Hard-core adrenalin junkies of budding novices in the adventure sports area have some fabulous experiences to look forward to in the great outdoors in Sri Lanka–on terra firma or the waters of the ocean by its coastal towns and villages.
Seaside Mirissa for a Whale Watch
The rich nuances of the fortified setting of Galle are a treasured holiday diversion for the history and heritage buff. But not too far away at the coastal village of Mirissa there’s another slice of a natural heritage that’s definitely worth exploring. For long now the ocean waters of this little village have played host to the world’s largest creatures from the sea– whales, as well as their more frolicsome buddies–dolphins. All it takes is to get into the car to cover that short distance by road and spend some magical moments in the company of these wondrous sea creatures. This most exclusive whale watching safari on water in search of the blue whale will provide you fodder for hours of conversations with friends and like-minded outdoor adventure junkies.
Sigirya Rock-Captivating Climbers
Rock climbers love the idea that each site offers its own set of challenges to prove their mettle. In Sri Lanka, the highly popularised historic setting of Sigriya Rock (350m) provides an exciting dimension to the climbing experience. Access is via a vertiginous series of stairs and galleries cut into the mountainside of the Lion Rock. Not only is the granite monolith a challenge along the route to the summit of the lion rock, one may stop for a breather amongst features that date back to centuries. The water gardens near the main entrance and terraced boulder gardens further ahead on the climb certainly need your attention. Then there are the beautiful frescos adorning the rock indentations, reflected in the beautifully polished ‘mirror wall’ opposite. The last bit, the steepest, takes you through the colossal Lion Paws entrance to the palace of Sinhalese ruler Kasyapa in the 480 C.E, which now lies in ruins. The climb is ideal for all ages and fitness levels.
Elephantastic Pool Party
If you are travelling in Colombo in the dry season, there’s an event you in the great outdoors you should plan not to miss. You must have heard and read plenty about the Great Wildbeeste Migration in Africa. How about you grab the chance of witnessing ‘The Gathering’ of about 300 wild elephants in Sri Lanka–which may be smaller in scale, but no less impressive? For those not in the know, each year, in Africa, over 2 million animals (wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle) migrate in a clockwise direction across the ecosystems of the Serengeti (Tanzania) and the Masai Mara (Kenya). Your venue is the gorgeous setting of the Minneriya National Park, where these behemoths gather (July through early November) on the embankments of an ancient reservoir commissioned by King Mahasen in the 2nd Century CE. It’s an unforgettable experience–witnessing this event involving the highest concentration of wild Asian elephant in the world, as the animals spend time here feeding on the lush grass, mating, nursing babies, head banging, socializing and frolicking in the muddy water. The park is just 180 km away from Colombo.
Deep Sea Fishing
The southern coastal town of Weligama is the perfect jump-off point for a rewarding deep sea fishing experience. The waters around Weligama are a magnet for sea anglers around the world. What is resonates with anglers is the truly stimulating about fishing in these waters is the fabulous marine inhabitants here including GT (Giant Trevally/Jack Trevally), Wahoo, Spanish Mackerel, Yellowfin tuna, Sailfish, Grouper, Snapper and Mahi Mahi to not so common Swordfish and Marlins.
This is just a small sampling of the amazing outdoor adventure experiences Sri Lanka wants to share with the global adventure sports community. Repeat visits are very much on the cards, so do plan for more thrilling adventures on the ’Spice Island’ to fill your memory bank.