Home stay opens doors to experience day to day lives of the locals in the comfort of their own homes. Most visitors break time between visiting sites of natural importance to helping children at school or involving with women’s group activities while on holiday.
The north of SL is predominantly headed by single women or parent; later being the collateral damage of war; thus such income generated form home stays or tours guided by locals is a huge plus to their struggling economy.
Basic-range mobile tent type self setup – all basic camping bedding including (floor mat), with outdoor shower & toilet. If you like, you could bring your own sleep sheet
Camping cooking style around bond fire – vegetarian and special diets catered for.
Facilities & Services
Camping outdoor bathroom and shower, electricity 6:00 PM-midnight via generator and low voltage LED solar lights bulb, camping outdoor kitchen
You will be accompanied by experienced river canoe guides accompany with an support backup draft (bringing all camping equipment & foods)
Day 1 (L-D)
Meet by 10am at Kitulgala. Check in at the longhouse to the river side camp and meet the team who will provide you an introduction of the expedition day by day. After lunch, develop the necessary skills necessary for taking on this jungle river. wE will be fitting you up with your boat choice which can range from open canoe, sit on top kayaks, inflatable kayaks and options to ride as an active passenger on our Cataraft. We will paddle some white water as the team develops skills such as; white water paddling, river safety, and camp craft. We will return to the long house (dorm type) for a video session then proceed to your dinner before chilling in our Long House. Be aware the night will be short as the next day you will depart by 5amThe drive from Borderlands to Mahiyanganaya is around 5 hours. We plan to depart Borderlands in the early morning around 5 AM.
Day 2 (B-L-D)
By 4.30am, get a light breakfast before we depart with the team for a 5 hour drive to the Mahaweli river put in. After we arrive we have a packed lunch and pack the rafts and canoes for the river journey. WE will paddle around 4 hours to our first camp just inside the national park. We leave behind the sadly exploited section of the Mahaweli with its severely damaged river banks due to excessive sand mining. The transformation of the river from sand mining pit to wilderness jungle is a massive and welcomed change. After 4 hours we reach the edge of the park, our first rapids and a camp site on jungle sand beaches untouched by the sand miners. We set up camp on the edge of Wasgamuwa National Park, on a deserted river beach. We have plenty of snack breaks, and we can make time for a game of cricket or Frisbee on the beach before darkness falls. We gather all our own wood for the evening campfire, which is kept going throughout the night as protection against possible elephant forays! The sound of the jungle at night, a BBQ dinner and a plan for a early morning departure as the river safari begins.
Day 3 (B-L-D)
An early start as we enter Wasgamuwa NP, which spans the left bank of the river today, with the buffer zone river right. It’s a full day paddling through the park, silent apart from the calls of birds, including raptors, hornbills and peacocks, monkeys and the buzzing of insects. With luck we’ll catch a glimpse of sunning crocodiles and thirsty elephants. It’s rare to see people and the solitude is priceless. We will have a number of rapids to manage. We again set our sights on a deserted river beach camp which is in view of an elephant corridor , a jungle route for elephants crossing the river. In the past we have found elephant bones and witnessed bulls sparing as herds of up to 100 elephants have crossed the river within site of our camp. Dinner under the stars, a chance to share stories, relive the day’s adventure and fall into a deep slumber. Fires are kept burning all night and guides take turns keeping watch over the camp, its simply a breathtaking location.
Day 4 (B)
The last day’s paddle is usually a slow departure – We are often awaken to the sound of elephants making there way back across the river at dawn. An early morning canoe safari is the best way to watch this parade of wild elephants making this crossing. The river widens as we leave Wasgamuwa behind, This section is an excellent area to view crocodiles on the beaches sunning themselves after a long night in the cool waters. The topography levels out and the dense jungle gives way to farmland. The sand mining again picks up until we see nothing but lines of boats along the river banks mining the river sand which is used to fuel the transformation of a developing nation. We reach our final destination by lunch time. All the gear is loaded and cleaned and we will depart for our next destination.
INCLUDED / EXCLUDED
What is Included?
Experienced river guides who are trained in certified in CPR and First Aid, First Aid Kit, International Standard Safety Equipment, Mobile phone in case of emergencies, Optional Support Gear, Raft, All camping gear, Kayaks and/or Canoes and paddles, All activities, meals and drinks, All other necessary equipment.
What is Excluded?
Travel to the Pick up point, sodas and alcoholic beverages (none are available at site, need to buy by yourself prior arrival), tipping and gratuities to guide & the community. Travel Insurance
What to Bring?
Head lamp, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, binocular, dry bag, money (no ATM), change of clothes, swimwear, water bottle, toiletries, own medical treatment, basic first aid kit,
Things you should know!
Cell phone coverage is none available. Satellite phone will be in case of emergency available from the main guide. Electricity will be provided only from 6-12pm via solar led light (No electricity empowered by generator), you may need to prepare a torchlight. Outdoor activities are subject to weather conditions, and may be re-organised in the event of bad weather.
Daily based on a minimum booking of 6 pax per departure. (Less than 6 pax supplement will be applies).
Made for adventureous & Sportive couples, families (No children minimum 12yrs old), groups of friends and others in excellent physical condition and good stamina keen on wildlife and canoe river drifting in an adventurous setting. We consider Mahaweli Canoe River Expedition a basic-range mobile tent type accommodation set up every night by yourself (with the help of your guides) by the river side on the selected sites by your guide so it is suitable for those wanting to experience down river in an off the beaten path and adventurous set-up with canoe river drifting, wildlife lover & meet the native community .
Do we accept children
Children below 12 yrs old will not be accepting in this adventure. There are no specific facilities for children during the last 3 days and we wouldn't recommend the retreat for children.
ALL YEAR AROUND (ESPECIALLY JANUARY TO MARCH)