The nitro cave is a large cave well hidden in the Knuckles Mountain Range. A large number of bats live in this cave. This activity is just right for exploring the Range and combining it with an adventurous journey into a hidden world.
The Nitro Caves are supposed to be thousands of years old and they get their name of the deposits of bats which contains nitrate. In the past those caves where mined as the deposits where used as a traditional raw material to produce gunpowder. Nowadays it is just nice to immerse yourself in this world, to observe and to explore it. A must for all adventurous people and natural lovers.
7 hours (Drive+Trek)
Fit and sure footed
Trek - Nitro
|Location:||Knuckles Mountain Range, Sri Lanka|
|Starting Point:||BFA pick up point , Thangappuwa (7 .00 AM)|
|Group size:||Maximum of 6 guests (bigger groups on request)|
|Available:||every day - on request|
Before we reach the starting point of our trek we head out with our safari vehicle on a drive through the range. In our roofed game vehicle you are comfortable seated and can enjoy the forest without anything blocking your view. The sides are open to oberseve and take pictures and protected on the sides and top from branches and rain by the roof. The drive will be around 1,5 hours before we reach the Nitro Caves.
We might see Purple Faced Leaf Monkeys, the Ceylon Jungle Fowl, a Giant Tree Squirrel, a huge number of butterflies and lots and lots of birds along the way. The two biggest Butterflies of Sri Lanka are found in this area – The Ceylon Birdwing with a wingspan up to 18cm and as well the Blue Mormon.
After reaching the entrance of the cave the hardest part is done as the climb looks easy but is very steep. Now it is time breathe and just enjoy what lays directly ahead of you.
Already impressed by standing outside the cave the view from the inside is just breathtakeing. At the entrance of the cave you can spot a few bats if you are lucky, but if you really want to watch them, you have to go a bit further into the cave. The soil is covered with bat deposits. The further you go into the cave the deeper you sink into the soil of deposits. It's like a powdery soil mixed with tiny remnants of insetcs. You should be sure-footed and not afraid to get a bit dirty. But in the end, all this is part of the adventure. Before you can see the bats you can already hear them - as the wing beat and a quiet squeak. And then they there they are.......right in front of your eyes. Mostly sleeping during the day before leaving the cave later with the onset of dusk. Some flutter excited about our visit through the cave. We enjoy the moment but do not want to bother them too long and slowly go right back to the entrance of the cave.
Time to let the impressions sink in and get rid of the dust of the bat depositis. Outside the cave only a few meters away there is a small waterfall where we can clean ourselves. On the way back we pass a river again. Here we take a last break and who likes can once again plunge into the floods before it goes back to the vehicle direction home.
The bats belong to the family of Hipposideridae commonly known as the old world leaf nosed bats.
The species is called Hipposideros lankadiva. Common names are: Indian Round Leaf Bat or Kelaart's leaf-nosed bat. You can find them in Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh.
With round about 15cm it is the biggest insectivore bat in Sri Lanka. They can weight up to 80gramm and their wingspan can reach up to 50cm.
Like many other animals,
habitat loss is the biggest threat to them.
Suncream / sun protection
Cameras / Binoculars