Horton Plains National Park is about an hours’ drive from Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka and offers a great 3 hour trek where you can take in some fabulous views. As well as the 3 main points of interest: World’s End; Mini World’s End and Baker Falls you trek through picturesque cloud forest scenery.
We started our day at 5 am when our driver picked us up from our Nuwara Eliya accommodation and drove through the twisty hilly roads in the dark in a blanket of thick fog and rain to the entrance at Horton Plains. We had a glimmer of weather hope as we saw a slither of red and orange sunrise on the horizon but this quickly disappeared as the sky reverted back to dark grey clouds…
The driver stopped to point out a number of samba deers which we could vaguely make out in the mist.
We drove on to the park which opens at 6 am each day and brought our tickets. The entry cost for foreigners is expensive at around 6350 Sri Lankan rupees for 2 people (around £30) which is about 15 times more than the cost for locals.
Our driver then took us another 5 km’s to the starting point of the trek where we had a cup of tea (in the dark as there was no electricity) and started the trek at around 7 am.
The trek is circular and you can either walk in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. We took the left path and therefore went clockwise. The total length is around 8.5 km (as the sign below doesn’t appear at the beginning!)
We headed towards Mini World’s End, the first point of interest. Fortunately the fog did start to clear in places although this was temporary as we had fog on and off throughout the trek. We had a reasonably clear view at Mini World’s End where the cliff is around 270 m high and you can see towards the south east of Sri Lanka (top picture).
At World’s End (unfortunately no sign of Jack Sparrow) you can allegedly see all the way to the sea over the 870 m cliff. The fog had descended again and this view was not happening while we were there…
The trek was fairly easy and relatively flat. It took us through clay and black peat terrain which reminded us of trekking in the Peak District where we’ve also had similar weather.(And we almost forgot we were on a tropical island in the Indian Ocean…)
Baker Falls were impressive!
Other than the samba deer and some different birds we didn’t see any other wildlife. A few leopards also roam the park but (un)fortunately we didn’t see any!
This was a great trek and really worth doing whatever the weather! We have trekked in many places throughout England and Wales and usually trekking in poor weather can be fun and exhilarating. Some of our favourite UK treks have been in grim weather conditions and made all the better as you sit in a sheltered spot with a flask of coffee. And possibly because you feel a greater sense of achievement (and relief) as you relax in a cosy pub at the end of them!