In August I headed up into the hill country with two friends to beat the heat in Colombo. Our destination was the Kelbourne Tea Estate just outside of Haputale. Kelbourne Estate has three English tea bungalows set high up in the mountains in the middle of a working tea plantation. You are waited on hand and foot, and can have dinner in your own dinning room surrounded by ever present green tea bushes.

Of course half the fun of getting to the hill country is driving up through the stunning scenery

That is until you get stuck behind a manure truck and two bused sizing up each other’s %$##*

We picked the Wildflower Cottage with three bedrooms and…

…what was supposed to be a stunning view….
Getting closer to the view as the clouds pass underneath us
Ah, there it is

At night the temperature drops enough to rationalize a fire in a tropical country

The front doors open up the living room to the most amazing couch view I have ever had
In front of me a cliff drops 50 feet down, and then another couple of miles straight down to elephant roaming plains

With tea trails crossing endlessly before us we couldn’t resist a nice hike

Windy
Scattered through out the trails are small villages of tea pickers
With no supermarkets in walking distance these guys supply the family with milk

Tea plantation kids

Hindu temple with a view
We finally had to force ourselves to stop as the views were never ending

There is never a dull moment, even on the way home

Tea fields

I highly recommend Kelburne Mountain View Cottages to anyone going to the hill country. It is a bit more expense than other bungalows (about $180 USD per night without food). However, the cottage accomodates up to 6 and the views are breathtaking. Of the three cottages, the Wildflower has the best views and atmosphere followed by Arie cottage.


If you go

Reservations:

Visit the company’s website at:

http://www.kelburnemountainview.com/

Reservations can be made in Colombo as well as payment in advance. The small, hidden, unmarked office is just off of Galle Road before Liberty Place. Call them if you get lost…which you will.

Getting there:
A car is essential, either a hired car (which is easily sorted in Colombo), or your own. You can also take a bus to Haputale town and then a trishaw the rest of the way.


From Colombo : Take the Badulla/Bandarawela Road through Ratnapura (A4). At Haputale Town cross-road take the right turn on the Dambettene Road (approx. 1 mile). Turn at the Kelburne Mountain View board.

From Kandy :
Take the Peradeniya/Badulla Road (A5) to Welimada. Turn right on the Welimada/Bandarawela Road to reach Haputale.

From down South: Take the A2 road to Wellawaya through Hambantota and turn left onto the Koslanda/Beragala Road , join the A5. Or, go straight to Ella on the A23 and drive to Bandarawela/Haputale.


When to go: The guide books suggest December to April are the driest months in the hill country and the South West. They are right, but if you want to the excellent views the staff at Kelbourne recommended the rainy season of May-September as the clouds below are regularly blow aside.

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5 Responses to “Weekend in Haputale Sri Lanka”

  1. SusilNo Gravatar says:

    Dear Todd

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    Susil

  2. My favorite is the one with the truck and two buses…classic! :) looks like a beautiful place..

  3. Kirigalpoththa says:

    Excellent photos!

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