This high grassland plateau (1,800 to 2,160 metres above sea level) became a national park, The Peak Wilderness Sanctuary, in 1969 and is the only park in Sri Lanka that allows hiking. Often compared to the Scottish Highlands because of its misty climate and bleak, windswept landscape - and its population of sambar, which resemble red deer - it is an extraordinary contrast to the hot, humid lowlands. There is often frost glittering on the grass in the early mornings, there are patches of forest, giant fern trees and peat-rimmed lakes, and the keen-eyed may see purple faced langurs, barking deer and wild boar or, with great persistence and luck, one of a small population of leopards. The most famous views are from a sheer, 700-metre drop known as World's End, which plunges down to the valley floor. All around are hills, forests, streams and waterfalls, but it is important to get there early, before the mists roll in.