Tour Of National Parks In Srilanka

14 Day Trip
Per Day Price Level $$$$
Per Day Budget $ 292
Per Day USD ranges:
$$$$ < $250
$$$$ $250-500
$$$$ $500-750
$$$$ $750+
  • Visit 3 of the country’s best national game parks: Wilpattu, Udawalawe and Yala. Stay at some of the best boutique hotels or glamp out under the stars
  • Visit Dambulla and the unmissable Sigiriya Rock Fortress, both World Heritage sites 
  • Take a trip to the Polonnaruwa elephant sanctuary, a must-do for animal lovers.
  • Spot great game early in the morning or late at night at Wilpattu, one of the largest and oldest parks in Sri Lanka, famous for leopard and sloth bear sighting 
  • Explore Udawalawe, home to large numbers of elephants, leopards, deer and crocodiles 
  • Move to Yala National Park, which has a leopard density higher than anywhere else on the planet

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  • Itinerary Summary

    Day 1 : Pickup From the Airport and Transfer to Kotugoda (20 mins)

    You will be welcomed at the airport and transferred to Kotugoda. Rest in this wonderful hotel and maybe rejuvenate yourself at the Z spa.
     

    Overnight stay at The Wallawwa.

    Day 2 : Transfer to Wilpattu ( 4 hours)

    After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transfered to Wilpattu. A team will meet you at Wilpattu and escort you to their campsite in the wilderness near Wilpattu National Park. After a scrumptious lunch you will go on an evening safari. Wilpattu is famous for Leopard and Sloth Bear sightings.  Come back to camp and relax and get ready for dinner under the starlit sky.
     

    Overnight stay at camp in Wilpattu.

    Day 3 : Camping and Safari Drives

    Leisure day. You would do a morning and evening safari.
     

    Overnight stay at Wilpattu.

    Day 4 : Transfer to Dambulla ( 3 hours)

    After a morning safari, come back to camp for breakfast. Then you will be transferred to Dambulla to the iconic Geoffrey Bawa Hotel - Heritance Kandalama.  The rest of the day can be spent  at  your leisure exploring the hotel and lazing by the infinity pool.
     

    Overnight stay at Heritance Kandalama.

    Day 5 : Climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress and Visit Polonnaruwa

    Today you will be climbing Sigiriya Rock Fortress in the morning. In the evening, you will visit Polonnaruwa.
     

    Overnight stay at Heritance Kandalama.

    Day 6 : Transfer to Kandy ( 2.5 hours)

    Today, you will be transferred to Kandy. En route you will visit Dambulla Cave Temple.
     

    Overnight stay at Kandy House

    Day 7 : Visit Temple of Tooth and Take in a Cultural Show

    After breakfast, you will visit the renowned Temple of Tooth in Kandy. In the evening, you will take in a cultural show.
     

    Overnight stay at Kandy House

    Day 8 : Transfer to Udawalawe ( 3.5 hours)

    After breakfast, you will be transferred to Udawalawe. You will be met by our representatives and taken to the campsite. After lunch, you will go on a safari and return to camp for rest and relaxation.
     

    Overnight stay at Udawalawe.

    Day 9 : Camping and Safari Drives

    Leisure day – There would also be a morning and evening safari on this day .
     

    Overnight stay at Master Campers Udawalawe.

    Day 10 : Transfer to Yala ( 3.5 hours)

    After breakfast, you will be transferred to Yala National Park. You will be met by our representatives and taken to the campsite. After lunch, you will go on a safari and return to camp for rest and relaxation.
     

    Overnight stay at Yala.

    Day 11 : Yala National Park

    Camping and safari drives.

    Day 12 : Transfer to Galle ( 5 hours)

    Transfer to Galle. You have the rest of the day to relax.

    Day 13 : Sightseeing in Galle

    After breakfast, explore the historical city of Galle.

    Day 14 : Departure

    Transfer to the airport for departure flight.

  • Duration
    14 days
    Difficulty
    Easy
    Primary Activities
    Wildlife
    No. of travellers
    Min. 1
    Other Activities
    Camping
    Children Allowed
    Yes
  • Comfort
    Learn more
    Super luxury

    Our highest-end category of accommodation, Super Luxury is defined by top quality customer service and premium amenities. Hotels in this exclusive category include the Aman resorts, Oberoi Vilas hotels, and certain independent purveyors.

    Luxury

    Luxury Hotels meet the standards of most well-known 5-star hotel brands around the world, and include premium accommodations and amenities. In some cases our Luxury category overlaps with the "boutique" hotels, many of which are equally luxurious and accommodating.

    Boutique

    Boutique hotels are typically smaller, or independently owned hotels that offer top-end service and amenities equivalent to luxury providers. Boutique hotels often differentiate themselves from bigger hotel brands through their unique character, location, or history.

    Glamping

    Glamping (short for “glamorous camping”) and lodges denotes outdoor-focused accommodations that combine the best of nature with a designer / comfort angle in mind, so customers can get the best of both worlds.

    Camping

    Camping refers to a wide range of tented accommodation, which will most likely apply to outdoor / adventure trips like trekking, hiking, etc.

    Others

  • Price Details (per person)

    High Season Nov to Dec $ 4,395 $ 314 per day
    High Season Jan to Apr $ 4,395 $ 314 per day
    Low Season May to Oct $ 3,771 $ 269 per day

    * All Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Some savings may be available for larger groups.

Cost Includes
Accommodation and Meal Plan as given below:
  • The Wallawwa garden suite on a B&B basis (1 night)
  • Kulu Safaris tent Wilpattu on an all inclusive basis (2 nights)
  • Heritance Kandalama luxury Room on a B&B basis (2 nights)
  • Kandy House deluxe room on a B&B basis (2 nights)
  • Master Campers Luxury Tent on an all inclusive basis (2 nights)
  • Kulu Safaris Yala tent on an all inclusive basis (2 nights)
  • Jetwing Lighthouse deluxe room on a B&B basis (2 nights)

Other Services:

  • Private air-conditioned Minivan and English-speaking driver for tour and transfers  for tour
  • 100km per day included for non transfer days for sight seeing. Extra mileage to be paid direct to the driver at Rs. 45 per km (unused mileage cannot be taken forward to the  next day) 
  • Entry fees: Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Polonnaruwa, Temple of Tooth and Cultural show

Notes: 

  • All prices are inclusive of tax and service charges 
  • Transport price includes accommodation for the driver 
  • All reservations subject to availability at time of booking 
  • Standard check in at 1400 hrs and early check in charges not included.
  • The standard check-out time in Sri Lanka is 12 noon and late check out charges not included.
  • Compulsory supplements will be applicable to the above price during: Kandy Perahera (01 – 10 Aug) 24th Dec for X’mas Gala Dinner at the hotel. And 31st Dec for New Year Gala Dinner at the hotel.
Cost Excludes

Personal expenses, transport if exceeding allocated amount, balance meals, hotel supplements, etc.

Day 1 : Pickup From the Airport and Transfer to Kotugoda (20 mins)

You will be welcomed at the airport and transferred to Kotugoda. Rest in this wonderful hotel and maybe rejuvenate yourself at the Z spa.
 

Overnight stay at The Wallawwa.

Day 2 : Transfer to Wilpattu ( 4 hours)

After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transfered to Wilpattu. A team will meet you at Wilpattu and escort you to their campsite in the wilderness near Wilpattu National Park. After a scrumptious lunch you will go on an evening safari. Wilpattu is famous for Leopard and Sloth Bear sightings.  Come back to camp and relax and get ready for dinner under the starlit sky.
 

Overnight stay at camp in Wilpattu.

Day 3 : Camping and Safari Drives

Leisure day. You would do a morning and evening safari.
 

Overnight stay at Wilpattu.

Day 4 : Transfer to Dambulla ( 3 hours)

After a morning safari, come back to camp for breakfast. Then you will be transferred to Dambulla to the iconic Geoffrey Bawa Hotel - Heritance Kandalama.  The rest of the day can be spent  at  your leisure exploring the hotel and lazing by the infinity pool.
 

Overnight stay at Heritance Kandalama.

Day 5 : Climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress and Visit Polonnaruwa

Today you will be climbing Sigiriya Rock Fortress in the morning. In the evening, you will visit Polonnaruwa.
 

Overnight stay at Heritance Kandalama.

Day 6 : Transfer to Kandy ( 2.5 hours)

Today, you will be transferred to Kandy. En route you will visit Dambulla Cave Temple.
 

Overnight stay at Kandy House

Day 7 : Visit Temple of Tooth and Take in a Cultural Show

After breakfast, you will visit the renowned Temple of Tooth in Kandy. In the evening, you will take in a cultural show.
 

Overnight stay at Kandy House

Day 8 : Transfer to Udawalawe ( 3.5 hours)

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Udawalawe. You will be met by our representatives and taken to the campsite. After lunch, you will go on a safari and return to camp for rest and relaxation.
 

Overnight stay at Udawalawe.

Day 9 : Camping and Safari Drives

Leisure day – There would also be a morning and evening safari on this day .
 

Overnight stay at Master Campers Udawalawe.

Day 10 : Transfer to Yala ( 3.5 hours)

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Yala National Park. You will be met by our representatives and taken to the campsite. After lunch, you will go on a safari and return to camp for rest and relaxation.
 

Overnight stay at Yala.

Day 11 : Yala National Park

Camping and safari drives.

Day 12 : Transfer to Galle ( 5 hours)

Transfer to Galle. You have the rest of the day to relax.

Day 13 : Sightseeing in Galle

After breakfast, explore the historical city of Galle.

Day 14 : Departure

Transfer to the airport for departure flight.

Cost of the entire itinerary

High Season Nov to Dec $ 4,395 $ 314 per day
High Season Jan to Apr $ 4,395 $ 314 per day
Low Season May to Oct$ 3,771 $ 269 per day
Cost Includes
Accommodation and Meal Plan as given below:
  • The Wallawwa garden suite on a B&B basis (1 night)
  • Kulu Safaris tent Wilpattu on an all inclusive basis (2 nights)
  • Heritance Kandalama luxury Room on a B&B basis (2 nights)
  • Kandy House deluxe room on a B&B basis (2 nights)
  • Master Campers Luxury Tent on an all inclusive basis (2 nights)
  • Kulu Safaris Yala tent on an all inclusive basis (2 nights)
  • Jetwing Lighthouse deluxe room on a B&B basis (2 nights)

Other Services:

  • Private air-conditioned Minivan and English-speaking driver for tour and transfers  for tour
  • 100km per day included for non transfer days for sight seeing. Extra mileage to be paid direct to the driver at Rs. 45 per km (unused mileage cannot be taken forward to the  next day) 
  • Entry fees: Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Polonnaruwa, Temple of Tooth and Cultural show

Notes: 

  • All prices are inclusive of tax and service charges 
  • Transport price includes accommodation for the driver 
  • All reservations subject to availability at time of booking 
  • Standard check in at 1400 hrs and early check in charges not included.
  • The standard check-out time in Sri Lanka is 12 noon and late check out charges not included.
  • Compulsory supplements will be applicable to the above price during: Kandy Perahera (01 – 10 Aug) 24th Dec for X’mas Gala Dinner at the hotel. And 31st Dec for New Year Gala Dinner at the hotel.
Cost Excludes

Personal expenses, transport if exceeding allocated amount, balance meals, hotel supplements, etc.

Climate

Climate:

 

Sri Lanka generally offers warmth and sunshine throughout the year. Temperatures average between 27-30C in Colombo and on the coasts, and peak in April. They average about 10C cooler in the hill country. Sri Lanka lies 400 miles north of the equator and is affected by two South-East Asian monsoons. The south-west monsoon (Yala) brings most rain to Colombo and the south and west coasts in May/June and the inter-monsoon affects October/early November, although at all times of year sunshine can be plentiful and most of the rain falls in heavy bursts at night. The north-east monsoon (Maha) affects the north and east between December and February. Rainfall is becoming increasingly unpredictable. Sri Lanka averages about 240cms a year, slightly above the UK national average. The north and east are dryer, while the western slopes of the central highlands are wettest. Humidity ranges between 70-90 percent in Colombo, lower in the highlands and cultural triangle. Key advice: Keep in and stay safe in the event of a thunderstorm.

 

Wildlife:

 

Tropical rain forests, dry tundra type vegetation in the dry zone and tea plantations and terraced paddy fields in the hill country.

 

Some of the interesting large animals include Elephant, Leopard, Sambur, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Rock Squirrel, Jackal and Sloth Bear.

Visas, Travel Documents and Special Permits

Visas to Sri Lanka - This is to bring to your notice the latest update issued by the Department of Immigration and Emigration with regards to the ETA process. ETA is an official authorization for a Short Visit to Sri Lanka and is issued electronically. The ETA can now be obtained online by logging on to www.eta.gov.lk and following the instructions.

 

The cost is US$30 as a standard for all countries for processing the visa prior to arrival. For South Asian (SAARC) countries the cost will be US$15. For children under the age of 12 there is no charge. Those who arrive at the airport without a prior visa will also be able to obtain a visa at the port of arrival. The cost is US$35 for all countries and US$15 for South Asian (SAARC) countries.

 

Having the reference number will save you time at the airport. Please note that it is expected that there will be longer queues for those without the reference number, at the airport.

 

Visas for onward travel: 

Please be kindly advised that we do not handle visa applications for onward travel to countries that request visas to be pre-arranged such as India. Travelers routing through India are advised to obtain an Indian Visa that will allow them to transit. Please check with your ticketing company.

Physical Fitness/Skills

This experience is not physically demanding. However, it is best enjoyed when you are of average fitness and are able to walk and do easy physical activities.

Immunizations / Medical Requirements

Please carry your personal medicines.

 

Before you travel to Sri Lanka:

 

Sri Lanka is a fantastic place to holiday, but please bear in mind that it is also a tropical county and requires certain considerations. The following advice is intended as a helpful guide. We recommend, however, that before your departure you visit your local medical centre or a specialist travel health centre for specific advice regarding recommended vaccinations, malaria and dengue prevention,and to discuss any underlying health concerns. It is worth doing this at least six weeks before you are due to travel to allow any new vaccinations time to take effect.

 

Vaccinations

 

Commonly recommended vaccinations for short term visits include: 

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Rabies
  • Tetanus
  • Typhoid

 

It should be recognised that advice can vary. For example, rabies protection is only recommended by some medical centres or some countries. Also consider Japanese encephalitis if travelling in rural areas.

 

Malaria & Dengue Prevention

 

You should only consider taking anti-malarial drugs if travelling to the far north of the country (Vavuniya and beyond). Chloroquine and Proguanil are typically prescribed and the course should be started before travel. A prescription is required if in the UK. Dengue fever and Chikungunya are present, particularly after the monsoon rains, and it is important that you protect yourself from being bitten by mosquitoes by using mosquito repellent (see below).

 

Travel Insurance

 

Travel insurance is essential.

 

Travel essentials:

 

Bring with you sun screen, insect repellent (preferably containing 50% DEET) and a hat. Long sleeved, full-length light coloured thin cotton clothes are widely available, but please consider bringing some clothing that will help protect you from the mid-day sun and from biting insects.

 

Drinking water in sealed plastic bottles is freely available in much of Sri Lanka, but not without some environmental cost - you may want to think about other options. Chlorine tablets are cheap, light and easy to use. An ultra violet light filter provides very effective sterilization including parasites - these are newly available in pen type format so extremely portable but a little expensive. Many larger travel shops in the UK stock these and other types of portable filters.  Also remember to bring any regular medication, anti-diarrheals, simple pain relief, and a torch.

 

While in Sri Lanka:

 

Protection from the sun:

The sun is strong and pale skin will burn quickly. Consider avoiding sunbathing between 11.00 am and 3.00 pm when the sun is strongest. Wear a good quality factor 15+ sunscreen for short periods in the sun and re-apply regularly especially after swimming. Use higher protections for longer periods. Wear a hat and sunglasses. If you overdo it one day, cover up and stay out of the sun the following day.

 

Avoiding diarrhoea and dehydration:  

Sri Lanka has a long-established tourist industry and influenced by this it has a sound hygiene record. For maximum safety, eat freshly cooked, piping hot food and wash your hands (and your children's) before meals. Many package hotels use buffets where food remains for long periods and late eating should be approached cautiously. Only drink bottled, boiled or treated water and use this for brushing your teeth. Avoid ice and salad if not confident of hygiene standards as well as raw or undercooked shellfish.

 

Travellers' diarrhoea can last for up to five days and will often peter out of its own accord untreated. Sometimes a change in bowel habit can be caused by stress, an increase in alcohol intake, change in diet and hot weather.  Travellers' diarrhoea typically occurs during the latter part of the first week of arrival and is often self-limiting, lasting three to five days. The majority of those affected will recover without any specialist treatment. Keeping well hydrated is the most important thing when you have diarrhoea so drink plenty of clear fluids, keep cool and out of the sun. Oral rehydration salts to replace electrolytes are available in many local chemists. Medical care should be sought if symptoms do not improve within a few days, blood and/or mucous is present in stools, or if a fever develops. Medical care should be sought earlier for those with special health risks including the elderly, and immediately for children whose diarrhoea is accompanied by dehydration, vomiting, fever or bloody stools.

 

Mosquito bites, Dengue fever, Chikungunya and Malaria:

Biting insects can be a nuisance and avoiding being bitten is the best protection. Malaria is caused by a species of mosquito that bites predominantly between dusk and dawn. Dengue fever and Chikungunya are present,particularly after the monsoon rains, and are carried by a type of mosquito that bites primarily during the day. You are most at risk of being bitten a couple of hours after sunrise and just before sunset. Wear long tops and pants and apply repellent, ideally one that is 50% Deet based. Symptoms usually appear within 5-8 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. These symptoms include severe headache, fever, joint and muscle pain, sometimes nausea and vomiting, and a red rash. If you develop a fever that lasts more than three days seek medical advice and do a blood test for dengue fever. There is no particular treatment for this disease other than rest and plenty of plain fluids. The majority of infections clear up on their own after 1-2 weeks. It is strongly advised to avoid taking any ibuprofen and aspirin if you have dengue.

 

Rabies: 

Try to stay away from street dogs as rabies is a possible risk. In the event of a bite, seek prompt medical advice. Remember, it is not just dogs that cancarry rabies, cats, monkeys and bats can do as well.

 

Other bites and stings:

Other biting animals include snakes, sea creatures, spiders and scorpions. If you are bitten or stung, try to remember what the animal looked like: its colour, size, shape and markings. This will help with your treatment.

 

Snakes tend to keep away from humans, but if you are walking at night, take a torch and wear shoes. In the unlikely event of a bite, restrict movement of the limb as much as possible, cover the area with a clean, dry bandage but do not apply a tourniquet, remain calm and try to get to the nearest hospital immediately.

 

Swimming:

There are some fantastic beaches to enjoy, but beware of strong currents in some areas and take local advice.  The seas along the West and South Coast are suitable for swimming only during the season from December to April.  Even during the season, some of the coastal areas are not suitable for swimming due to reefs and strong currents.

 

Disabled travellers:

In general, health advice is similar to that of other travellers. Please discuss any special requirements in advance with your doctor and the operator. Our hotel profiles seek to give appropriate advice for disabled travelers, but please also check with your consultant.

 

Emergency Medical Services in Sri Lanka 

In case of an accident or a medical emergency while on holiday, go directly to the emergency department of the closest private or government hospital and you will be seen by an emergency physician.

Recommended Packing List

Pack for heat and humidity.

  • Long-sleeved shirts might be advisable after dusk because of mosquitoes.
  • Daytime coastal temperatures generally range from 27-32C, slightly cooler in the hill country, especially Nuwara Eliya, where a light sweater is frequently required at night.
  • Topless sunbathing is officially illegal.
  • The use of bikinis is generally considered acceptable while on the beach.
  • When swimming inland, in rivers or lakes, ask for local advice regarding swimwear as covering with a sarong may be necessary.
  • Away from the beach, be aware that dress standards are comparatively conservative and it is respectful to wear loose, long and lightweight clothing.
  • Shorts should always be knee-length. Be especially careful about dressing modestly when visiting religious sites.
  • Among the items you might pack are: sun creams (factor 12 and above), insect repellent, sting relief cream, antiseptic cream, a lightweight hat and sunglasses.
  • Protect yourself from the sun with creams, hats and sunglasses, drink plentiful bottled water to avoid dehydration.
Meals provided

Other useful tips

ADAPTORS:

 

Sri Lanka uses a range of sockets, so your full range of travel adaptors may come in useful. Specialised Sri Lankan adaptors can be bought in major hotels and many shops. US sockets tend to be used, although older hotels, especially in the hill country, may use UK sockets.

 

AIRPORT TAX:

 

All airport tax is built into the price of your flight tickets. Sri Lankan departure tax is no longer paid on departure.

 

ALLOW ENOUGH TIME:

 

We believe that you will discover Sri Lankans to be among the most courteous and friendly people in the world. But Sri Lanka will not be rushed and a genial, relaxed service is not always a rapid one. There is no advantage in deliberately causing people to lose face. Remember that this is not the West. Allow a little more time for checking out of hotels, ordering food, travelling, paying bills, enjoying yourself.... in fact, anything at all. 

 

CAMERAS:

 

Please do ask permission before taking photographs of people and respect their wishes if they refuse. Minority groups, in particular, are often unhappy to have their photo taken. Photographing Buddhist Monks is not taboo but can create awkwardness so assess the situation and if in doubt ask. We do not recommend paying for the right to take a photo, although you should be sensitive to the fact that a tip may sometimes be expected. If you do take a photo including local people, especially children, do share the picture with them if you have a digital camera as it is often greatly appreciated.

 

CLOTHING:

 

Pack for heat and humidity. Long-sleeved shirts might be advisable after dusk because of mosquitoes. Daytime coastal temperatures generally range from 27-32C, slightly cooler in the hill country, especially Nuwara Eliya, where a light sweater is frequently required at night. Topless sunbathing is officially illegal. The use of bikinis is generally considered acceptable while on the beach. When swimming inland, in rivers or lakes, ask for local advice regarding swimwear as covering with a sarong may be necessary. Away from the beach, be aware that dress standards are comparatively conservative and it is respectful to wear loose, long and lightweight clothing. Shorts should always be knee-length. Be especially careful about modest dress when visiting religious sites.

 

COMMUNICATIONS: 

 

Consider buying a Sri Lankan SIM card and top-up cards for your mobile phone -- Sri Lankan mobile phone call rates are relatively cheap, both for local and international calls, and are recommended. We can supply Dialog SIM cards at excellent rates. Sri Lanka Telecom shops (eg Colombo World Trade Center) sell scratch cards for immediate Internet access -- they are good value and simple to use. IDD facilities are available in the vast majority of tourist hotels. To contact a BT operator from Sri Lanka, for chargecard or reverse-charge calls, dial 432999. Some hotels will block this number. Hotel fax lines are plentiful. Hotels increasingly offer Internet wi-fi, and cyber cafes exist in Colombo and some tourist areas, although connection speeds can be slow outside Colombo. 

 

CUSTOMS AND CULTURAL DIFFERENCE:

 

Sri Lanka’s genuine hospitality to tourists is renowned and the British are as popular as at any time since the country won independence in 1948. Take care to avoid religious offence, however. In particular, respect the Buddhist faith: do not touch a holy man, do not pose for photographs on religious statues and remove shoes and socks when entering temples. We recommend that you are informed as possible about the island before you arrive and try to learn some local language, read about the religion and culture and learn about local rules and values. Be sensitive to cultural difference. Note that patience, friendliness and courtesy are highly valued virtues that will win you the respect and confidence of many people.

 

EMERGENCY:

 

Police: 011-2433333.

Fire: 011-2422222.

Hospital: 2691111.

 

ENTERTAINMENT:

 

Predominantly, but not exclusively, based around the top hotels, which offer nightclubs, a range of restaurants, bookshops, bars, sports facilities ranging from swimming pools to floodlit tennis courts, health clubs, as well as traditional Sri Lankan entertainment. But do not automatically limit yourself to the hotel – in Colombo especially, and in other major tourist areas, there are smaller, independent alternatives. The beaches are some of the finest in the world, but when swimming consider dangerous currents and cleanliness. Casinos are sanctioned for tourists, primarily in Colombo, and English race meetings are avidly followed in tiny bookmaking shacks. Sri Lanka also offers game parks, activity holidays, bird-watching sanctuaries, hill-walking and outstanding historical and religious sites. 

Shopping: consider gems, spices, clothing, including linen and batiks, art galleries and hand-made carvings. Check our online Colombo guide for entertainment in the capital.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY: 

 

Water conservation is especially important in Sri Lanka. Water is a precious resource needed for personal use, industry, farming and power generation (the island is heavily reliant on Hydro Electric Power). In recent years, despite heavy rains in the west, there have been droughts and severe water shortages in some parts of the island. So please do avoid excessive use of water. A few options for saving water include:

  • Consider taking a shower rather then a bath;
  • Consider shorter showers;
  • Consider asking for your towels to be folded rather than washed each day;
  • Don’t leave the tap running when brushing teeth.

 

Electricity conservation is essential in Sri Lanka. Power is a precious resource at present and the demand for electricity places an enormous strain on the economy. A significant segment of the energy demand is supplied by Hydro Power projects in the hills. However, an increasing amount of electricity is also produced by burning non-renewable fuels. Try to conserve electricity where possible. Make sure you turn off your lights, TV etc. when you leave your bedroom. Consider avoiding the use of air-conditioning – cool down the room before sleeping and then switch to an overhead fan.

 

Waste pollution is a serious problem in Sri Lanka and disposal systems are often inadequate while recycling of many products is rare. The plastic bag is a particular blight, littering streets and the countryside. They will be offered for almost every purchase so do try to take your own re-used bags when shopping. Cotton bags are also readily available and very cheap. 

 

Endangered species and natural resources - Be wary while shopping to ensure you are not encouraging the wasteful destruction of important natural resources and endangered species. Avoid hard wood products likely to have been produced in an unsustainable manner, shells from beach traders or ancient artifacts.

 

ETHNIC CONFLICT:

 

Sri Lanka’s terrorist conflict ended in 2009 after a 20-year guerilla war by the Tamil Tigers was defeated by the Government forces. Even at the height of the conflict, outside the north and east, apart from sporadic targeted attacks in the capital, Colombo, the vast majority of the island remained violence-free. There is no history of tourists being targeted for political gain. There has been no renewal of terrorism since the end of the war and Sri Lanka has experienced a large rise in tourist numbers. The conflict has touched many lives with sadness and should not be regarded as a suitable topic for casual conversation.

 

EXCESS BAGGAGE:

 

Beware of breaking the 20kg baggage limit (plus one piece of hand luggage). Additional charges may be levied, or equipment left behind. Requests for a higher limit can be made on your behalf, but success is not guaranteed. We automatically request 30kgs for all cricket tours.

 

FOOD AND DRINK:

 

Rice and curry, and fresh fish, are the Sri Lankan staples, but a wide range of international dishes are available in all the main tourist centres. Bear in mind that by eating local food and drinks your money supports the locals rather than promoting costly imports. As a leading tourist venue, Sri Lanka has one of the best hygiene records in Asia and stomach complaints are uncommon. Nevertheless, you might like to comply with the following guidelines. Most importantly, drink (and clean your teeth in) bottled water only. This can be bought much more cheaply from local shops than top hotels, but check the seal has not been tampered with, and ensure you have adequate supplies at all times. Top hotels also supply flasks of boiled and filtered water. Ensure you do not become dehydrated, especially after strenuous exercise. Coconut water is renowned as a settler of a queasy stomach, although some may prefer to take their medicinal coconut in the form of arrack -- the local firewater. When eating, consider the old advice: `boil it, bake it, peel it or ignore it.'  Be particularly wary of salads and unpeeled fruit. Ensure your meat is thoroughly cooked. If you have any doubts, overlook the buffet and order freshly-cooked, even if it takes a little longer.  Wash your hands thoroughly before each meal. You may even follow local customs and eat without cutlery if you wish.

 

FESTIVALS:

 

Sri Lanka has more public holidays than anywhere else in the world. The most common holiday is Poya Day, which occurs every full moon. As a general rule, no alcohol is served and entertainment is restricted.

 

HEALTH:

 

You are strongly advised to contact your own GP or vaccination centre in respect of required vaccinations for Sri Lanka. Check on recommended innoculations as least a month before travel. Malaria tablets, plus innoculations for tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis A and polio are all recommended. Top hotels can advise on reputable local doctors, or private hospitals in the event of serious illness. In case of diarrhoea, pack body-salt replenishment powder, such as Dioralyte, as well as Immodium or a similar product. Malaria tablets are also advised if visiting areas in the east or far north. Among the items you might pack are: suncreams (factor 12 and above), insect repellent, sting relief cream, antiseptic cream, a lightweight hat and sunglasses. The HIV rate is rising throughout Asia, so if you might be sexually active, pack condoms and practice safe sex. Discourage any trishaw drivers or hawkers who act on behalf of any illegal prostitution racket.

 

LANGUAGE AND RELIGIONS:

 

Sinhala (spoken by more than 80 per cent of the public) and Tamil are the national languages. English is widely spoken and understood in all but the most out-of-the-way areas. Buddhism is the predominant religion, although Hindus, Moslems and Christians are also present.

 

LAUNDRY:

 

All the top hotels offer an on-day laundry service, although prices vary widely. Large cricket tour parties might like to try to negotiate discounts for laundering of kit. Cheaper launderettes are available in most towns, although quality is inconsistent. Try to choose delivery options that limit unnecessary use of packing materials.

 

MONEY AND SECURITY:

 

Credit cards are widely accepted and there are ATM machines in major centres. Scottish and Northern Irish notes are NOT accepted. Travellers cheques are still widely used, but not as direct transactions. Sterling, Euros and US dollars are all equally advisable. Guard your Travellers cheques and money carefully, use hotel safes where possible, and do not flaunt unnecessarily large amounts of money, as casual thieving can occur. The bank booths in the airport arrivals hall generally offer the most competitive rates and quick service. Beware credit-cards fraud whenever you pay direct. We offer a strict anti-fraud policy for your maximum protection. Sri Lanka remains one of the safest tourist destinations to walk around at night.

 

PASSPORT AND VISAS:

 

Sri Lanka has introduced a compulsory online visa system for all travellers arriving in Sri Lanka from January 1, 2012. Visitors must apply for the Electronic Travel Authorization via www.eta.gov.lk established in the Department of Immigration and Emigration. There is a small fee for the visa. Children under 12 need a visa but it will be free of charge. Foreign nationals from the Maldives and Singapore are also entitled to a free visa.

 

SHOPPING:

 

Bartering over the price of goods is widely expected for a variety of transactions, including the hire of trishaws and the purchase of handicrafts. Modern shops, however, have adopted western habits where bargaining is not welcomed. We recommend you try to ascertain the guide prices for goods or services before purchasing. Remember that a small and inconsequential saving for you could be an extremely important amount to the seller. Bargaining is best carried out in a light-hearted and courteous manner. Aggressive haggling will offend the seller and ultimately increase the price. If you make a purchase, beware extra import costs for tax, handling charges, customs, and delivery fees. In Australia, for example, fumigation certificates may also prove a problem. We make no official recommendations about casual shopping.

 

TIME ZONE: GMT +6 hours.

 

TIPS:

 

Taxi drivers, hotels and restaurants: 10 per cent is common. If you hire a car and driver, please also consider tipping your driver for good service.

 

TRAVEL:

 

The simplest and cheapest way to travel around Sri Lanka is by trishaw, or three-wheeler. Good-natured price bartering is widespread. In towns, work on a rough guide of about Rs40 a mile and agree the price before you set off. Taxis are good value for longer journeys and operate on set charges – although taxis operating from 5-star hotels are dearer. Buses are cheap and plentiful, at least during the day, but they are often overcrowded and unreliable. Train journeys from Colombo-Nuwara Eliya and beyond, or Colombo-Matara are a peaceful way of enjoying some spectacular scenery. Prices are cheap, so the luxury of booking first-class in advance is advised. Sri Lanka's roads will seem chaotic to all but the most experienced traveller in Asia. Independent car hire is possible upon production of credit card and driving licence, but chauffeur-driven cars can be arranged for similar cost, and are generally strongly advised. Bicycle hire is also available, although not to be recommended on anything but the quietest roads, as accident rates on busy roads are high.

Operator ID

3933

Operator Profile

Never has an island as tiny as Sri Lanka offered up so much beauty and diversity in adventure, wildlife or culture. 15 years old and still one of the strongest and most knowledgeable presence in the Emerald Isle, this Sri Lankan team has organised the best indepenent travel experiences in the country. Just hand in your wish list, and allow them to weave a tapestry of holiday-magic out of it.

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Tour Of National Parks In Srilanka