
A hot air balloon ride provides a leisurely way to catch a magnificent view of the landscape, and in Sri Lanka this view will take your breath away. From high up in the clouds, it is possible to see animals roaming about the plains and through the jungles, and to truly appreciate Sri Lanka's natural beauty.
Kite Surfing in Sri Lanka
Kite surfing is an exhilarating sport, and the serene beaches of Kalpitiya are the best place for kite surfing in Sri Lanka due to the wind conditions. The best season for kite surfing in Kalpitiya is between January and August.
Rock Climbing in Sri Lanka
Rock climbing is a relatively new sport to Sri Lanka, so there are only a few developed crags for climbers. The Bambarakanda waterfall is the most well-known place for rock climbing in Sri Lanka for its sheer face and challenging climb. Other venues for rock climbing are Ella, Habarana and Buttala.
Diving in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's eastern, western and southern coasts contain several stretches of reef that are ideal for diving adventures. Kalpitiya, Trincomalee, Hikkaduwa and Galle are the most notable sites for diving in Sri Lanka. The best time for diving off the west coast is between December and April, while season for the east coast lasts between April and August.
Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
This facility was set up by the Department of Wildlife Conservation in 1975 to feed, nurse and care for orphaned elephants. It began with only 7 elephants, and now hosts a population that is nearing a hundred. The elephants are friendly, and tourists gather to watch a herd of them take a bath and splash around in the river.
Adam's Peak (Sri Pada)
This 7km tall mountain is rooted deep in local folklore. Believers of all religions connect the footprint on the peak to an iconic individual, and have been making the pilgrimage to the top for the last thousand years. The season for this journey is between the full moon in December and the full moon in May, and is at its peak during January and February. People also climb the mountain for the famed view of the sunrise from the east, which makes the challenging climb worthwhile and satisfying.