Camping and Hiking in Horton Plains National Park from Colombo
Hiking to Horton Plains takes you through stunning sceneries and different types of vegetation. You can actually see how the vegetation changes from normal highlands to Eucalyptus and then to savannahs. “Sambar deer”, the Sri Lankan national bird, “Jungle Fowl” and “Purple faced leaf monkey” are not a rare sight.
Hiking to Horton Plains takes you through stunning sceneries and different types of vegetation. You can actually see how the vegetation changes from normal highlands to Eucalyptus and then to savannahs. “Sambar deer”, the Sri Lankan national bird, “Jungle Fowl” and “Purple faced leaf monkey” are not a rare sight. If we are lucky, we might be able to spot a Leopard as well which is really very rare. Horton plains claim mostly extreme weather conditions.Our usual program is hiking to Horton Plains, camping and then back to Colombo. But, there are 3 additional options for you with NO ADDITIONAL COST which are, hiking/ trekking to Mt. Kirigalpoththa (Sri Lanka’s 2nd highest peak – moderate hike with approximately 14 km up and down) Mt. Thotupola (Sri Lanka’s 3rd highest peak – easy hike for 4 km up and down) Circuit trail (The trail within Horton Plains for park visitors - easy trek of 9 km) So here is our program.
What you need to bring:
1. A backpack for your personal items. Any size that could carry what you need during the hike is ideal. Make sure that it is a double strapped backpack and not a single strapped side bag.
2. As we do not provide you dinner on day 1, please have it before you come. All other meals throughout the journey as mentioned in the program above would be provided.
3. Jacket. A jacket is a must for the cold weather.
4. A raincoat is a must as the weather is highly unpredictable.
6. Extra pair of socks to keep you warm during the night inside the tent.
7. Gloves if necessary.
8. Ice cap or whatever to cover your head if necessary.
9. A water bottle. A bottle that can carry minimum of 1 liter is recommended.
10.Toothbrush/ Toothpaste and other personal hygiene items.
11. A torch is a must.
12. Please bring some extra clothes to keep you warm during the night.
13. So basically this is all you need to bring. Apart from the above list, you may bring chocolates, energy drinks etc on your own preference if necessary.
What to Expect
We operate our hikes on Fridays.But it is still customizable if we are available on other days.
We start our journey by the night mail train which leaves Colombo at 8.00 pm sharp.In order to reserve seats, we request you to book your hikes 45 days in advance.But still, if we do not have seats, and if you are impatient to wait for 45 days,we could take our chances in the train without reserving seats as many of the passengers are not long distance travelers and we might be able to get a few seats and share among us.Dress code would be casual, even shorts and flip flops would not be a problem if you can survive the cold.Dinner will not be included.
We would reach Pattipola approximately at 4.30 am given that the train has no delays.
We would spend about 0.5 hours in the railway station to change to our hiking dress code.
Any sports pant/ shorts would do. It is not a must for you to wear any sport wear, anything you are comfortable with is fine with us.However a shoe is a must. It can be any sports shoe if you do not have hiking boots. We would start from Pattipola during dawn itself to experience the cold,silent and dark environment around Pattipola.Once we reach the main entrance, we would leave our backpacks and hike Kirigalpoththa mountain.Once back, campsite would be set up and we would relax for the rest of the day. Dinner will be prepared/served at the campsite.
We would prepare some breakfast and start our way back to Pattipola.On the way is Mt. Thotupola, which we could hike if you require, again with NO additional cost.We would reach Pattipola railway station by evening. We would have dinner with a hot beverage until the train arrives which would leave Pattipola at 9.30 pm.Discounts available depending on number of pax.
We reach Colombo early morning at 6.00 am given that the train has no delay.
Terms and conditions:
1. It is recommended to book 45 days in advance to reserve seats in the train and to reserve the camp site.
However, it is your preference. Should you choose to travel as a backpacker; we are totally with you to try to grab a seat as soon as the train docks in.
So call us a week before, and still we would check the availability of seats and campsite and let you decide.
2. Payments have to be made upon confirmation of booking. No refunds will be done for cancellations before and within 3 days of travelling date.
However for cancellations before 4 days of the travel date or greater, a non-redeemable 36% of the cost would be charged. This depends solely on our reservations,
if we had not booked, 100% refund is guaranteed.
3. All guests should abide to the instructions given by us during the hike as we value your safety as well as the safety and rules of the National Park.
4. We do not accept any liability for cancellations of tours on events of nature.
5. We do not accept any liability for death, injury or illness of guests caused by animals, reptiles, insects and events of nature or any type of accident.
However, we take extra caution and we have been highly trained to minimize such situations.
6. We do not accept any liability for loss or damage of personal belongings during the tour.