Horton Plains was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1969 and because of its biodiversity value, was elevated to a National Park in 1988. The Peak Wilderness Sanctuary, which lies to the west, is contiguous with the Park. At an altitude of 2,100 meters above sea level, Horton Plains spreads across over 3,169 hectares of the highest tableland of the island.
Horton Plains contains the most extensive area of cloud forest still existing in Sri Lanka. Horton Plains National Park, along with the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary and Knuckles Mountain Range comprises the Central Highlands World Heritage Site.
The Park is home to a wide variety of flora (57 species, 29 endemic to Sri Lanka) and 24 species of mammal such as elk, deer, giant squirrel, wild boar, wild hare, porcupine and leopard. For bird enthusiasts, there 87 species (14 of which are endemic), including many migratory birds.
The Plains also feature many interesting attractions such as Bakers Falls, Chimney Pool and the famous World’s End (a 3700 ft sheer drop that offers fabulous views of the tea estates below and all the way out to the distant southern coastline).
Visitors to the park can follow a 10km loop that incorporates all of the spectacular features, enabling them to enjoy them while adhering to the strict rules for environment protection and nature conservation. The best time to visit is early in the morning as this is when the air is likely to be clearest so that you can enjoy the best of the views. In the afternoons, clouds tend to descend and the area becomes submerged in mist. This is equally enthralling though and provides evidence for the evolution of this forest type.
We recommend leaving Tea Trails at 5am in order to catch the beauty of World’s End before mists descend. The drive would take about 2 hours. A packed breakfast and delicious picnic lunch accompanies you. The tour covers mini World’s End, World’s End and Bakers Falls. Return to Tea Trails for afternoon cream tea.