Makandawa Forest Reserve
Significance of the Forest Reserve
Spanning an area of 1,155 hectares and located close to the adventure-centric town of Kitulgala, the Makandawa Forest Reserve is one of the richest and most untouched rainforests that can be found in Sri Lanka. Home to several rare species of flora and fauna that are endemic to Sri Lanka, the reserve is where the Belilena Cave is located. Makandawa Forest Reserve is also where the filming for the movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai” (winner of seven Academy Awards in 1958) took place.
Why You Should Visit
Following the trails through this tropical rainforest, visitors are often thrilled to discover rock pools with crystal clear waters, stunning waterfalls, and the famous Kelani River that winds its way through the jungle. The reserve is a great location for adventurists looking for activities such as hiking, whitewater rafting and birdwatching, and it is home to several rare species of fish, birds, butterflies and reptiles. The area is often billed as a great birdwatching spot for rare and endemic birds; there are 54 different rare bird species that can be found here.
Season to Visit
The rainforest receives most of its rainfall during Sri Lanka’s two major monsoon seasons. To avoid the rains, the reserve is best visited between August and September, when it is quite dry; or between December and February, when the probability of needing to trudge through the rain is quite low.