Udawatte KeleThe Forbidden Forest trek and birdwatching trail – Udawattakele

Walk through the historical forest used by dead kings of old Ceylon, and see everything from the endemic Layard's parakeet to the rare Three-toed kingfisher at Udawattakele Forest Reserve.


Why someone should book this

  • Udawatte Kele is the only forest reserve in the Kandy city limits and is a great addition to your list of things to do in Kandy
  • It was once known as Uda Wasala Watta meaning the garden above the royal palace and is of significant cultural and  historic value
  • This breathtaking forest is a hotspot for bird enthusiasts
  • It is a moderate track that is great at burning off the excess calories gained while holidaying
  • This historic sanctuary is famous not only for its avifauna but also its variety of plant species including lianas, shrubs and  small trees. It contains 460 plant species including 135 species of trees and nine endemic species
  • You will be able to see the historically important ruins and places from the Kandyan Kingdom such as the Lady Horton’s Road, Royal Pond, Lovers’ Walk and Marble Seat.
  • The opportunity to visit the Senkada Cave, where a hermit lived alone in the forest.
  • It is also home to several species of mammals and reptiles, which makes it a holistic nature experience
  • It is easily accessible and has a great educational and recreational appeal
  • The forest is also a very important religious site as it contains three Buddhist meditation hermitages and three rock shelter dwellings
  • It is suitable for all ages

bird watching thalanagama wetland




+94 70 222 8222




Included in the price

  • Services of an experienced local guide

  • Entrance fees

  • Bottled water




  • Any transportation
  • Any additional beverage or food, which would be ordered extra
  • Any personal effects not mentioned here
  • Any tips for the staff
  • Any others expenses not mentioned in ‘Price Inclusions’ section


Tour in brief 

  • Sri Lanka Day Tours offers a 2 to 3-hour soft trail through the forest terrain in Udawatta Kele.

  • You typically start the trek from the entrance to the forest after a briefing.

  • Udawatta Kele is known as a birder’s paradise with its plethora of bird species and its easy accessibility. You will be able to see species including the Layard’s Parakeet, Yellow-fronted Barbet or even the Crimson-backed Golden back. The forest has a host of nocturnal birds as well including the Brown Fish Owl.

  • Apart from the rarer species, you will also be able to witness some of the forest’s more frequently spotted residents which include the Little Cormorant, White-bellied Sea Eagles, Common Kingfishers and Yellow-browed Bulbuls.

  • Apart from the birds the forest is also home to other animals including Toque Macaques, Wild Boars, Fishing Cats and Water Monitor Lizards.

  • There are around 460 plant species in this forest which makes it an important site for botanists and researches as well as those who take a keen interest in the subject.

  • Species such as Peru balsam, Mahogany and Devil’s Ivy can be found here.

  • You will be accompanied by one of our naturalists along the tour and you will be able to gain valuable insight into the forest, the fauna and the flora around you.

  • Valuable information regarding the ruins from the Kandyan Kingdom and the historical background/interesting stories behind them will be shared by the guide.


  • Clients should bring suitable clothing for warm, windy and rainy conditions.

  • Recommended items such as insect repellent and sun lotion should be brought by clients.

  • Lightweight clothes and walking shoes or boots should be worn during the trail.

  • Water bottles and refreshments should be carried by clients at all times.


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We  booked two holidays with this company, one in 2014 and another in August 2017. We had great experiences on both holidays. In 2014 they booked us at a lovely cottage, beautifully located in the hill country with friendly staff and a great naturalist guide. For the recent holiday they put in touch with an excellent diving instructor who runs his own place and both my wife and I enjoyed three days of diving as well as got our PADI diving certificates. All in all, I think that they have a strong focus on finding high quality locations, good guides and other personnel. I would recommend them without hesitation.

Sandeep Mody – India - AUG 15-17