Horton Plains is a beautiful, silent, strange world with some excellent hikes in the shadows of Sri Lankaâ€™s second- and third-highest mountains, Kirigalpotta (2395m) and Totapola (2359m). The â€˜plainsâ€™ themselves form an undulating plateau over 2000m high, covered by wild grasslands and interspersed with patches of thick forest, rocky outcrops, filigree waterfalls and misty lakes. The surprising diversity of the landscape is matched by the wide variety of wildlife.
Baker's Falls, a waterfall formed by Belihul Oya, a tributary of the Walawe River is named after Sir Samuel Baker, a hunter and explorer who attempted to establish a European agricultural settlement at Nuwara Eliya. The falls are 20 metres (66 ft) high. Slab Rock Falls is another well known waterfall in the plains. Large herds of Sri Lankan Sambar Deer feature as typical mammals, and the park is also an Important Bird Area with many species not only endemic to Sri Lanka but restricted to the Horton Plains. Forest dieback is one of the major threats to the park and some studies suggest that it is caused by a natural phenomenon.