A forest hiking trail in Sri Lanka’s Rainforest: Visit Makandawa Rainforest in Kitulgala. 

5 Hours


Looking for a trekking trail in Sri Lanka or things to do in Colombo in nature ? This Day Tour from Colombo is the ideal experience.  

Why should you book this Sri Lanka trekking trail ?

  • A real hiking experience in Sri Lanka amidst untouched natural beauty.
  • This trekking trail is a perfect destination for Sri Lanka’s endemic bird watching.
  • An experienced local trekking guide with in-depth knowledge on the Makandawa Rainforest, will accompany you.
  • Traditional ferry ride experience to cross the Kelani River and get to the Makandawa Rainforest.
  • Local community interactions and understanding their way of life.
  • Logistically very feasible to include in your itinerary on your way from Colombo to Nuwara Eliya via Hatton (or on your return journey from the hill city) or as a thing to do from Colombo.
  • Rafting through the boulders and rocks creates grade 2 to 3+ rapids. The actual run takes about 1 ½ hours to 3 hours (depending on how much time you want to spend in the water) to complete, with encounters of grade 2 to 3+ rapids, bearing unique names such as Butter Crunch, Killer Falls, Head Chopper and Virgin's Breast.
  • Options available to combine this excursion with Whitewater Rafting & Canyoning and Waterfall Abseiling.
  • Excellent photography opportunities.


As this Sri Lanka Trekking Trail  is one of the best activities amongst things to do from Colombo , we can arrange return transport for you from Colombo too. 

Your excursion leader will meet you at pre pre-agreed location in Kithulgala and after a briefing on the tour and safety precautions, we will walk through the village and find our ferry. 

From the landing point we start our trekking trail. The reserve has rich birdlife including many endemic species; making it a great spot for avid birdwatchers. The hike takes you through a thick canopy of lush forest with trees towering above and providing natural shade and coolness even on the hottest days. 

The Makandawa Rainforest Reserve has several waterfalls and we will have a swim in one of the natural swimming “pools”,enjoy our packed lunch and start the returning journey. 

Some of the birds that you may see in this area include: the Sri Lankan Wood Pigeon, White Faced Starling, Green-billed Coucal, Sri Lanka Magpie, Red-faced Malkoha, Malabar Trogon, Sri Lanka Orange-billed Babbler, Sri Lanka Chestnut-backed Owlet and the Lesser Yellow Nape.

Finishing the trail, we take a swinging bridge back, or the same ferry to cross back.

Makandawa Rainforest

The Makandawa Rainforest Reserve is one of the oldest forest reserves in the country and is a significant protected area that is a birdwatcher’s paradise. With over 192 hectares of land, it is home to some of the most exotic and endangered wildlife including a dazzling array of endemic, migratory and resident birds.

The Makandawa Rainforest was declared as a forest reserve way back in 1903 and has been an important location for birders, nature photographers as well as wildlife academics, with the reserve being one of the best places in the country to observe and study a host of different creatures.

Bird watching is very rewarding in Makandawa as you will get a chance to see plenty of rare species including the Black Eagle, the Trogon, Sri Lanka Orange-billed babbler, Chestnut backed Owlet, the Blue Magpie and the Red-faced Malkoha.

The forest reserve is also habitat to several species of mammals, insects, and amphibians; making your trekking trail at Makandawa a complete wildlife experience truly worth venturing upon.

The Makandawa Rainforest is ideally located just 2.5hr drive away from Colombo,making it an ideal  thing to do from Colombo , activity. 

Includes & Excludes

Included in the forest hiking trail price

  • Services of a local guide for the hiking trail.
  • Bottled water
  • Entrance fees to the Makandawa Rainforest
  • Changing Room
  • Ferry Ticket
  • Entrance tickets to the Makandawa Rainforest
  • Packet Lunch
  • Evening tea with snacks
  • Basic First Aid
  • Leech Socks


  • Any transportation to and from the meeting point
  • Any additional beverages or food
  • Any tips for staff
  • Any personal effects not mentioned in this description
  • Optional activity costs
  • Any others expenses not mentioned ‘Included in the Package’ section
Overall Trip Rating:
- Based on 3 travel reviews
Very Good
  1. A Great walk to remember...
    By Rhys Taylor
    from Sri Lanka
    November 24, 2023
    It was quite difficult to get there but the forest offered well maintained paths. We walked to a waterfall which was more like a series of rocky rapids...and had a swim in one of the pools. We walked for about six Ks all up without seeing another person. But watch out for leeches!!!! I picked at least ten off my shoes and socks and only one managed to bite. Do not wear sandals under any circumstances.
    Date of Experience: November 16, 2023
  2. Excellent forest with good variety of birds
    By Family Robinson
    from Sri Lanka
    November 18, 2023
    We took the boat across the river three times and the followed clear paths into the forest . The paths wind up and down through the forest providing a good work out in the humid conditions. We saw a good variety of birds and on an evening night walk heard both the endemic Frogmouth and Serendip Scops Owl. Experienced birding and trekking guide.
    Date of Experience: November 04, 2023
  3. Nature at its Best
    By Ramakrishnan
    from India
    March 26, 2023
    The forest reserve boasts of un touched flora and a lot of indigenous fauna. Entrance tickets are high as all attractions in Srilanka do. we had a wonderful time trekking , watching birds and bathing in the waterfalls. Good halt for nature lovers.
    Date of Experience: March 10, 2023

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

A forest hiking trail in Sri Lanka’s Rainforest: Visit Makandawa Rainforest in Kitulgala. 
From $60
/ Adult - Single Person(SOLO)
From $70 $50
/ Adult - 2 Persons
From $50
/ Adult - 3 Persons
From $50
/ Adult - 4 Persons
From $50
/ Adult - 5 or More people
From $25
/ Child - Price per child
  • SLDT/2406/TR03
  • Ideally 8:00AM - 9:00AM
  • Kitulgala [Transport could be provided from your location at an extra cost]
  • 24 Hours
  • 5 to 6 Hours
  • Throughout the year


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