The Knuckles Mountains are one of Sri Lanka's true natural gems. A treasure-trove of biodiversity, it is home to a unique variety of flora, fauna and culture. This stunning region, know traditionally as the 'misty mountains', is rarely seen by tourists visiting Sri Lanka.
Rising to heights of more than 1800 metres, this conservation area’s spectacular scenery is a paradise for walkers and nature lovers with an extensive network of forest trails, rivers and waterfalls. The 155 sq km region contains five major forest types, a wide variety of rare and endemic flora and fauna and some breathtaking mountain scenery.
There are at least 1,033 species of flower plants, of which approximately 255 species of trees are part of. The Knuckles region is rich in fauna such as sambhur, barking deer, mouse deer, wild boar, giant squirrel and the slender loris. Two endemic primates can be found - the toque monkey and the purple-faced leaf monkey, as well as several species of endemic fish, amphibians and reptiles. There are 17 out of 23 endemic species of Sri Lankan birds.
However, the Knuckles is also facing complex issues concerning its future and conservation of the natural and social heritage is under threat. Experience Travel are proud to work exclusively in collaboration with two operations that are addressing these issues from unique and specialist perspective.
The delightful hideaway villa at Illuks is also a centre of research into the biodiversity of the region. Here guests can learn much about the natural history and future of the Knuckles whilst relaxing in total privacy.
Abode gives visitors a very different perspective. Living amongst the peoples indigenous to the forest, you are given a fascinating insight into the challenges they face from a dwindling population increasingly drawn away to an urban existence.
Staying at both of these locations is a truly unique experience, both different but complimentary. Whatever your itinerary, a visit to the Knuckles is a must for naturalists and anyone with a quest for adventure.