Horton Plains National Park, one of the most visited tourist sites in the nation, is situated in the central highlands at a height of 2535 meters in Ohiya. It was declared a protected national park in 1988 and a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010.

With its varied scenery, abundant wildlife, and fantastic trekking options, Horton Plains national park is a truly distinctive location in Sri Lanka. You may go to well-known locations such as Bakers Fall, miniature World’s End, and World’s End. The Horton Plains Trek is one of the most stunning and interesting hikes you’ll find in this amazing region.

  • Location: Central province, Sri Lanka
  • Nearest City:  Nuwara-Eliya
  • Area: 31.6 km² (3160 hectare)
  • Flora: Nearly 750 species of plants belonging to 20 families
  • Fauna: 24 species of mammals, 87 species of birds, 09 species of reptiles and 08 species of amphibians.
  • Established: 1969
  • Management: Department of Wildlife Conservation

History of the Horton Plains National Park

Planter Thomas Farr made the initial discovery of Horton plains in the first half of the 19th century. It was given that name in 1834 as a tribute to Sir Robert Wilmot Horton, who was the then-Gov. of Ceylon (1831-1837). A nature reserve was established in Horton Plains in 1969. 

What to see in Horton Plains National Park

You will see a varied panorama during the trip in Horton Plains National Park, including untamed grasslands, cloud forests, various types of rocks, stunning waterfalls, and hazy lakes. There is also a diverse range of fauna and flora pecies can be explores  inside the National Park. Three crucial Sri Lankan rivers, the Mahaweli, Kelani, and Walawe also originate from the Horton Plains.

It is really amazing to see the valley’s wonderful view of the tea plantation towns and the view of the southern shore. On a clear day, Worlds End’s horizon offers a glimpse of the ocean, which is 80 kilometers away. 

Samba Dear

Faunal Diversity of the Horton Plains National Park

The park is home to 24 species of mammals, 87 species of birds, 9 species of reptiles, and 8 species of amphibians. The largest and most prevalent animal at the moment is the sambar deer since the Sri Lankan elephant was last sighted here in the 1940s. 

With a population of around 2,000, samba deer may be in risk of going extinct, but steps are being done to make sure that won’t happen anytime soon. Among the various animals which can be seen here are gigantic squirrels, leopards, wild boars, and mongooses, to name a few.

The park serves as a nesting place for 21 indigenous bird species, including the Sri Lanka yellow-fronted barbet, Super fowl, and orange-billed babbler Horton Plains   Sri Lankan White-eye bird and Sri Lanka wood pigeon can be found.

Floral Diversity of the Horton Plains National Park

The park’s vegetation is divided into two separate groupings, including 1,160 hectares (4.5 square miles) of subtropical montane evergreen forests and 2,000 hectares (7.7 square miles) of wet “montane grasslands” The park is home to 750 plant species of which 27 are indigenous to Sri Lanka. ​

Top Attractions in Horton Plains National Park

World's End

World’s End is a dramatic drop of 4000 feet. It is a popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka and one of the most frequented areas in the Park. At World’s End, as there is no fence or barrier instaled, you should remain a safe distance when taking images.

Baker's Falls

Baker’s Falls, one of the park’s primary attractions and is routinely visited by tourists all year. The Baker’s falls is 20 meters tall. The waterfall was named after Sir Samuel Baker, an adventurer and a large game hunter used to live in Sri Lanka in British era.

World’s End

Baker’s Falls

How long is Horton Plains trek

The trek from enterence to World’s End is 4 km long. however thereafter, the route swings back to Baker’s Falls, which is 2 km away,  before continuing back to the entrance, which is another 3.5 km. The whole roundtrip distance is 9.5 kilometers and will take you around three hours.

Best time to visit Horton Plains

March through May is the best time for visiting Horton Plains National Park. In these months the park gets a little rain and it is not too chilly. It is much more enjoyable because flowers are in blossom at this season. In addition to March through May, December through February is an excellent season to visit the park since there is less possibility of rain and the temperature is mild.

What do you need for a hike in Horton Plains National Park

  • Good hiking shoes
  • Enough drinking water
  • Light snacks
  • Sunscreen or a hat
  • A sweater for the chilly morning
  • Your camera or binoculars

Important tips to know before visiting Horton Plains

  • Don’t carry any plastic / polythene
  • Don’t carry any open fire tools like matches, burners, etc.
  • Cigarettes and lighters are prohibited.
  • Do not make any loud noises.
  • Take all your garbage back with you.
  • Don’t feed any animals.
  • Do not take back anything belongs to the wilderness.

How to book a camping site in Horton Plains

The Sri Lanka Forest Department has magnificent campsites all around the island. These camp Sites can be reserved through the Battaramulla Forest Department main office. Horton Plains is unquestionably one of the greatest. Hortain Plains has three camping areas at a fee of Rs.2500/=. Each. Campground includes a toilet and may accommodate up to ten people. In addition, a car park near the tourist center is accessible for Rs.250.

Horton Plains is one of Sri Lanka’s smallest national parks. Despite its scale, it is considered one of the most beautiful parks in Sri Lanka. It is also one of the handful national parks that allows people to stroll. This is a must to visit destination among anyone visiting Sri Lanka.  Send us a message or leave a comment below if you have any inquiries about Horton Plains Natinal Park in Sri Lanka so we can get back to you.

Image courtesy of siddharth sarangan, Loek Zanders, Francesco Veronesi  via creative commons licenses. some rights reserved.

Ceylon Hunt has tour packages which facilitate Horton Plains Trek tours in Sri Lanka and you can check them going through our Nature Trail – Sri Lanka tour package or make the resevations through our website.