White Water Rafting is an exciting and adventurous activity that is conducted at Kithulgala. The 07 rapids that extend over a few kilometers along the Kelani River are in the White water rafting packages. The rafting experience is the popular activity but along with this, there are a few more activities that could be performed here at Kithulgala.
The easiest way to reach Kithulgala is via the Avissawella – Hatton route. The timing would be of about 03 ½ hours on regular speed with traffic. The driving should be started early from Colombo so that you can reach Kithulgala by 11.00 a.m. at least.
The Kelani River is the location for the White water rafting and at Kithulgala area, there are 07 rapids. Rapids are the rocky adventurous parts where the river water makes the white foam and also makes the boat ride awesome.
We booked through My Ceylon Adventures by Amaranath and his location at Kithulgala is by far the best. With overlooking the River, this location has a large restaurant, a few rooms on site that makes it convenient for the clients. We were greeted warmly by the staff, provided with some refreshments.
Thereafter we left the accommodation area towards the start for the White water rafting area. A Lorry came over and asked us to hop on and we left upstream via the road. Then, at a warehouse kinda place, they gave us the Life Jackets, the Helmets and also a Dry-Bag for the Camera. We had to rundown a series of stairs to get to the river bank where they start the rafting. The awesome boat was brought up by our Guide for the day, which was provided from the MCA supplier. We were told of the Commands that he uses, like Forward, Backwards, Hold the rope etc. He demonstrates them and runs a few trials.
Then starts the Rafting Experience, with 03 Hard Rapids and 04 lower Rapids will make the rafting journey interesting and Screaming your Lungs Out! The hustle and fun ride with holding the boat, paddling fast, resting and then again screaming with the flow is amazing! The rafting experience ends with a quick jump into the river where the waters are calm. Our Guide was fun enough to Turn the boat upside down without any warning and it was the best part!
We end the Rafting at the Plantation Hotel area and ride up to the Base camp location for the Lunch. Yummy! Yummy! The BBQ Lunch was so delicious and suited well after the Rafting experience. The pork, chicken, fish and sausages were amazingly prepared in a stylish manner that we had it until out stomachs cried not to eat anymore.
Then we started with our Sliding on Rocks and Confidence Jump experiences. The walk through the hefty village and tea plantations, muddy paths and crossing over waterways was fun and thrilling. I had a hard time carrying out the camera because the path we had was very difficult to walk on..
The Sliding on Rocks was first! It was so scary seeing how the water was rushing over the rocks and imagining how I would be sliding on them. Of course I could not carryout my camera as it’s no GoPro but managed to make a small video on how it happens. First the supports hold you still on the starting position for the Sliding and then BAM! You are released and you slide on the rocks, turning and twisting along with the water flow. You drop into a Natural pool with water and I was shit scared at this time.
Then again, another Sliding experience lined up and BAM! I was sliding on the rocks, hitting hard on the rocks but to the speed of the water flow, the body manages to evade the dangers and of course, we had safe head gears and the life jackets on.
The finish of the Sliding on the rocks commences with the Confidence Jump. You are on the top of a cliff, seeing a pool of water around 10 feet below and not sure if you will hit on the bottom, if you will land on a wrong angel or finally the fear of drowning into the cool waters.. All this combined is the feeling you have when you are on top and then again, the supporting team pushes me into the pool without giving me any time to think…
All I see is water everywhere, cold water hitting my body a fear of drowning though the life jacket is on. Well, luckily, none of the things happened and I was floating as a leaf on the cool pond. Then again, our supporting guys pulled me up from the waters and whoa, pushed me back into another pool making me fall another 10 feet or something.
Well, that was it! The Confidence Jump and the Sliding on Rocks at Kithulgala. Later we walked back to the Base camp and had a little refreshment again and the guys were resting. We drove back into Colombo via the same route and it was OK as the traffic was not much.
Activities at Kithulgala: White water rafting | Sliding on Rocks | Confidence Jump
Things to take: A Camera – preferably a GoPRO
What to wear: Shorts with Flip-flops
Rafting time: Average of 1 ½ hrs for the rafting | 1 ½ hrs for rest