Some of the river of Sri Lanka affords the opportunity for the recreational activists and water sport enthusiast to enjoy whitewater rafting. Rafting is based in the hill country and the best rivers descend from Adam’s Peak.


In the hill country is the most famous whitewater rafting location in Sri Lanka. Kitulgala holds out the chance to enjoy the stunning tropical scenery of the region. Kitulgala is located about 80 kilometres from Colombo on the A7 main road that runs to Nuwara Eliya via Avissawella. Kitulglala also attracts birders and nature lovers in addition to the whitewater rafters in view of the bird life abound in the Kitulgala. Kitulgala is the movie location of David Lean’s 1957 epic, Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed.

Kalu Ganga

The River spills out of the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, tumbling its way down a 20km gorge. With grade four and five rapids is only for experienced paddlers.

Kelani River

A perfect place to get your paddle wet for the first time, Kitulgala offers a one-hour rafting trip with challenging rapids, spectacular scenery and a tasty end-of-paddle meal. On the way down you pass locals swimming, their rafts piled high with sand, and the site of the railway in the 1957 movie Bridge Over the River Kwai. Behind you, mountains are covered in a mixture of thick rainforest and tea and rubber plantations.

Mahaweli River

Sri Lanka’s biggest river offers a variety of challenges ranging from easy grade two sections to hair-raising grade six drops. This is a trip for experienced paddlers only. Dams control the flow of this river, which starts in the hills and runs to the east.

Sitawaka River

The Sitawaka River is in the neighbouring valley to Kitulgala and offers the next step up in challenge and excitementOnly 90 minutes from Colombo, this trip is a great adventure.

Sudu River

‘Sudu’ meaning white river has a four-hour paddle with grade two and three rapids. Combine watching the activity of the numerous river communities with the usual rafting thrills.

Walawe Ganga

A grade two river with the benefit of watching for large herds of elephants in the Uda Walawe National Park, this trip offers fun and wildlife. The journey ends near Ambalantota on the south coast.