Kanneliya Rain Forest Reserve

Kanneliya Rain Forest Reserve

Kanneliya Rain Forest Reserve
4
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Kanneliya Forest Reserve Experience the feeling of walking in a tropical rain forest . . . The KDN Forest Reserve (Kanneliya-Dediyagama-Nakiyadeniya) is the second largest primary forest area in Sri Lanka and is renowned for its watershed value. The forest occupies the area between two rivers - the Gin Ganga and the Nilwala Ganga. The natural vegetation of the KDN complex is lowland wet evergreen forest, which is a climax forest formation dominated by an association of Shorea, Dipterocarpus and Mesua. Over 17% of the wet zone flora is confined to this area where the KDN forest is the most prominent. This region has been identified as one of the floristically richest areas in South Asia. The endemic flora and fauna of the southwestern wet zone, including the KDN, forms a relic of the biota of the Indian Plate with Gondwanaic ancestry. Therefore, the biota of southwest Sri Lanka, including the KDN forest complex, is of considerable scientific interest with respect to biogeography. There is a high proportion of endemism amongst the identified woody plants, with 150 species being endemic to Sri Lanka. There are 78 villages surrounding the KDN forest complex. There are small-scale cottage industries based on Fish-tail palm (Kitul), and many local people are involved in the collection of medicinal plants and plant products, as well as rattan, to produce handicrafts and furniture. What can be seen:- Over 100 bird species, 16 of which are endemic to Sri Lanka (such as the Green-billed Coucal, Blue Magpie and Spot-winged Thrush). Over 15 species of endemic fresh-water fish. Many other endemic reptiles, amphibians and butterflies can also be seen in the area.
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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles84 reviews
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32
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37
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9
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3
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Alinser
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates88 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
We booked this in the last day in Weligama.
1hour and 20minutes car ride from the hotel.
We only choose to experience 3 (cave, small waterfall & 600 years old tree) of the 6 attractions of the forest as we reached around 2 pm and did not have enough time to complete it all.
They provided tour guide that was very knowledgeable and was able to spot some living creatures (lizards, chameleon, snake, shrimp, birds).
It’s a lot of walking therefore minimum physical conditions is required.
Written December 24, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PaulineS860
Blackpool, UK78 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
This is an amazing place, not for the extremely unfit or the faint hearted.

It is a very hard walk to the waterfall and you can go via a small cave inset into the rocks.

Our guide Peomi was a lovely lady and she did the trek in flip flops!

She was very knowledgeable and pointed out snakes, spiders, lizards, birds and plants/trees.

The water fall made the trek worth it so do persevere.

Highly recommend
Written February 15, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Thushan Jayasekara
Galle, Sri Lanka175 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2016 • Family
Kanneliya Rain Forest.

Kannelya rain forest is just one of the Galle's many landmarks to discover. Tourists whom are seeking adventure based tourism locations in Sri Lanka tour in down south, the Kanneliya rain forest is ideal place for that. Probably it is more appropriate for a natural fresh water bath, Hiking, waterfalls and beautiful landscapes. It is a low land forest extends about 5306 ha. Galle is consisted of many major forest reservation complexes. Namely Sinharaja, Kanneliya, Dediyagala and Nakiyadeniya (KDN Complex), Kottawa, ect. Kanneliya Rain Forest located about 36 km to the northeast from Galle. And also it is tropical rain forest in Galle district. The mean annual rainfall is around 3750 mm. Kanneliya Rain Forest is well enriched with bio diversity. It may be second listed just because of the Sinharaja Forest.

Kanneliya Rain Forest is one of the most attractive tourist site in Galle district, Sri Lanka. If you visit is place you can visit these places and share the experience.

* Cave Trail – distance : 1.6 km, time 1 hour
* Anagimala Ella Trail – distance : 2.5 km, time 3 hours
* Elephant Creeper (Yodha Puswela) Trail – distance : 2.5 km, time 3 hours
* Narangas Ella Trail – distance : 5.4 km, time 6 hours
* Giant Nawada Tree Trail – distance : 3.8km, time 3 hours
* Kabbale Mountain Trail – 5.5 km, time 6 hours – considered the most difficult trek from all.
You want to take a entrance ticket and hire a Kanneliya Guidethen you can enter this natural forest. In additionally Kanneliya rain forest ideal for fresh water bath. You can see fresh water fish (Some fish are endemic to Sri Lanka).

Kanneliya rain forest occupied the interfluves between two rivers, the Nilwala Ganga and Gin Ganga. If consist of a series of ridges and valleys and elevation ranges from 60 – 425m above mean sea level. The mean monthly temperature is around 27°c with a diurnal range of 4°c-5°c. Maximum temperature has been recorded from mid-March to mid-May. ‘Gin ganga’ river is the main water supplement to the Kanneliya forest. Multitudes of endemic plants are preserved in the forest. As the forest is comprised with many attractions, you don’t have to investigate whole the area as they can be reached easily. The Anagimale fall is just 2km from the entrance. By the way several forest conservation projects are carrying out to preserve this natural diversity. Hence ward the forest department is also supporting them. Due to a reforestation program carried out in early 1970’s has recovered a little. It is evident that once you harmed to the environment it takes more time to be recovered.
December to February is the most suitable months to travel as it gets the highest rain fall. Usually the streams are running with their full force of water through the jungle and create beautiful cascades and sceneries. It will make you sense. You can bath in cool natural streams. Eventually it will energize you. Somehow you will have to take care of leechs. Bring some lime with you and if you are beaten, put few drops on the leech and it will leave you at once. Some of the popular pools located at the forest are the natural pool behind the Kanneliya forest resort, the pool in front of the Kanneliya conservation centre (KCC) and the pool behind the KCC. Tourists looking for hiking are encouraged to visit the forest during the months of March or April as it may get reduced the rain fall. There are two traces used for hiking. You can select either route to Kabbale Mountain or the route through ‘Narangas’ ella. The gigantic ‘Navada’ tree is on the same way. A panoramic view of the entire area can be entertained at the top of the Kabbale hill. The light filtered through the forest canopy and tree leaves is unmemorable.

Public access to Kanneliya is allowed through the forest department managed conservation center located close to Galle-Udugama-Neliwa road at Koralegama, Panangala

Route1:

Colombo -> Kalutara (Katukurunda) [45km on A2] -> Nagoda [3km on B008] -> Mathugama [5km on B308 & 11km on B8] -> Horawala [5km on B3] -> Moragala [7km] -> Palewatta [8km on B3] -> Pitigala [10km on B3] -> Udugama [24km via Mapalagama] -> Panangala [6km on B156] ->Koralegama -> Kanneliya Conservation Centre [2km](approximately 125km)
Route2:

Colombo -> Galle [120km on A2] ->Udugama [40km] ->Panangala [6km on B156] ->Koralegama -> Kanneliya Conservation Centre [2km](approximately 165km)

Entrance Tickets
Before enter the Kanneliya rain forest the tourists have to pay for entrance ticket from forest department side office. Entrance ticket value and add 11% VAT (Value Added Tax) for total ticket value. Foreign tourist ticket values are given below.

Entrance Tickets

Category Ticket value (Rs.) VAT Total Ticket value (Rs)
Foreign Adult 575/= + 11% 638.25
Foreign Child 290/= + 11% 321.90

Source: Kanneliya Side Ofiice – Forest Department

Kanneliya rain forest guides charges
With the entrance tickets the tourists have to pay Kanneliya guides fee also. As a community base tourism government introduce and established Kanneliya guide association. After this association village peoples’ can give their contribution to protect the Kanneliya rain forest in additionaly the village peoples’ can earn additionally income to their life.

Kanneliya Rain Forest Guide Charges

Path Value (Rs.)
Up to Anagimala Ella path 800/=
Up to Narangas Ella path 1600/=
Up to Kunakatukanda path 1600/=
Kambalekanda path 1600/=
Up to Nawadagasa path 1600/=

Kanneliya Side Ofiice – Forest Department

Warmly welcome to visit Kanneliya Rain Forest and share Sri Lankan Nature experience.
Written June 10, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hensathome
Stafford, UK149 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Family
We did this as a trip from Galle through a company called Pepper Life. It was about an hour and a half drive away from Galle. We did the 8km trek with trekker and guides. It was an easy walk, not strenuous and throughout our time there we were continually pointed out flora and fauna within their natural habitats. We saw some amazing sights, and being British, we were in awe of the sights,sounds and smells of the rainforest so different to our home environment. Our guides were brilliant- very knowledgeable and passionate about the forest. They were very well prepared- leech socks if we needed them and home made cake for our mid morning snack!!! The experience we had opted for included a Sri Lankan home cooked lunch eaten in the river at the end of the trek. What can I say? Home cooked food, feet cooling down in the river, fish swimming around our toes, monkeys in the trees, birds, butterflies......who could ask for anything more. Go to Kanneliya, you won't be disappointed.
Written August 30, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

melsays
nyc138 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2014 • Couples
This rain forest reserve is about an hour outside Galle. It is much like national parks in the U.S., which is to say, pretty basic. But it does show a rain forest habitat, and our guide was pretty good at spotting assorted creatures and flora that were unique and unusual. Entry costs 440 rupees (about $3.50), and there are several options for guided tours -- a two hour walk to the first water fall, about 2.5km each way, or a three hour walk to the second fall, about 7km, each way. It was a typically hot and humid day. We had driven to the park from Ambalangoda, where we were staying at the Max Wadiya (see separate review), which was about 1.5-2 hours away. So we opted for the two hour guided walk -- calling it a hike would be presumptuous, though it was on a gentle incline all the way. The cost of the guide was an additional 880 rupees ($7 for both of us). The guide was capable and pointed out little critters and flora that would have certainly escaped our eyes.

The finale, so to speak, was the waterfall itself. The path to the water falls from the main path was the only part that made us regret wearing sandals instead of sneakers. Even so, it was no big deal. The falls are not that big, but very refreshing. After a 5-10 minutes dipping our feet, it was back up the rough path to the main, well-maintained path and downhill to the entrance, about a 15-20 minute easy walk.

We saw monkeys, salamanders, lizards of different descriptions unusual plant life and trees. May not be for everyone, but it is a great example of south Asian rain forests. Appropriate for families with kids as well as couple.
Written March 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gayan P
Colombo, Sri Lanka1,076 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Family
Don’t get caught in the Kanneliya Forest Reserve trap. If you are lucky you might escape with just a day wasted on a day tour from the Hotel. If you are really unlucky you might waste 3 days/2 nights staying either in the extremely rundown Forest Department Bungalow which is like a poor orphanage in all aspects, or book online and get stuck in one of the crappy little guest houses in the area fooled by the web photos.

The reserve is a overrated new forest and it is very ordinary. All the large trees except for 1 or2 have been chopped down in the last century and what we see now are the trees that grew thereafter. Unless you are obsessed with Botany there is nothing of interest. It does not have any exceptional scenery, birds or animals. The 2 waterfalls reached through blood sucking leech infester long treks that are very ordinary. Better waterfalls can be seen on the tea estates in the central art of the country, from the comfort of your vehicle. There is only one bathing spot and that is an artificially created shallow pool. It’s almost always swarming with hordes of local tourists.

You are not allowed to stroll on the reserve at your own pace. Entry fee is Rs 28 for a local (and many times more for a foreigner) but in addition you have to pay the mandatory fee of Rs 600 to 800/ for this ‘Guide’ who tags along with you & controls your trek. Although we had paid extra for that, our guide dissuaded us from going to the 2nd waterfall saying that it would take another 3 hours and that there was very little water these days. Both turned out to be a lies and on comparing notes with other groups we discovered that these freelancing locals Guides have got into this business through local politicians.

The so called Bungalow is right near the entrance and there is absolutely no peace or quiet with hundreds of local tourists streaming by. The rooms, dining areas and the kitchen are extremely dirty. It’s actually not a bungalow at all. It’s a series of dormitories connected together and at any time there will be lots of strangers staying there and sharing the common areas with you. Therefore you are not allowed to bring in any alcohol or play any musical instruments. Because of the requirement to have a guide with you, it is not possible to even wander out of the building after dusk to see nocturnal animals or to take a dip in the stream when it is free of the crowds that throng the bathing spot during the day.

This same reserve is also listed under kanneliya Forest Reserve but it is one and the same, and a place that can be avoided.
Written April 5, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

chris2lewis
London, UK3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Couples
Kanneliya was an 80 minute drive from Unawatuna and we arrived at 7.30 to meet our pre-arranged guide. We opted for the 3 hour walk, which took in the waterfall and the giant tree. Our guide was great at spotting wildlife, which we would otherwise have missed - tiny lizards, chameleons, monkeys, snakes and a variety of exotic birds. Most of the path is straightforward but parts are steep and there are quite a lot of steps around the waterfall. You do need a reasonable level of fitness for this walk because the humidity of the rainforest saps energy and we were glad we didn't opt for the 5-6 hour trek! We were provided with leech socks and our guide checked our feet regularly so none found their way into our shoes but my husband did get bitten on his chest and it was promptly removed by the guide. I would definitely recommend an early arrival because there were busloads of locals arriving as we were leaving at 11am. Our hotel arranged the guide in advance (you cannot enter the forest without a guide) and a driver, at a total cost of 11,000Rps. We were also offered lunch at an extra 3000Rps but didn't bother because we left mid-morning. We were glad our hotel arranged everything because the entry to the rainforest, and other attractions in Sri Lanka for that matter, is not as organised as it could be and you could find yourself paying for something you don't want or not being able to get in at all if you arrive early or at a busy time and there are no guides available.
Written April 18, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

martham352017
Baltimore, MD5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2017 • Friends
This is an unspoiled non commercialized rainforest. Take a little backpack with plenty of water and snacks. Take a bathing suit if you want to splash around in the waterfalls. Though we soft footed Americans wore tennis shoes, there were plenty of Sri Lankens in flip flops as our guide wore! My husband slipped on wet rocks and our guide pulled off a medicinal leaf, ground it up and applied it to his bleeding finger. It stopped bleeding, didn't get infected and never bruised. You will see lots of black monkeys, butterflies, dragonflies and we even saw a green Python! It even rained on us. I highly recommend this hike.
Written October 4, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

prashrc
Toronto, Canada38 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2017
We went to Kanneliya rain forest on a day trip and it took around 3 hours from colombo (via the highway). We went on a 9km hike and it was pretty amazing ! There are hidden waterfalls, massive trees like the red woods, indigenous plants/animals etc. the nature is all around u and it's really nice :) I would recommend this place to anyone who likes nature and adventure ! Only drawback compared to the number 1 rainforest in Sri Lanka (sinharaja) is that the rain is less in Kanneliya and a bit warmer, less leeches too
Written February 18, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tarren M
Bangkok, Thailand45 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Family
I really wish I had done more research before attempting this hike. It is truly a spectacular reserve with so much to appreciate. However, due to the rain the night before, we were not prepared for the leeches.
Our guide was prepared with a bar of soap, which he explained only once the leeches started attaching themselves, was used to deter the leeches. The little critters are extremely quick and make their way onto your shoes and into your socks in no time. Although not too much of a fuss for the adults, the leeches caused a bit of hysteria for the children. Especially that moment a leech pops in your shoe with blood soaking your socks.
Leech drama aside it was still an awesome experience. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable on various flora and took the time to listen to all our questions. His English was limited but did his best to help us understand.
We did see two purple leaf monkeys, loads of frogs, jungle fowl, large scary spiders and little lizards. We crawled through a bat cave and crossed streams with plenty fish and fresh water prawns.
I loved seeing all the pitcher plants and the beautiful waterfalls. The leeches were mostly on the path towards the second waterfall. We were wearing shorts and the leeches quickly found their way onto our legs. Our hike took 5 hours and my children are 11 and 9 years old, they coped well with the walking even the most steep incline with little footpaths. Their biggest concern were the blood sucking alien-like critters on the floor.
I know that we will be talking about this hike for a long time.
Wear long trousers, leech socks and good walking shoes. Take an umbrella for rain and an acidic soap to rub on your legs and feet to deter leeches. In my opinion, Children younger than 8 should not attempt the walk to the second waterfall.
Written April 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Kanneliya Rain Forest Reserve - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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