Experience the Great Outdoors in Kandy

If you’re the outdoorsy type who is not too interested in spending time visiting temples and museums, Kandy has still got some great experiences to offer. We’ve put together a list of places you should visit to view animals, birds, plants, as well as some breathtaking landscapes of Sri Lanka’s hill country.

Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya

This is probably the most visited botanical garden in the country. It is a 147-acre expanse of well- maintained flowers, trees and pathways that originally date back to the Kandyan Kingdom. Located about 5km away from Kandy, the garden contains over 4,000 species of plants, including orchids, palm trees, spice trees and medicinal plants. Wandering around the beautiful garden is a great way to spend a lazy afternoon.

Udawattakele Forest Reserve

This is a historic 257-acre forest reserve, located on a hill-ridge in the city of Kandy. The dense vegetation of the forest is believed to include 58 indigenous tree species in addition to shrubs, creepers, vines, orchids, herbs and lianas. The forest reserve is also famous for bird watching, with about 80 bird species having been recorded here. It’s a great place to embark on a trek and experience the natural beauty of the country.

Hantana Mountain Range

If you are adventurous and enjoy a good long hike, you should definitely make your way to the Hanthana Mountain Range, located about 8km away from Kandy. The mountains offer stunning views of
the surrounding landscape, and are extremely popular amongst local hikers. The protected nature reserve in Hantana is home to plenty of bird species as well as animals such as monkeys, civets, wild boars, leopards, foxes, fishing cats and hedgehogs. The mountains can be visited only between 9am and 3pm as darkness and mist make navigating the area rather difficult at other times.

Kandy Lake

If a hike sounds like too much work, you can enjoy a lovely stroll around the scenic Kandy Lake, located in the middle of the city. The southern part of the lake can get a bit busy with noisy busses breaking the peace. The best part of the lake to walk around is the area near the Sri Dalada Maligawa.