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If you’re on a big Sri Lankan trip on our tiny island, we recommend that you head straight to Habarana after your Dambulla tour. Lightly populated by people, Habarana is a definite mid-country safari destination given its 10 minute drive to the Minneriya National Park. What it lacks in crowds and bustle, it makes up for in elephants and many other endemic flora and fauna.

The almost feral greenery and lack of a large populace in Habarana is the perfect setting for wildlife to dwell. Elephants are known to make their annual migratory walk across this wilderness making your hotel room window a perfect frame to watch them go by. If that’s not enough, hop into a safari jeep and head right into the heart of it all – camera in hand to capture moments you won’t know will happen until they do!
Another special feature in Habarana are the elephant rides from March to July when the water levels are high, making for a better way to cross the rivers when you’re in the wild, keeping you close to the water for a surreal experience as you wobble your way to the other side, carried on the back of this magnificent, giant, king of the Sri Lankan forest.

If you’re not into safaris and wildlife, you can make a day trip to Sirigiya, an ancient rock fortress and palace – another UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Many luxury lodges, villas and estates are strewn across Habarana, built into the surrounding rainforest environment making for one-of-a-kind stays. The location also offers camping expeditions that range from five-star to rustic. Habarana life is wild, rustic and luxurious all at the same time.

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