sinharaja rain forest sri lanka

Sinharaja Forest Trek: North to South

Weddagala to Lankagama via Singhagala

Total Distance: 22 km  (With an option of reducing it to 18 km)  

Duration: Approx: 7 hours

Sinharaja Forest Reserve has been designated as a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and also a Biodiversity Hotspot by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Sri Lanka blue magpieAll these titles highlight the importance of the Forest Reserve in terms of its exceptional biodiversity as well as its fragility. Birding in Sinharaja is particularly interesting since it is home to 95% of the endemic birds of Sri Lanka.

Trek from Weddagala to Lankagama

We take a journey through the picturesque paths and sparkling streams of Sinharaja, where placid underbrush lie in wait for the appreciation of all who wish to pander in a voyage to the serene and lush wilderness of Sri Lanka’s legendary rainforest, a hotspot of endemic species which includes over 50% of Sri Lanka’s endemic trees, mammals, birds, butterflies, reptiles, insects and rare amphibian species.

Start the tour early morning at 6.30 am from our Mahoora Tented Safari Camp in Singharaja (Altitude 302m) and continue through the jungle with the sound of birds chirping while crossing sparkling streams and enjoying the fresh air around you.

Journeys through the jungle can vary from  soft and moderate treks to short steep climbs.  Please refer to our grading guidelines (to be linked) for more information on difficulty levels. Overall, we would classify the entire trek as a Moderate Trek.       

The first section of the journey that starts from the camp leads along a dirt track  to the Kudawa Research Centre (Altitude 520m). The best part of this trail is that you get to observe the birds of Sinharaja in all their splendour. During early morning and late evening, there is a very high chance of coming across Mixed Species flocks or the Bird Wave which is a magnificent sight and will provide you with an opportunity to observe some of the rarest birds of Sri Lanka such as the red-faced Mal-Koha, Blue Magpie etc.

Red faced mal kohaThe Sinhgaraja Bird Wave is the largest and longest studied Mixed Feeding Bird Flock in the world. Up to 41 individuals have been recorded in one flock. Your naturalist guide will help you to spot and identify these magnificent birds. Since the dirt track is fairly broad unlike the rest of the trail, it is easy to spot the birds and butterflies.

The distance up to the research centre from the starting point is about 5 km and it’s a soft trail along the dirt track. It finishes at the research centre and we cross a large stream and continue along the trail, which is now a narrow footpath.

The next 5 km of the trail has occasional irregular sections, but it is more or less a flat, easy walk. This could be taken as the second part of the trek. We continue to head southward passing a few turning points leading to interesting locations. A large complex of caves known as “Gallen Yaya” and  “Koskulana Peak” are just two of them.

In the third section of the trek which is about 4km, we cross quite a few streams, go past dense forest patches to reach Singhagala. The trail will become more irregular, with brief ascents and descents, along with broad flat sections.

The last section of the trail to the Singhagala (Lion's Rock) is a hard climb of about 500m. This section is the most challenging  of the entire trail. About 200m before the summit, the trail goes through a small cave which is an ideal spot to take a short break. The summit point is about 9km from the research station and about 14km from the start.

At the summit, you will be able to enjoy picturesque and breathtaking views of the forest, which is worth the climb and  an experience of a lifetime. (Altitude 740.6m)

Start the descent from Sinhagala and continue on the trail southwards through the dense forest on a narrow footpath. After about 4km, you may hear the chanting from a temple, which tells you that we are almost there.  

We reach by late afternoon and you will get to enjoy a refreshing bath in the sparkling and almost magical stream at the end of the trek. A short walk towards the Lodge takes you to a warm cup of tea, a piping hot  dinner and a comfortable bed awaiting you. You might want to witness the local village life along the way. (Altitude 228.5m). We also have the option of organizing a local lorry for the last leg of the journey which is about 4km.  

Your Accommodation for Tonight  

  • We will spend the night in a simple, small local Lodge in a fantastic location with views of the forest and sparkling streams all around.
  • The Lodge has spacious rooms equipped with hot and cold water. The kitchen serves delicious Sri Lankan style meals. Every room has a large comfortable bed with a mosquito net and a fan.
  • Enjoy dinner near a log fire with incense burning in the night.
  • Experience the sunrise at dawn with the mist clearing over the forest which is a beautiful and almost magical sight.  
  • We leave after breakfast to the next destination.


Much more than just a great place to stay

"Thanks to our guide Avinka we had five great safaris staying four nights just after reopening this February. The staff made us feel so very welcome during the entire stay.

The safaries are just wonderful, and having a great guide in your vehicle makes a big difference. Avinka can spot animals you would never see and we were even lucky enough to sight leopards on the trees, close to our vehicle, and also running through the field. The wildlife is so exciting that you will have a great experience even if you don‘t see any leopards. We also had a great driver, which is essential if you drive through difficult territory. You are being taken care of the entire time, so even for those who do safaris for the first time, you will always feel safe.

The camp itself is very comfortable, you get everything you can think of, and on top of the great food being served with so much attention and friendliness. You also get wonderful vegetarian and vegan options. They put on bonfires at night, which makes it unforgettable.
When booking and making plans, you get great support from the headquarters, even if it gets difficult since you have to change your plans.
The best thing what can happen to you at the end of a vacation is when you are a bit sad to leave the place, having experienced something to remember forever, and the team does everything for this to happen. Thank you so much"

Axel S wrote, Traveled with family
January 2021

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Mahoora Tented Safari Camps Yala - Mahoora Tented Safari Camps Udawalawe - Mahoora Tented Safari Camps Wilpattu



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