Central Highlands of Sri Lanka
This is the latest addition to the UNESCO World heritage list comprising of the Knuckles Conservation Forest, Horton Plains National Park and the Peak Wilderness Protected Area. The region of mountains rising above 2,500 meters above the sea level is considered a super bio diversity hot spot has a remarkable range of flora and fauna providing a habitat for an exceptional range of endemic species including the Horton Plain Slender Loris, the Srilankan Leopard, the western- purple-faced langur.
Horton Plains – this National Park, on Sri Lanka’s highest plateau over 2100m above sea level in the central mountains is a strange and tranquil region with an astounding variety of scenery – from misty mountains to grasslands, from marshes to ice cold streams, lakes and waterfalls. Sri Lanka’s best flavoured “high grown” teas are from estates in the surrounding areas. Two highlights are the spectacular view from ‘Worlds End’ where the plateau plunges almost 1000m in a sheer drop and the beautiful “Bridal Veil” Bakers Falls. Distinctive flora with a high level of endemism, colourful butterflies, many rare endemic, resident or migrant birds and several species of Gauna including Sambhur, Bear Monkey, Barking Deer, Giant Squirrel, Fishing Cat, Wild Boar, Hare and even a few very rare sightings of Leopard are recorded. The perfect location for hiking and cycling with excellent trails and cool climate.
Knuckles Mountain Range – located north-east of the city of Kandy, the range takes its name from a series of recumbent folds and peaks in the west of the massif which resemble the knuckles of clenched fist when viewed from certain locations in the Kandy District. The entire area is characterised by its striking landscapes often robed in thick layers of cloud but in addition to its aesthetic value the range is of great scientific interest. It is a climatic microcosm of the rest of Sri Lanka. The conditions of all the climatic zones in the country are exhibited in the massif. At higher elevations there is a series of isolated cloud forests, harbouring a variety of flora and fauna, some of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The range constitutes a significantly higher proportion of the country’s biodiversity.