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Knuckles Mountain Range

Stretching over 155 square kilometres of striking landscape, the Knuckles Mountain Range is a conservation area right in the heart of Sri Lanka. Located just an hour south of Kandy, this UNESCO-protected area has a rich biodiversity and is formed of an impressive array of forests, extensive flora and fauna and majestic mountain scenery.

Knuckles Nature Reserve provides an ideal setting for nature lovers and those with an adventurous spirit, as its 5 main peaks (namely Kirigalpottha, Gombaniya, Knuckles, Koboneelagala and Dotulugala) are home to a myriad of hiking and mountain biking trails, as well as cascading waterfalls and remote local villages waiting to be explored. The most popular treks here wind their way through the atmospheric terrain and end at either Dothalugala moutain, the Nitro Caves, Duwili Ella or ‘Mini World’s End’.

Wildlife lovers will also appreciate the mountain range for its endemic species, from the marbled rock frog, ‘nannophrys mamorata’, to the leaf-nosed lizard, ‘ceretphora tennenti’, which can only be spotted in this area. Birdlife is also exciting here, with a range of 128 species - 17 of which are endemic - flitting around high above here, including eagles, herons, kingfishers and wood peckers. A wide range of mammals also roam amongst the forests; our favourites to be found here have to be elephants, giant squirrels and leopards - while these sightings do not compare to the safari hotspots of Yala National Park and Udawalawe National Park, they are nonetheless exciting.

If you are after a rural escape in the depths of Sri Lanka’s wilderness and love to trek, then this is the place for you. We recommend eco-tourists to stay in Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge, set within unspoiled surroundings, where one can embrace its tranquillity and look out onto breathtaking views of the rugged peaks enveloped by mesmerising cloud forests.

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