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Borderlands
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Reviews (383)
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Reviewed January 16, 2014

We stayed here with our 2 boys (aged 10 & 12) for one night and I was in 2 minds whether or not to book this adventure due to the fairly high costs. However, we were all not disappointed. The location is truly outstanding, overlooking the river, we saw a large water monitor and (not so easy to stomach) a huge Huntsman spider on the outside of our tent. I thought we would get eaten alive by mosquitos but despite the close proximity to the water that was not the case.

We arrived by midday to have a delicious lunch (the mildest Sri Lankan Food I have eaten and as we are not good with hot spicy foods, it was also the most delicious) before getting changed to do the rafting/canyoning.

We were then driven 7 km upriver, got a short but fun briefing before we all paddled like hell down the rapids. It was exhilarating despite the low water and a great experience. The staff are all extremely well trained and ensure that it's fun from start to finish! You then stop about 2/3rds of the way to walk uphill into the canyon part. When we got to the top we saw a 1.5m snake just perching perfectly on the waters' edge, before we jumped into a small but deep pool. Both kids and adults loved it alike. My boys went first on everything and even did a back-flip into the water from some of the higher points. You slide your way down the well worn rocks and the highest jump is probably 12-15 ft which was a challenge! The canyoning was our favourite activity, exhilarating, breath-taking and a laugh a minute! I would highly recommend it to anyone regardless of age.

We then got back into the boats and paddled our way down some more rapids. At the end, we threw each other into the river and I had a nice swim back to Borderlands.

In the evenings, they showed a kids film due to many families and it was just relaxing, sitting in the longhouse on cushions and having free wifi. Breakfast was a little bit on the light side, I didn't get any boiled eggs as they had all gone though I'm sure if I had asked they would have made some more.

All in all a truly memorable stay! My only slight issue is that it was by far the most expensive night we have paid for in Sri Lanka and that includes our stay in the 5 Star Taj Samudra in Colombo (much less fun though). Yet, I would still not hesitate to come here again and maybe save up for an additional night as the setting is truly beautiful and the staff are really fun to be around and clearly enjoy their work.

We also went Whale-watching with Borderlands on a private boat from Merissa but I will leave a separate review for this.

Well done guys, keep up the good work!

Room Tip: Get one facing the river
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Groovybaby18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BorderlandsL, Sales & Marketing at Borderlands, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2014

Dear Groovybaby18,

We’re happy to know your family enjoyed the time with us and you found the cost worthwhile. Thank you for all the detail and explanation of your stay, we love the description of canyoning as “exhilarating, breath-taking and a laugh a minute!” Thank you for reviewing the staff, food, activities and camp in detail. We hope to see you again in the future for a longer stay!

Best wishes,
The Borderlands Team.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2014

What can I say, this place was amazing. Not only was it incredibly scenic, the food was tasty, activities were awesome and the river huts were fantastic.

You actually sleep in a large tent, with built in beds, a fan, electricity and sockets with universal adapters. The tents are built onto large wooden frames overhanging the river, with a roof for cover. We had a huge balcony with been bags which we utilised to rest, read a book, watch the wildlife (Cute little chipmunks, and hornbills) and incredible views.

We did white water rafting, canyoning and abseiling, which are probably the best and most adventurous activities on offer, all of which were great fun. The abseiling gave a boost of adrenalin with a 70ft cliff. Especially if its your first time.

Toilets and showers are also spacious and pleasantly clean considering your 'glamping' in the jungle.

My only advice would be book a river cabin, only preferably a cabin thats on the lower side of the river as the balconies tend to be more spacious than those up stream.

Room Tip: My only advice would be book a river cabin, only preferably a cabin thats on the lower side of the river as the balconies tend to be more spacious than those up stream.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Gareth R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BorderlandsL, Sales & Marketing at Borderlands, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2014

Dear Gareth R,

We’re glad to hear you enjoyed your stay with us and thank you for your very flattering review. The details you include, especially the “boost of adrenalin with a 70ft cliff,” are fantastic. We hope to see you in the future for more adventure and adrenaline!

Best wishes,
The Borderlands Team.

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Reviewed January 8, 2014

Its a really nice place managed by really nice guys. The place is well maintained and clean. The food is awesome and the tents overlooking the river is a really great place to stay. I would definitely recommend this place.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank itsrada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BorderlandsL, Sales & Marketing at Borderlands, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2014

Dear itsrada,

Thank you for your recommendation and review, we’re glad you had such a great stay. We hope to see you again in the future.

Best wishes,
The Borderlands Team.

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Reviewed January 4, 2014

We spend 3 nights at Borderlands with our two teenage children just before Christmas. It is an amazing location, literally on the river. Our tents sat on stilts overlooking the water and we woke every morning to the noise and views of the river and jungle - nothing else. We even had beanbags to sit on outside our tent, perched on our little verandah. But it was the activities that really made it: kayaking, rafting, trekking, canyoning. It was such great fun in the lovely warm sunshine and all the guys that work there like to have a laugh - especially by capsizing you so watch out for that!

Room Tip: Try to get a tent overlooking the river - I think most of them do.
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Tracey C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BorderlandsL, Sales & Marketing at Borderlands, responded to this reviewResponded January 6, 2014

Dear Tracey C,

We’re happy to hear you and your family has such a fun time, and thank you for your lovely review! We love the description of waking up in camp in the morning with “the lovely warm sunshine,” and we’re glad to hear you had fun capsizing! We hope to see you and your family again in the future!

Best wishes,
The Borderlands Team.

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Reviewed December 11, 2013

My boyfriend and I spent three nights at Borderlands during our trip around Sri Lanka and our stay with Borderlands was definitely the highlight. The location is just stunning- back in the UK I close my eyes and dream of waking up to the sound of the river and looking out at the beautiful view from our tent. On our first day we abseiled down a beautiful waterfall- it was just amazing! I'm not a great one for heights but with Ollie and Kandy guiding us down I felt totally safe and loved every minute! We also enjoyed kayaking, white water rafting and canyoning- we had a great time on all of the activities and we would definitely would recommend them all. The food served at the camp was great- just what you need after a long day of activities and the communal bar area is a lovely place to relax and enjoy a beer. Many things make Borderlands special but for us it was the guys at the camp who made the experience so fantastic- Roshan, Ollie, Chris, Kandy, Akila and all the staff are genuinely lovely guys who strive to make sure you have the best experience whilst being equipped with the knowledge to keep you safe at all times which is something you shouldn't take lightly in Sri Lanka- during our time at the coast we sadly saw the consequences of paying a cheap scuba diving company where staff didn't even have basic first aid training and it cost a man his life; so my advice- you get what you pay for- pay a bit more and go with a reputable company who will really look after you. It's also worth noting that Borderlands have a boat in Weligama where they offer whale watching tours- Roshan and Gwen organised this for us whilst we were at Borderlands and we fitted it in whilst we were at the coast. The boat was gorgeous- our very own private speed boat and lovely crew- we whizzed past the big, slow boats which were crammed with tourists (it took us 20 minutes to get to the whale watching area as opposed to the 2.5 hours on the other boats) and we had a great view of the whales, it was a fantastic experience and I would highly recommend it! We already wish we were back at Borderlands and are definitely planning a return visit!!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Michaela T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BorderlandsL, Sales & Marketing at Borderlands, responded to this reviewResponded January 6, 2014

Dear Michaela T,

Wow! Thank you for such a flattering review, we’re thrilled to know you enjoyed both our base camp in Kithulgala and the whale watching in Weligama! Getting over your dislike of heights through abseil is impressive. Thank you for complimenting our staff, as well as the food and communal area and overall safety – which is our number one priority; we especially like the line, “all the staff are genuinely lovely guys who strive to make sure you have the best experience whilst being equipped with the knowledge to keep you safe at all times.” We’re glad to hear you enjoyed the kayaking, rafting and other activities, as well as getting extra time around the whales thanks to getting there early. We look forward to seeing you again for your return visit!

Best wishes,
The Borderlands Team.

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