Sinharaja Forest Reserve Hiking – Safari Info Guide for Travellers

Sinharaja is a place to engage you in some activities which can be called pleasurable. It is of International significance and has been designated as a biosphere reserve and a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Last updated on November 15th, 2018 at 04:46 am

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. Sinharaja rain forest is also home to over fifty per cent of Sri Lanka’s endemic species of mammals and butterflies as well as many kinds of insects reptiles and rare wildlife.

Sinharaja means lion’s Kingdom and Sinharaja rainforest can be called the last remaining remnant of Sri Lanka’ s lowland rainforest with tropical characteristics. The area of this rainforest is 18900 acres.

Its altitude ranges from 300m to 1170. It is nestled in Sabaragamuwa and Southern provinces of the Southwest lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka. Sinharaja is well known for its rivers.

In fact, it is bounded by them on three sides. There is  Napoladola and Gin Gaga on the south and there is the river Kalundawa Ela and Kudawa Gaga on the south-west.

You can find an ancient footpath to the east of Singaraja and this Footpath is in close proximity to Beverly Tea Estate and Denuwa Kanda.

Getting Access to The Singaraja Forest

Sinharaja Forest

There is the ability to get to Sinharaja forest from the northern or Western parts of the country you can access it via Ratnapura, Kiriella, Kalawana and Weddala. Travellers or Hikers can also access it from Deniya from the south.

If you come from Hambantota and Udawalawe you can reach it from Rakwana why is it so important?

As you know it is a Forest Reserve which provides a home to more than fifty per cent of endemic species of mammals and butterflies and also it is home to diverse types of insects reptiles and amphibians which are rarely found in the world.

So we the Sri Lankan have our pride elevated for being a home to such kinds of amphibians.

Many a tourist is after these living creatures in great abundance of stunning biodiversity adding beauty to nature. This importance help to gain the status of a Forest Reserve under wastelands ordnance in 1875.

Then as the year 1978 dawned it was forwarded to receive a place in the international context.

It is interesting to state that it was incorporated in the international network of Biosphere Reserves in UNESCO ‘s man and biosphere  MAB program.

In the year 1988, it was declared as Sri Lanka’s first national wilderness Heritage area.

That was in October and in the same year in December the Singaraja forest was known as Lanka’s first natural site to be included in UNESCO World Heritage list.

Bit of Its Climate

Its annual rainfall is a notable thing and from the records kept by the Meteorological Department, it receives annual rainfall between the range of 3614 mm to 5600 mm.

Also, its temperature ranges from 19 degrees Celsius to 34 degree Celsius. It experiences the right level of rainfall from the monsoons.

That is to say, it receives rain from May to July from Southwest monsoon and from November to January from North East monsoon.

This rainfall that comes like a blessing enriches and enlivens the whole of the forest and is central to the existence of this marvel of nature. So is its temperature which is conducive to its great biodiversity.

For you, the ardent traveller a visit to this blessing of nature would be a great achievement fraught with great experience never to be forgotten in your lifetime.

Some important features that attract us

Is narrow strip of Terrain that is marvellously undulating is made up of series of ridges and valleys?

In them flow the complex network of streams making their way to Gin Gaga, Napola Dola, Kuskulana Gaga and Kudawa Gaga.

The streams nurture the rainforest enabling its plant and animal life flourish in heaps and bounds adorning the whole landscape with the beauty of its vegetation, birds, reptiles, amphibians mammals, insects and so on.

For you the foreign Traveller these features offer you ample opportunities to engage yourself with activities to match your tastes.

It’s Trails

It processes two principal nature trails.T hey lead to peaks of Sinharaja. In fact, the beginning of both these nature trails starts at Kudawa conservation centre.

It is really enjoyable and awakens you to attune yourself to the great numbers of nature that glue your whole being to its really inscrutable and ever so awe-inspiring sort of indelible interest and delight.

Sinharaja forest is abundantly replete with great multitudes of tall trees which grow in great closeness to each other.

However, the serpentine trails help the treks. You encounter small streams which must be called crystal clear and cool to the very depth of your marrow. These streams are the natural home of various types of toads, crabs and so on.

These streams are sort of a blessing in disguise .as you stop now here, now there, with your ever observant enthusiastic self to get the best from your visit to this rainforest Sinharaja which means lion’s Kingdom.

Nature forest

Sinharaja Forest Nature Trail

This gives you access to conserved regions the trade winds its end at Sinhagala peak. The trail is 2.4 kilometres long.

There is rising elevation along the trail. It is 300 metres at the railhead and 473 metres at trail end It takes nearly 5 to 7 hours for hiking and the best season for hiking is from December to April.

Mulawella nature trail also gives you access to be an area of conservation. The trail comes to an end at Mulawella peak.

The trail has a length of 2.4 kilometres it also has a rising elevation which ranges between 4057 metres and 758 metres.

That is from the beginning of the trail to the end of it it takes 1-5 hours and the best months for hiking is from December to April.

Singaraja birds


Why is Singaraja Forest important in this regard this rainforest is the home of innumerable kinds of birds especially the indigenous birds.

Some such birds are  Ceylon Hanging-parrot, the Ceylon Gray Hornbill, Ashy-headed laughing-thrush. Layard’s Parakeet jungle fowl Ceylon wood pigeon, Ceylon Blue Magpie etc.

You see there are about 20 species of endemic birds out of the 19 are found in Singaraja forest.

The bird life found in this forest gives great opportunities for bird watching enthusiasts who can also get great photos shoots in here.

More about its life- yes about mammals, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies

From the endemic species of mammals in Sri Lanka, eight varieties are found in this forest. Some of them are the giant squirrel, the dusky striped Jungle squirrel, the badger and the mongoose.

Also, you are blessed with the ability to be able to see the Purple-faced leaf monkey and torque macaque.

You can please your eyes by seeing these reptiles and amphibians and along with them come the butterflies.

Also be happy to know that you can see elephants and leopards here. In fact, among what you can see in this forest, its vegetation, its animals, birds insects, its landscape clad with hilltops and its streams creating spectacular network beautifying Sinharaja forest it can be placed on its pedestal of grandeur as a natural Forest Reserve and by far as a World Heritage site of UNESCO.

This dear traveller shows us our national pride and great love for sourness and our enthusiasm to play a role in ecotourism in Sri Lanka.

The wildflowers including its wild orchids diverse kinds of creepers, vines, shrubs, herbs, its trees ranging from the tall ones to not so tall once which are 139 in varieties attract your attention and concentration of love for nature with all possible force and vigour.

So a visit to see Sinharaja has to be looked forward to thanks to all these reasons. Now that I have given you and nice account roughly pertaining to its beauty, value, extent, location and significance I would like to take you through a trail of information to make much of your visit to Sri Lanka here in Singaraja forest.

As you know there are many travel agencies who specialise in the arrangements of wonderful hikes, treks and other expeditions which necessitate the satisfaction of your needs and requirements.

That is to say, they customise your tours and ensure that you get the maximum satisfaction in your tour to this marvel of nature in our island paradise, Sri Lanka.

What to Do in Sinharaja Forest

The activities of bird watching, hiking, jungle safaris, walking safaris et cetera. It is possible to go trekking on much talked of natural trails with a beauty which is beyond your wildest of dreams.

There is the wonderful visit to the opportunity offered to you to stay in some of the villages which are about 22 in number and experience the lifestyle of the local village community and acquire first-hand experience.

The fee that you have to pay amounts to 665 rupees and a guide is a compulsory necessity. You have to pay 350 rupees per person.

You will be able to see the rock temple which dates back to the 17th century. It lies 6 kilometres south of Deniyaya in Kotapola.

The Kiruwananagaga fall is enticing and you can see it at the east of Kolapola on your way to Urubokka.

For bird watching tours arrange it with Singaraja birder’s Lodge. Simply visit the website Sinharaja birders lodge website. you can also arrange other two years with “Best of Lanka.”

Sinharaja Rainforest Tour arranges tours to this location.   The duration is 7 hours and it costs 55 US Dollars per person.

That starts at 6 a.m. You can enjoy it well as you listen to the wild rustic music of nature filled with numbers pleasing and pleasant to your ears with the magic effect in nature.

The city where the tour starts is Deniyaya/Kudawa. The pickup time is 3 a.m. transportation will be provided in a fully air-conditioned car.

The duration is 8 hours. The meeting point is Colombo/Deniyaya/Kudawa. We recommend solo tours,  couple tours,

family tour and tours of friends. Your group size should range from 2 to 20 to the maximum.

You have to book accommodation in Colombo. You will be rewarded if you bring your cameras and camcorders.

Binoculars, trekking shoes and dark colour clothes are the essentials for the activities including trekking and wildlife spotting.

You get a personable the bus tour guide, welcome refreshment, bird checklist and a packed breakfast. for more and diverse kinds of tours surf the net “rustic tour guide”

Your typical itinerary for Sinharaja tours

They are said to be best arranged from your accommodation in Colombo. They pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to Singaraja forest it is approximately a 3 hours drive.

That tour includes five to six hours of trekking trip which starts at 7 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m.A car or minivan for 6 passengers costs 160 US dollars and mini coach with a maximum of 10 passengers costs you 195 US dollars the rates include transport and the fees of the English speaking chauffeur guide.

All parking and highway charges and all taxes extra pay for entry to the places costs for meals and refreshments and fees for the specialist tour guide are not included in it. So you have to pay for them.


Most travel companies who specialise in the tours for Singaraja forest organise them with Colombo as the hub of accommodation.

Search Your Best Hotels Deal Here 

There are five-star hotels in Colombo where you can stay and get your tour of this forest tailored to match your requirements and the essential aspect of your tastes.

Some of them are the Rococo residence, Shangri La hotel Colombo, Mahasen by Foozoo,55tG Boutique Suites, The Hilton Hotel, Colombo, etc.

Hotels in Close Vicinity to Sinharaja Rainforest

If you wish to stay close to Singaraja forest here are some hotels. Hotel Melamun, Sanda Bungalows, Ciliks Beach garden, Uuma Tua Retreat, Adirama Beach Hotel, Frangipani Beach Boutique Hotel, The Barari Villas, Suma Hotel Lovina Beach, Nugraha Lovina Seaview Resort, Hotel Vila Lumbung, La Bella Guest House etc.



There are more than 41 resorts at Sinharaja forest to choose from some of them are laying Bali, Sing Sing Resort Lovins, Banyualit Spa n Resort Lovina, Melka Excelsior Hotel, Omunity Bali, Villa  Dewata Lovina Sinharaja Square, Apollo hotel, Hotel Mandarin, Edutel Undiksha etc. Visit the site Best resorts in Singaraja or simply type Sinharaja resorts and it is possible to book online.

Best Ways to Get There

Here are some modes of transport from Colombo to see this wonder of nature by bus by taxi by car by train and taxi and by air and taxi. By bus / From

Colombo to Sinharaja Forest it takes 4 hours and it costs  3330 to 4256 rupees. If you take a bus via Pelmadulla it is cheaper and it takes 4 hours and 39 minutes it costs you rupees 2847 to 3722.

My taxi it takes one hour and 57 minutes and it costs 6500 rupees to 8000 rupees.

By car, it takes one hour and 57 minutes and it costs rupees 1500 to 2300.

You can also go by train and by taxi. It takes 2 hours and 28 minutes costing you rupees 5532  -7106.

How About Flying?

Will be supplied service it takes 3 hours and 18 minutes with time by taxi too included. the cost will be between rupees 10362-40163.

So the cheapest way to get to see Sinharaja forest is to drive. While the fastest way to get to Sinharaja is by taxi. The distance from Colombo to Sinharaja is 92 km. The road distance, however, is 129.99 kilometres.

In fact, Sinharaja rainforest is a new experience with many dimensions of attractions encapsulating your whole being in secrets of nature which is away from Civilization with its pristine spotless beauty in its rawest form.

The vegetation and animals birds reptiles and insect life which are strands of the web of nature are so closely bound together in mutual fellowship and cooperation which ensures its great biodiversity.

Is it a place for men to learn a lesson from, I wonder? Whatever the case may be, you the travel enthusiast, after exploring the hidden facets of nature in this marvel of nature in this forest should be taking an inspiring experience with you to home.

Not just the photo shoots or videos, but your experience will haunt you and inculcate a value in you about the significance of conserving rainforest like Sinharaja. I wish you all the good luck with your tour to Singaraja forest, the kingdom of the lion. Best of luck!

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Sinharaja Forest on Googe Map Here

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