Location: Central Highlands, 163 kilometers from Colombo
Area: 31.6 square kilometers
Avg. Temperature: 13 °C (can reach 27 °C during the day and 5 °C during the night)
Avg. Annual Rainfall: >5000 mm
Horton Plains National Park is the highest plateau of Sri Lanka with one of the most incredible views ever to be seen! Being the most important catchment area in the country, it holds the fresh tributaries of three major rivers, Kelani, Walawe and Mahaweli. The area is comparatively cold to other areas of the country – enough to form ground frost, due to its high altitude. The area is extremely rich in terms of biodiversity.
The beautiful landscape of rolling hills is composed of montane grassland and dense forest and is home to a wide variety of flora. 57 plant species can be found here of which 29 are endemic to Sri Lanka. 24 mammal species roam the park including Elk, Sambar Deer, Giant Squirrel, Wild Boar, Wild Hare, Bear Monkey, Porcupine and Leopard. The plains were once one of the best habitats of the Sri Lankan Elephant; unfortunately they became extinct in the area due to poaching during the British colonial era. For keen bird watchers, there are 87 species of which 14 are endemic to Sri Lanka, including many migratory birds. The most commonly seen are the Yellow-eared Bulbul, Sri Lanka Bush Warbler and the Dull-blue Flycatcher. The Horned Lizard and Dwarf Chameleon are among the many reptile species found in this area.
Horton Plains is a popular tourist destination due to its magnificent features; World’s End, which is a 3700 feet sheer drop, offers fabulous views of the tea estates below and all the way out to the distant southern coastline. Other attractions include Baker’s Falls and a Chimmini Pool.
From Nuwara Eliya, about 6 km from the town, on the A7 is a left turn towards Ambewala and Pattipola. This continues to the park. From Haputale, take the road via Ohiya.