Canyoning is currently one of the most popular extreme sports in the world. It has allowed humans to reach a new horizon in adventure. As a result many holiday goers try to make some time to at least try out canyoning if this adventure sport facility in available in the location. However, it is important to understand what canyoning is, before jumping into the well; so to speak. This will enable you to be more safety conscious and cognizant of your abilities beforehand; while also giving you the ability to recognize and avoid some of those adventure sports companies that sell false packages that have nothing to do with canyoning.
What is Canyoning ?
A ‘canyon’ is defined as a deep gorge, or large valley with steep sides, that typically has a river flowing along the bottom. ‘Canyoning’ is simply the act of traveling along the bottom, and is also therefore known as ‘gorge walking’. But despite how simple it sounds; the actual action is extremely challenging due to being hemmed in on two sides, and only having limited mobility on the other two. As a result canyoning can involve any mix of hiking, abseiling, cliff jumping, swimming, white water rafting and etc. It requires extensive knowledge of the local topography, safety skills such as rope rigging, first aid skills in case of an emergency, and a guide or knowledgeable partner. However, if everything is done well canyoning can give the most wonderful adrenaline rush and sense of achievement; and can also boost your confidence levels.
This also means that you should never attempt canyoning alone, and should always take a qualified guide if you are not familiar with the area. You should never go with a subpar guide just because he/she is less expensive, as can become the difference between life and death.
Sri Lanka is a major epicenter for adventure sports due to its natural geography. It has opportunities for abseiling, waterfall abseiling, white water rafting, canyoning, hiking, surfing, jet skiing, rock climbing, and more. Canyoning in specific is currently mostly being done in the ancient gorges carved by the natural force of the Kelani River. The area of Kithulgala has been found to be most appropriate and surrounded by deep jungle and the walls of the gorge, with the river at the bottom forming small rapids and white water. As a result there are several companies in the area that provide qualified and experienced guides for a number of extreme adventure packages. You can find their qualifications online, or have your tour operator select a safe adventure service provider for you.
There is also the waterfall of Sandun Ella for more experienced adventure seekers, who need a challenge. The 300ft high waterfall has 5 steep drops and descending down the canyon can be a difficult task. There are a few companies that offer canyoning courses here as well.
Canyoning in Sri Lanka may involve hiking, rock climbing, waterfall abseiling and/or waterfall jumping for a period between three quarters of an hour to one hour, and can be quite strenuous. So make sure that you have sufficient health for it and follow all safety procedures to the letter.