The beautiful Makandawa Forest Reserve is located in the scenic village of Kitulgala in the Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. Makandawa Forest Reserve established as a forest reserve to protect the watershed of Kelani River. It is home to many endemic flora and fauna. The forest is secondary lowland rainforest on the lower slope with the forest extending up to the higher elevations, contiguous with the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary. Makandawa forest reserve has several waterfalls such as Makulella falls, Lenthiriella falls to exploration.

Makandawa Forest Reserve is one of the wettest places in the country which affected by two monsoons in every year. It receives an annual rainfall of 3500mm-5250 mm and mean temperature is around 27 Degrees. The area is protected as a Forest Reserve which comes under the purview of the Forest Department. It is 195 hectares in extent and declared as a sanctuary in 1903.

Second to Sinharaja, the Kitulgala forest reserve would be the ideal rainforest habitat to spot most of the lowland endemic species of birds. Mammal species found here include the Grizzled Indian Squirrel, Layard’s Striped Squirrel and the Purple-faced Leaf Monkey. The streams hold endemic fish and many species of amphibians. The Earless Lizard, Kangaroo Lizard and the Hump-nosed Lizard are among the reptile species and are frequently seen in the foliage along the Kelani River.

Key Facts

  • To entre to the forest reserve we need to cross the Kelani River by a ferry.
  • Plenty of insect repellent and anti-leech socks, if you have a pair, are useful to wear when entering the forest. If you don’t have we can provide the leech socks.

Full nature trail will be around 8-10 K.M’s

Best Season

  • December to March
  • August & September also recommended.