For the best activity it offers, rafting at alongside the retreat is action-packed, adventurous and promises loads of fun for the entire family. The Kelani River, with its grade three rapids, is ideal for both intermediate rafters as well as beginners
10 eco lodges have been built on his family estate in dense forest alongside the River Kelani– set of the famous film ‘Bridge on the River Kwai”. Join fellow guests in watching the film in the comfort of Channa’s 85 year old ancestral home. Channa runs a 3-day adventure programme (2 nights) packed with bird-watching, mountain biking, pre-historic Beli Lena caves, a day white-water-rafting (fine for age 6+ and non-swimmers). Rafters Retreat is an exciting contrast to the silence of the ancient cities or cultural Kandy City
The surrounding hill country is teeming with every fruit and vegetable imaginable. Fruit orchards and lowland tea plantations entice you to take a stroll in the early morning. Reward yourself en-route with a fresh mangostine or wood-apple or stop by at a local farmhouse for buffalo curd and treacle. Adventure, action and living with nature is key in this Robinson Crusoe hideaway. Owner, Channa, is the epitome of life in the woodland and on the river – safari shorts, braces, a woolly beard and a love of wildlife. Channa is an excellent host, inviting families, single travelers and adventurous couples into his self-built tree houses
Service is 100% within the context of eco-projects, welcoming, friendly and with lots of tuition on living with nature – but don’t expect any frills. April to November is the best time to visit Kitulgala to enjoy all the adventure and stunning lush countryside which is only 1½ – 2 hours from Kandy or the airport
As other people pointed out, this place is very much more an ecolodge / forest lodge and therefore anyone coming with the expectation of home comforts will be disappointed. However, that is definitely the appeal of the place. The huts are open to the trees and river, and therefore, yes, there may be bugs. The beds have good insect nets over them though so once you are safely tucked up you are safe!
We did rafting which was good and we were on the water for about an hour. Then the next day one of the guys took us up to some lovely pools up in the hills where we were able to swim and jump in etc. The scenery was spectacular!
Food on the terrace was very very good and we didn’t go hungry. The terrace is a great place to eat, have a beer and read a book. The noise of the river below makes it extremely relaxing. Staff were extremely friendly and good to chat to.
—-David, Scotland, United Kingdom —