The Kanneliya Rainforest is one of Sri Lanka’s lesser-known forest reserves, yet astonishingly, is one of the world’s twenty-one biodiversity hotspots. Marked as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2004, the forest covers an area of 5,306 hectares and boasts a diverse range of flora and fauna. Some 220 faunal species (of which 41 are endemic) have been recorded, including 86 species of mammals, 36 species of snakes (17 endemic forms), and several varieties of fish, butterflies, dragonflies, amphibians, and reptiles. Of the 33 endemic birds in Sri Lanka, 20 of them can be found here. Flora includes over 500 types of trees and a wide variety of medicinal herbs and rare plants. The reserve is also a major catchment area for two of the most important rivers in the region, the Gin and Nilwala Ganga (river), which feed many other rivers and streams. Four attractions in this tropical rainforest include the cascading Anagimale Waterfall, an ancient tangled giant creeper the height of a person, the little waterfall of Narangas Ella and a massive Nevada tree with an observation platform – a great spot to look out over the lush reserve. Neatly tucked away just 63 kilometres from Galle Fort, the outskirts of the Kanneliya forest houses around seventy-eight villages. Your tracker is from one of these villages and has spent his entire life within the reserve. Our recommended trek is approximately 2 hours and takes you past the Nevada tree to the beautiful Anagimale Waterfall. The tracker will walk you through the forest, showing you unique plants and trees, and pointing out any animal sightings along the way. If you’re feeling adventurous you can crawl through a mini cave underneath the rainforest floor. You will stop at the waterfall for refreshments and a quick break, before heading back to the entrance of the forest. The cherry on top – you’ll finish with a hearty Sri Lankan Rice and Curry lunch cooked by your tracker’s wife in their nearby home, served in the shallows of an idyllic lake. The scenery is straight out of The Jungle Book and the opportunity to be out in nature makes this a fantastic experience for families and children. If you wish to go on one of the longer treks (3.5 hours or 5 hours) please get in touch with the team who will assist in arranging this for you.