Night tour at Sinharaja Rainforest

Night Tour At Sinharaja Rain Forest

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Imagine stepping into a world shrouded in darkness, where mysterious creatures come to life, and the forest shows a completely different side to itself. Welcome to the night tour at Sinharaja Rainforest – An experience that will enrich your tour to Sri Lanka and leave a mark in your memory. As the last hint of daylight fades away on the horizon, the enchanting forest comes to life. The nocturnal creatures emerge from their abode and make it evident that darkness is their sole territory. The earthy fragrance changes to something else, and you witness the same forest in a completely different light.

In this blog, we will take you on a thrilling journey into the depths of the Sinharaja Rainforest. You will discover the secrets of darkness and the UNESCO World Heritage Site. So get ready to embark on an extraordinary adventure. Immerse yourself in the darkness and unveil mysteries that will remain with you for a lifetime.

My Experience On The Night Tour At Sinharaja Rainforest

After enjoying a sumptuous meal, I threw on a pair of pants and shoes apt for the occasion. Next, I packed my raincoat, a head torch, and a camera, all geared up for the night hike through the rainforest. Accompanied by a guide named Hemal who had an additional powerful torch that would light up our path in the forest. Together we kickstarted our adventure to explore the hidden wonders that awaited us.

Common Hour Glass Tree Frog - Polypedates cruciger
Common Hour Glass Tree Frog – Polypedates cruciger

We began by traversing through the outskirts of the silent village enveloped in the darkness and stillness of the night. As we entered the rainforest, the dark green trees instantly devoured us so did the sound of frogs. The towering trees concealed the sky and stars above, plunging us into an abyss of darkness, but Hemal’s torch illuminated the path. Occasionally we encountered owls perched on branches hooting and disrupting the quiet atmosphere. We tried to switch off our torches to immerse ourselves, but seeing anything ahead of us was nearly impossible. 

Forsten's Cat snake - Boig forsteni (Sinhala Naga Mapila, Le Mapila)
Forsten’s Cat snake – Boig forsteni (Sinhala Naga Mapila, Le Mapila)

Despite the challenge, we pressed on, driven by our curiosity. Amidst the mysterious shadows, we caught sight of a snake slithering stealthily through the undergrowth. We continued our hike, which spanned 1.5 kilometers and required us to exercise caution. The terrain was quite slippery due to wet leaves and moss-covered boulders. Each step demanded our utmost attention as we had to scan the path ahead for snakes, other animals, and potential hazards that could harm us.

Sri Lanka Red Slender Loris - Loris tardigradus
Sri Lanka Red Slender Loris – Loris Tardigradus

My balance wavered as I carefully treaded on tree branches, twigs, and leaves, mindful of the lurking snakes and insects. A glimmer of sparkling red eyes caught Hemal’s attention, revealing the presence of the elusive Lorris, gracefully crawling among the treetops.

Sri Lanka Scorpion - Metrus Serratus
Sri Lanka Scorpion – Metrus Serratus

Further along the trail, Hemal cautiously coaxed a scorpion out from beneath a rock using a gentle touch of a stick.

Green Vine Snake - Ahaetulla nasuta
Green Vine Snake – Ahaetulla nasuta

Our journey continued as we encountered a variety of wildlife, including lizards, a vibrant green vine snake, and a menacing black serpent. At times, I felt scared, and fear almost overpowered me. My fight-or-flight instincts as me to retreat, but I continued due to my unfathomable curiosity. What truly helped was Hemal’s reassurance and his thirteen years of experience in these forests. His words encouraged me to persevere. At one point, I had to stop to drink a few sips of water, gather my courage, and regain the level-headed perspective with which I began this journey.

Blue Mormon Butterfly - Papilio polymnestor
Blue Mormon Butterfly – Papilio polymnestor

Every sense was heightened as we ventured deeper into the rainforest. Our eyes strained to pierce the darkness, our ears keenly attuned to the sounds of nature, and our noses smelled the scent of the dense forest. We were quite conscious of every contact we made in the dark region and were alert to avoid encounters with leeches and other dangerous insects. A flying squirrel darted overhead while a wildcat prowled the lofty tree branches gracefully.

Stripped Bronzeback Snake - Dendrelaphis caudolineolatus
Stripped Bronzeback Snake – Dendrelaphis caudolineolatus

Hemal’s keen senses enabled him to spot wildlife swiftly, even when I struggled. He skillfully directed the beam of light, revealing the hidden treasures of the rainforest. Amidst our explorations, we stumbled upon a bucket containing naturally fermented alcohol, filling the air with its distinct scent.

Patience became our ally as we searched for elusive creatures. Eventually, we arrived at an unexpected dwelling nestled within the wilderness. Curiosity led me to converse with the three men residing there, gaining insights into their lives in the rainforest. Despite the dangers, they expressed a sense of security and contentment, preferring this natural haven over life amongst civilization.

Meeting locals inside the Sinharaja rainforest

They shared tales of encounters with rare species, one of them proudly displaying a scar from a python bite. He wore a pendant made from the right canine tooth of a leopard, a symbol of his connection to the wilderness. The tooth, heavy and polished, bore the marks of a majestic predator. Their stories resonated deeply within me as I listened in awe, with Hemal translating their words from Sinhala to English. It was a privilege to listen to their narratives and adventures. It was a reminder of how life can be so different for different people. In fact, you find people who are most content and happy in the most unexpected scenarios and places. 

Abandoned birdwatcher's hut

Continuing our journey, we traversed 200 meters through tea plantations, reaching a traveler’s hut for birdwatching during the day. An abandoned house and a silent reminder of forgotten tales stood nearby. I marveled at the fireflies dancing in the night sky and gazed at the stars above, overwhelmed by their sheer beauty.

Resting upon a massive rock, we relished the stillness of the rainforest before making our way back as the clock struck 11. Hemal’s resourcefulness extended to mimicking animal sounds, attracting the attention of the creatures that called this place home.

Even today, the vivid memories of that unforgettable experience remain etched in my mind. Overcoming my fears of the dark and the wild, I embarked on a solo adventure accompanied by Hemal. I am grateful for my determination to push through despite moments of doubt. The experience enriched my life, and I will cherish it forever.

Truly, the nightlife in the heart of the dense rainforest offers an extraordinary and awe-inspiring perspective that words can hardly capture.

For more information about the cost, entry fees into the Sinharaja Rain forest, Guide Hemal’s contact number, and all 5 entrances refer to this detailed guide.

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