Kitulgala is located about 80 kilometres from Colombo on the A7 main road that runs to Nuwara Eliya via Avissawella. Kitulgala is a pleasant town set amidst green hills thick with tropical vegetation. The name Kitulgala itself is derived from the Kitul palm tree, groves of which are abound in the expanses. Kitul sap is concentrated and then crystallized to produce jaggery. Kitul sap is also fermented to make palm wine.A rain forestry area, which gets two monsoons each year, and is one of the wettest places in Sri Lanka. Nevertheless, it comes alive in the first three months of the year, especially in February, the driest month. The Academy Award-winning movie The Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed on the Kelani River near Kitulgala, although nothing remains now except the concrete foundations for the bridge Kitulgala is the base for white-water rafting in Sri Lanka.
Large numbers of people make the excursion from Colombo at weekends to enjoy the beautiful scenery, play in the river, Jungle Walks, Adventurous water fall jumps/ slides, White Water Rafting and have an excellent rice and curry lunch at the local restaurants.
The Kelani river is wide at Kitulgala, but it is shallow apart from a deep channel near the opposite bank, so in the drier months it provides a safe and attractive place to swim, wash and play. Many birders stay at Kitulgala. This area has most of the rainforest bird species that are found at the World Biosphere Reserve at Sinharaja, although in lower numbers. However, the secondary forest and cultivation at Kitulgala is more open than the pristine woodlands of Sinharaja, and elusive endemic species like Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Green-billed Coucal and Spot-winged Thrush may be easier to see. So Kitulgala is a primary spot for bird watching enthusiasts.
Inside the jungles of Kitulgala there are plenty of camping opportunities which can be coupled with White Water Rafting, Bird Watching, Jungle Walks, River bathing and many adventure activities.
Canyoning is travelling in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include other outdoor activities such as walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling, and swimming.
Although non-technical descents such as hiking down a canyon (canyon hiking) are often referred to as canyoneering, the terms canyoning and canyoneering are more often associated with technical descents those that require abseils (rappels) and ropework, technical climbing or down-climbing, technical jumps, and/or technical swims.
Canyoning is frequently done in remote and rugged settings and often requires navigational, route-finding, and other wilderness travel skills.
Canyons that are ideal for canyoning are often cut into the bedrock stone, forming narrow gorges with numerous drops, beautifully sculpted walls, and sometimes spectacular waterfalls. Most canyons are cut into limestone, sandstone, granite, or basalt, though other rock types are found. Canyons can be very easy or extremely difficult, though emphasis in the sport is usually on aesthetics and fun rather than pure difficulty. A wide variety of canyoning routes are found throughout the world, and canyoning is enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels.
Canyoning gear includes climbing hardware, static or semi-static ropes, helmets, wetsuits, and specially designed shoes, packs, and rope bags. While canyoneers have used and adapted climbing, hiking, and river running gear for years, more and more specialized gear is invented and manufactured as canyoning popularity increases. If you are looking at a adventure and leisure base close to Colombo, Kithulgala is the place.