Explorer by Mahoora Camps - Knuckles

Explorer by Mahoora Camps -

Welcome to the most authentic “roughing-it in great style” experience Sri Lanka has to offer. Your private camp in the crisp wilderness of the Knuckles Mountain Range, is a return to the simplicity and authenticity of trekking life, save for a few 21st century comforts.

It’s camping but without having to let go of the creature comforts or attentive service that is intrinsic to a Mahoora Experience. Explorer by Mahoora is particularly appealing to those in search of an opportunity to connect up-close with the earth and wildlife in a way they have never done before, in wonderful seclusion.

Isolation lends itself to privacy for an intimate experience with nature, making it really just you and nature, with no traces of civilisation making it the perfect escape for families or big groups of friends.

With a private naturalist, chef, and camp staff, excursions can be arranged at any time, guided hikes may be as long or as short as you choose, and adventurous experiences await.

map of explorer by mahoora knuckles in sri lanka
Camping at explorer by mahoora knuckles in sri lanka

Return to real camping and mountain hiking

Escape into the mountains and fill your days with cloud forests, secret waterfalls, isolated villages, and adventurous hikes in a remote part of Knuckles Mountain Range Sri Lanka. Your mountainous adventure unfolds with a freezing dip in the river by the campsite; watching the steam curl from our signature herbal porridge made with an old secret recipe for lunch; a full day trek to Elephant’s Head Rock, where you explore old villages and the Knuckles Nature Reserve before heading to the mystical cloud forest; a hike to Satiny Falls near an isolated rural village in the Knuckles Mountain Range; a nature walk to The Misty Valley for a cup of tea or lunch in the village, where inhabitants still live the childhood stories you’ve heard of ancient Sri Lankan village life; the Forgotten Village Trekking Trail to the foothills of Knuckles Mountain Range, riddled with folklore and mystery.

Your private camping adventure in the mountains awaits.

a girl relaxing near a river at explorer by mahoora knuckles in sri lanka

Living Experience

Explorer by Mahoora is a highly unique and immersive experience of living with untamed Sri Lankan wildlife inside National Parks, Nature Reserves and Mountain Ranges across the country. Our Private Tented Camp Experience in the Knuckles Mountain Range is a surreal escape from city life to live and breathe the fresh mountain air.

The tented accommodation, set amongst a canopy of tall trees, hides the sharp rays of the sun, giving a sense of privacy and seclusion. As the rain spatters, at times tropical downpours, you will hear a melody of songs from frogs that were in hiding. The sounds of the water gushing in the adjoining river (Thelgamu Oya) is wonderfully therapeutic.

Mornings are simply amazing, as you sit outside the verandah of your tent and sip on a cup of hot coffee or tea. Wake up to lazy mornings – as sunshine creeps slowly through the leaves – and to the singing of an array of birdlife that have made those trees their home.

If you are up for more activity, take a dip in the river at the lower edge of the campsite or drop in for a quick visit to the farmers – to watch them in action in the paddy fields or the Chena (Slash and Burn cultivation).

accommodation at explorer by mahoora knuckles camps in sri lanka

The Explorer by Mahoora Living Experience combines rustic with modern. Enjoy a spacious, tented camp accommodation which includes:

  • A fully-sealed tent (15.6”x 8”) with ventilation nets for added comfort

  • A cosy bedroom with mattresses and raised double beds

  • En-suite bathroom with complimentary toiletries, showering facilities using pipe-borne cold running water, and a flushable toilet

  • Freshly laundered bed linens and towels

  • Private veranda / porch outside the tent

  • Flashlight / torch, slippers, leech socks and umbrellas

  • A shoe rack, 2 foldable arm-chairs and a coffee table

  • Unlimited glass-bottled water

Due to the nature of the jungle environment, a standby generator is available for charging laptops and cameras on request. There is no electricity in the tent.

Your stay with us will always be eco-friendly and carbon neutral.

Dinining experience at explorer by mahoora camps knuckles in sri lanka
Dining Experience

The truly private and relaxing atmosphere of the campsite gives you the kind of dining ambience required to do justice to the Chef’s Special of the Day. Your culinary experience includes a few specialties that have been firm favourites of the locals for generations. Our special herbal porridge, made with three herbs, is based on an age-old recipe that the locals swear by for good health and vitality.

Your mountain range dining is set up within the campsite, and meals are freshly prepared on-site by our executive chef using the freshest fruits and vegetables from the local community.

Fish and meat items are purchased from local fishermen and a reputable food supplier respectively. A BBQ Dinner takes place on one night while à la carte meals – both Sri Lankan and Western – are served at other times.

The camp has a fully-equipped kitchen complete with modern cooling and freezing facilities. Special dietary requirements can be catered to upon prior notice. Menus are deliciously local and carefully designed for your palate, so your culinary journey complements the rest of your adventure.

Walking Trails

Walking trails are the best way to explore the beauty of the misty Knuckles Mountain Range. We have carefully curated a number of trails for those who seek the thrill and fascination of the world from above.

Elephant Head Trail

Satiny Falls Trail

Misty Valley Trail

Forgotten Village Trail

Included in your package:

  • A personal chef and naturalist.

  • All meals; breakfast, lunch, high tea, and dinner. This includes snacks and juices.

  • Experienced, uniformed, professional and discreet staff.

  • A wealth of knowledge backed by over 20 years of experience as pioneers in the field of operating mobile camping.

  • All Nature Reserve and tracker’s fees, taxes and service charges.

  • A unique lunch and dinner setting within the camp area.

  • Atmospheric lighting with a campfire, traditional oil lamps, and hurricane lamps.

Knuckles Mountain Range

The mountain range situated in Central Sri Lanka that takes the shape of clenched fists is referred to as Knuckles Mountain Range. The colonial British gave this name based on its formation of recumbent folds and peaks. However, it is known in the local tongue as Dumbara Kanduvetiya, meaning ‘mist-laden mountain range’. The Knuckles Mountain Range covers parts of the Kandy and Matale districts in Sri Lanka. It is separated from the Central Hills by the Mahaweli Valley to the South and East, and the Matale Valley to the West.

Knuckles mountain range in sri lanka

20 species of amphibians have been recorded in the Knuckles wilderness of which 12 are both endemic and endangered. A highlight is Kirthisinghe's Rock Frog, which is found nowhere else in the world. 53 species of reptiles have been identified here of which 23 are endemic. Most commonly spotted during a nature trek are small geckos, pythons and monitor lizards. Among the endemic lizard species found at the Knuckles Range are Crestless Lizards (Calotes Leocephalus), Pygmy Lizards (Cophotis ceylonica), Kangaroo Lizards (Otocryptus Wiegmanni) and Leaf-nosed Lizards (Ceretophora Tennennti). There are 25 species of freshwater fish as well.

Over 130 species of birds inhabit the Knuckles Mountain Range and 20 of these are endangered. The endemics are represented by the Sri Lankan White Eye, Sri Lankan Hanging Parrot, Sri Lankan Layard’s Parakeet, Sri Lankan Spur Fowl, Sri Lankan Spot Wing Thrush, Sri Lankan Wood Pigeon, Sri Lankan Green Pigeon and the rare Sri Lankan Whistling Thrush. Migrants include Asian Paradise Flycatchers, Kashmir Flycatcher (which is endangered) Indian Pitta, Common Sandpiper, Gray and Forest Wagtails, Greenish Warbler and the Indian Blue Chat.

It has an amazing diversity of plants, and species that makes it stand out as one of the most amazing places to visit in Sri Lanka. A unique feature here is that Knuckles seems to have its own climatic microcosm and is home to a higher percentage of the island’s biodiversity - despite its small size. The vegetation found at Knuckles is divided into five types, these are: semi evergreen, sub montane, montane and riverine forests, and the pathana and savannah grasslands.

31 species of mammals have been recorded in Knuckles, four of which are endemic. Wild Buffalo, Wild Boar, Black-naped Hare, Jackal, the endemic Toque Macaque & Purple-faced Leaf Monkey are commonplace. Fishing Cats and Mouse Deer have also been spotted.


The weather is influenced by both locality and the influence of the dry and rainy seasons. Usually the mornings tend to be chilly, and as the day progresses, the warmth sets in with a boldness. The temperature can range anywhere from 5 to 35 degrees Celsius while humidity is generally quite high. The rainy season makes its presence from late October and lasts for some months. Strong, gusty winds and sudden, enveloping mists are known to take over without invitation – naturally, Knuckles gives you diversity in climate too. Come evening, the inevitable chill of the night makes you want to gather around the campfire with a warm drink in hand.

Starting from USD 490 per person

per night (minimum 2 persons.Need to book for 2 nights minimum )

All- inclusive with 4 safaris. Special rates are available for 3 to 6 persons.

Distance from cities - by road:

Kandy - 64 km - travel time: 2 hrs 45 mins

Matale - 38 km - travel time: - 1 hr 45 mins

Dambulla - 63 km - travel time: - 2 hrs

Nuwara Eliya - 162 km - travel time: - 4 hrs

Galoya - 136 km - travel time: - 3 hrs

Mahiyanganaya - 66 km - travel time: -1 hr 45 mins

Polonnaruwa - 84 km - travel time: - 2 hrs 15 mins

Best Rates Guaranteed

Mahoora Mobile Tented Safari Camps offer you the chance to experience an adventure which will dazzle, inspire and astonish.Choose from many locations and enjoy them with a team of individuals who set the benchmark for safari camping in Sri Lanka.