White Water Rafting in Sri Lanka

If you love adventure, you cannot afford to miss white water rafting – an activity that brings together your sporty side and your love of nature

Sri Lanka’s numerous spring-fed boulder rivers that flow through lush jungles provide an ideal location for white water rafting. The most famous of these is in Kithulgala in the Central Province, on the banks of the Kelani River some 90 kms (two-hour’s drive) from the capital, Colombo.

Kithulgala is also famous for being the prime location in David Lean’s 1957 Oscar-winning classic ‘The Bridge on the river Kwai’.

The Kelani River is one of Sri Lanka’s four main rivers; and at 145 kms, is its fourth longest.

The actual rafting run however will last somewhere between 90 minutes to 3 hours depending on your choice of route. Typically, during a 6.5 km stretch, you will encounter about five tosixGrade 2-3 rapids.

Rafting on these banks is suitable for amateurs as well as professionals. Amateurs should seek the guidance of a professional who will be available on request. A briefing is given prior to the river run, and at the end of your excursion lunch can be arranged on request.

Rafting is great fun for the young and not so young. If braving the rapids is not your thing and you prefer to simply enjoy the river and its beauty, you could opt to raft through the less turbulent section in the lower valley. This is especially recommended for children over six and family groups.

May to December is considered the best time for rafting. However, the season varies according to the rise and fall of water levels in the river. If the water levels are too high,rafting can be dangerous.

Rafting is not recommended for kids below 10, pregnant ladies and anyone suffering heart ailments.

Being unable to swim is not a problem because you will be provided with safety equipment i.e. a life jacket and helmet, and a professional guide will be at hand to accompany you.

A minimum of twopeople are required for rafting.

Leeches love the wet weather in Kithulgala, so don’t forget to bring lots of leech repellent or leech socks!

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Sri Lanka