KNUCKLES RANGE IMMERSION
Walking uphill in the pouring rain with leeches nipping at your ankles isn’t an experience for the faint of heart, but it’s a small price to pay for a visit to the remote mountain village of Walpolamulla – population: six – the site of an inspiring small-scale ecotourism venture in the Knuckles Range, a conservation area in central Sri Lanka. A 155-square-kilometre wilderness of misty mountains – the highest peaks reach 1,900 meters – waterfalls and rivers, it contains five major forest formations and an astonishing variety of endemic flora and fauna. With more than 1,000 species of flowering plant, 100 species of bird, 75 species of reptile, plus wild boars, civets, toque monkeys, sambars and porcupines – not to mention the shy and elusive leopard –
the Knuckles are a nature lover’s paradise, although, with little in the way of infrastructure, one that isn’t easy to explore.
Mini 2 pax
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
ALL YEAR AROUND
OVERVIEWThe property Clusters of uniquely designed huts spread throughout a large expanse of forest land. All huts are constructed with natural materials, using ancient techniques with a distinctly modern twist. Each structure is designed with comfort and relaxation in mind. Whilst all the individual layouts differ, the facilities are essentially the same. All huts have outdoor showers, indoor bathrooms, dining & lounge areas and relaxation spaces adorned with hammocks and mats – all designed in a style that befits the overall aesthetic and ‘back-to-nature’ theme. There is no mains electricity in the guest areas. Lighting at night is provided by plentiful candles and lanterns as well as subtle, solar powered LED lighting. The local village was connected to the national grid in 2012 and we now have power in the office for charging phones, cameras, ipads or whatever other gadgets you bring. Staying at The Mudhouse is a little like stepping back in time to your own village in the jungle and to a more simple way of life, where things move at your pace. Accommodation The Original Mudhouse (2-4 pax) Having evolved and changed over the years, The Original Mudhouse is a charming spot for couples or families, featuring a cluster of huts that combine to create a magical and relaxing space. Suitable for couples, small families. Family & Honeymoon Huts (2-4 pax) The Family Hut features two double beds and an open-plan lounge. The seductive Honeymoon Hut offers a double bed in a hexagonal layout. These huts come together as a private zone. The Palu Hut (2-6 pax) Our largest hut with six beds, two outdoor showers, two bathrooms and a lounge area. The unique ‘V’ shaped design and two-tier roofing structure add to its distinctive and alluring look. Suitable for couples, families or small groups and the set-up is tailored to the size and requirements of the people staying there. Maha Gedera (2-5 pax) Designed in a square shape with an open, central courtyard and large bathroom. Five beds are spread around the interior, interspersed by a lounge, hammocks and a special dining area. Suitable for for couples, families and small groups and, despite its size, has a very intimate atmosphere inside. All Huts have outdoor shower is one of our most wild, whilst the western toilet is in an enclosed hut with great jungle views. Each Huts are equipped with binoculars, cool boxes, mosquito nets, towels, blankets, bird books and bikes for exploring the property. Cuisine Pure Sri Lankan meals are prepared the traditional way, using clay pots and firewood. Rice and curry is the staple of the country and we offer a huge variety of dishes at any given time. There is no menu as such – meals are prepared according to what is in season and most fresh. We don’t tend to serve much meat as we find it hard to source quality produce locally. Fish, however, is a different story. Being surrounded by lakes and only 30 km from the coast, there is a range of sea and fresh water fish available throughout the year. Vegetarians will be happy here and a wide selection of grains, pulses, seeds, vegetables and fruits are prepared daily – many in ways you may not have come across previously. Much of the produce is sourced from our own organic farm, with other ingredients purchased locally from farmers or from the market in town. All meals are included in the price. If you have any special requests we will always try to accommodate them. You can also learn how to cook any of your favourite dishes in our complimentary cooking classes. Special, non-spicy, dishes can be prepared for children. Similarly, we will always do our best to prepare meals accordingly for people with special diet requirements or allergies. Facilities & Services Plenty of activities as well as a yoga sala for those who would like to do yoga by themselves as there isn't an instructor. Meals are served either in the restaurant or in-room, or a table can be set up in the location of your choice - ideal for couples seeking a romantic option.… You can choose from swimming, fishing, kayaking or boating on the lake, birdwatching (although this is best arranged the night before, as it involves an early start), walking to the local Paramankanda Rock Temple or exploring a local village by bicycle The Mudhouse doesn't have wifi apart of the office location where it is the only place in the whole property where there is electricity (possibility to recharge your phone, laptop, camera battery) , although guests can use the hotel's computer which is connected to the internet if they really need too Guide Naturalist Guides & Experience 4x4 driver (Wilpattu NP) come from the local village with a few members from slightly further afield. The Mudhouse is committed to the principles of responsible, community-based tourism. The project aims to create as much local employment and benefit as possible and, through retaining largely traditional processes, remains deliberately labour intensive.
ITINERARYDay 1 (L-D) Upon arrival at the Mudhouse, proceed to your check in, you will enjoy a local lunch. After your lunch, in keeping with the local concept, grab our bikes which are more ‘Iron Horse’ than ‘Tour de France’, yet they are more than ample for the kind of light exploration we tend to do here. The land around The Mudhouse is predominantly flat an ideal for exploring by peddle power, to ride all the way to predominant places such as the Paramakanda temple and Tonigala rock (Stunning Scenery at its top). Many of the nearby villages and lakes can also be reached on the ride. At end of afternoon, chill at your mudhouse, and enjoy amazing local delicacies in a full natural atmosphere. After your diner, embark in 1hr night walk to spot some sleeping birds, some mammals and also the endemic Red Slow Loris (no guarantee to see) Day 2 (B-L-D) Very early in the morning (around 5am-5:30am), you will depart for 1hr30 transfer to Wilpattu National Park, from where you will change vehicule to enter the park with a 4x4 jeep from where you will enter into one of the most amazing National Park in Sri Lanka, the whole day about 12hrs you will ride the dust roads passing by reservoirs and magical forests in chess to encouter multiple wildlife as Chacal, Fox, Elephant, horde of Wild Buffalos, Wildboar, Monkeys, huge varieties of birds as well as if luck is with us Leopard and Bear. Enjoy an astonishing sunset before heading back to the Mudhouse, where a delicious dinner will await for you and finally you will get the time to rest and enjoy a night sky full of stars. Day 3 (B) After your breakfast, pack up everything, farewell the team who took good care of you, before getting back on the road for new adventures
INCLUDED / EXCLUDEDWhat is Included? Accommodation, full board meals, multiple nature walks, bird watching, cycling to Paramakanda temple, kayaking, cooking class, 10-12hrs 4x4 game drive in Wilpattu National Park, Wilpattu NP Entrance fees, 1 mineral water per person What is Excluded? Travel to the Mudhouse, sodas and alcoholic beverages (none are available at site, need to buy by yourself prior arrival), tipping and gratuities to guide & team member of the property
ADD INFOWhat to Bring? Head lamp, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, binocular, dry bag, swimwear, money (no ATM), comfortable beach appareil, water bottle, toiletries, basic first aid kit. Departure Daily based on a minimum booking of 2pax per departure. Solo traveller will incur single supplement charges. Perfect place to escape for those who are slightly more adventurous, in chess of meet the local, wildlife & birds watcher and it's biggest selling point is its simplicity. Do we accept children Children are very welcome and families tend to love the rural Mudhouse. There are no specific facilities for children and we wouldn't recommend the retreat for very young children.