The world's more beautiful on foot...


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  • Mon to Fri09:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday 09:00 - 13:00
  • Sunday & Bank HolidaysClosed

Call us on 01707 331133

  • Mon to Fri09:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday 09:00 - 13:00
  • Sunday & Bank HolidaysClosed

Birds and Wildlife Of Sri Lanka

Welcome to Sri Lanka, a chance to see rare and exotic birds, wildlife and whales while enjoying gorgeous tropical scenery, rich culture and delicious cuisine.

  • Sri Lanka

  • 14 nights
  • Wildlife

  • Feb



What does this mean?

Tour codes: 47360

Book now from £2,749

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Walking grade

Grade 2

This is a Grade 2 leisurely holiday which mixes active bird watching with short countryside walks. There is also a limited amount of sightseeing which will be done on foot. Walking to see bird life will always be at a slow pace with plenty of stops to study our quarry.The walks are never very long with the maximum distance probably around 5km. However always consider that we might have to walk further to come across the birds you will have travelled so far to see.


Holiday Highlights

  • Travel with an expert birding/naturalist local guide throughout.
  • Enjoy an incredible diversity of birdlife, including 33 endemic species.
  • Marvel at Blue Whales at Mirissa - the best place in the world to see them.
  • Scan the bush at Yala National Park for leopards.
  • Photograph wild elephants at Udawalawe National Park.

The morning air is cool in the hills of Sri Lanka. In the still air, noise travels fast and restful silence is essential. The verdant jungle is an ideal habitat, the time of day is just right, and all is set for the perfect wildlife tour…

Sri Lanka is a naturalist’s paradise boasting 430 species of outstanding birdlife, including 33 endemics. Striking blue magpies, splendid junglefowl, and orange billed babblers are just a few of this island’s star-studded residents. There will also be good chances of encountering spectacular land animals, including leopards, sloth bears and Asian elephants. Our expert local guide will ensure you won’t miss a sighting! 

Birdwatchers paradise 

We fly to Colombo airport and drive to a nearby hotel whose grounds have excellent birdlife. Then up to Habarana in the “dry zone” to our village by the lake. The tranquil grounds here provide rich habitats for Giant Squirrels, Brown Fish-Owls, crimson-backed flamed woodpeckers, and over 120 other bird species. Choose an optional visit to see the impressive ancient fortress of Sigiriya, carved straight into the rock. 

We then travel south to Kandy, in the hill country, for more bird watching in the spectacular Peradeniya botanical gardens. Onwards and upwards through flourishing tea plantations, we’ll reach Sri Lanka’s highest town, Nuwara Eliya, for access to the Horton Plains. Here we’ll find several spectacular endemics; Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush, Sri Lanka White-Eye and the highland race of the Purple Leaf Monkey. 

Descending to the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, a remote tropical rainforest, spot Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Red-faced Malkoha and Green-billed Coucal darting between the emerald canopies.

On the drier plains of Udawalawe National Park, we’ll stroll through old jungle to watering holes and rivers, spotting Asian elephants, Osprey, Hawk Eagles, Hornbills, Peafowl, and a large variety of migrant waders.

Sensation Safari

As a highlight of our tour in Sri Lanka we’ll take a jeep safari in Yala National Park, admiring magnificent rock outcrops, said to date back 600 million years. We’ll see native leopards, sloth bears and wild deer herds roaming within Yala’s grassy plains. 

On the idyllic, palm-fringed beaches of Mirissa, we’ll take a short boat trip for an incredible whale-watching experience. We’ve got great chances of spotting the world’s largest animal, the Blue Whale, alongside Short-finned Pilot Whales and schools of acrobatic Spinner Dolphins. 

On all our wildlife holidays in Sri Lanka, we work closely with Upali Ekanayake, an acknowledged internationally-known expert in the birding world. Having studied at Sri Lanka, Aberdeen and Cambridge Universities, he is an extremely qualified guide for our holidays in Sri Lanka. If there is a possibility to see a bird, Upali is the best man to find what we are looking for!

  • Return flights from Heathrow to Colombo (Sri Lankan Airlines)
  • Airport transfers
  • Half board en suite accommodation plus three lunches
  • English speaking local guide
  • Entrance fees to all sites mentioned
  • All transport to complete your itinerary.
  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

In flight

We depart on the overnight direct flight to Colombo with Sri Lankan Airlines.

Day 2





We arrive into Bandaranaike International Airport and transfer the short distance to Minuwangoda. We can choose to relax after the flight or start the bird watching in the grounds of the hotel.

Day 3



Breakfast & Dinner


After breakfast we drive to the uplands to Habarana, in the dry zone. The journey should take about 5 hrs with stops. In the late afternoon we will have time to start bird watching in the vicinity of the hotel. The hotel is set in front of a large lake which provides many other wildlife viewing opportunities. Our local guide will be on hand to point out things of interest.

Day 4



Breakfast & Dinner


After breakfast in the hotel will have a morning walk in the Sigiriya area. Later in the day those who choose can take an optional visit to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The climb to the top of the monument on a metal staircase is challenging but the views from the top are spectacular. Entrance is not included and will need to be paid locally. Those not wishing to visit will be able to continue bird watching.

Day 5



Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


After breakfast we drive through the uplands to Kandy, the former capital. On the way we will stop at the Matale Spice garden for lunch (included). In the afternoon we will visit Peradeniya Botanical Gardens on the outskirts of Kandy, a birdwatcher's delight with Alexandrine and Layard's Parakeets, Asian Koel, three species of woodpeckers, and impressive species such as Asian-paradise Flycatcher and Indian Pitta are often present. 

Day 6

Nuwara Eliya


Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


After breakfast we drive to Nuwara Eliya visiting a tea plantation and factory en-route. The Sri Lankans will say this is the home of the best tea in the world. We will be taken through the production process and doubtless given a cup to savour. After lunch (included) and a short break, we will take a bird watching walk in Queens Park.

Day 7

Nuwara Eliya


Breakfast & Dinner


We will leave the hotel before dawn with a packed breakfast in hand to travel to Horton Plains National Park, hopefully arriving just after first light. Before you reach the park headquarters, a stop will be made to try and locate the endangered Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush - this localized, small bird only frequents mountain streams with dense cover above 800m.

The landscape here is reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands and the views are outstanding on a clear day. Birds to watch out for include the Pied Bushchat, endemics such as the Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, Sri Lanka Thrush and the Sri Lanka Bush Warbler. The trail goes through pinewoods where we could find Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Kashmir Flycatcher, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch and Black-winged Kites. The road then climbs high above wooded valleys to where two endemics occur, the Dull-blue Flycatcher and the highly localized Sri Lanka White-eye. Areas of scrub and low trees have two of Sri Lanka's rarest endemics, the Sri Lanka Bush-warbler and the Sri Lanka Wood pigeon. We will also look out for raptors including Crested Serpent Eagles and Legge’s Hawk Eagles. On the way down look out for the rare Purple Faced Leaf Monkey, an endemic monkey in Sri Lanka. We should be back in Nuwara Eliya for a late lunch. After lunch, we visit Victoria Park to have a chance of spotting wintering Pied Thrush, Kashmir Flycatcher and Indian Blue Robin.

Day 8



Breakfast & Dinner


After an early breakfast, we start the long journey by road to the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, a world heritage site. Here we find a tropical lowland rain forest with a high degree of endemism in its ecosystem. 95% of the endemic birds of Sri Lanka have been found here. After we arrive, we have an opportunity to look for the rare Sri Lanka Blue Magpie.

Day 9



Breakfast & Dinner


After an early breakfast, we spend the morning walking through the Sinharaja Forest reserve looking for endemic species. In particular, we will look for White-faced Starling, Red-faced Malkoha, Green-billed Coucal, Yellow-fronted Barbet, Crimson-backed Flameback, Sri Lanka Drongo, Orange-billed Babbler, Sri Lanka Myna among others. The afternoon will be spent with a more relaxed walk around the Lodge.

Day 10



Breakfast & Dinner


Those who want to can take a pre-breakfast trip to particularly look for Sri Lanka Spurfowl and other endemics. After breakfast we depart for Udawalawe National Park, a dry zone game park, famed for its elephants in their natural surroundings as well as its diverse bird population. In the afternoon we will take a jeep Safari for a bird watching experience in the park. Udawalawe has extensive areas of grassland, old trees, jungle, water holes and rivers, attracting high numbers of animals. Elephants are common here. Birds of prey are a special attraction and include Osprey, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Grey-headed Fish Eagle and Black-winged Kite. Additionally, the tracks attract many species of birds to look out for such as Dark-fronted Babbler, Common and Marshall’s Iora, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Woolly-necked Stork, Crested Hawk-Eagle and Indian Peafowl. From Autumn to Spring, a large variety of migrant waders can be found around the water’s edge.

Day 11



Breakfast & Dinner


After breakfast we leave for Tissamaharama and check in to our hotel. The huge adjoining lily-covered tank and surrounding farmland are excellent for birds. We expect to locate Indian Roller, Baya Weaver, Yellow Bittern and Clamorous Reed Warbler. We may also take a short trip to see White-naped Woodpecker and Jungle Owlet. At dusk, we go up to the rooftop viewing platform above the hotel to watch numerous birds fly in to roost and for close views of hundreds of Fruit Bats flying out.

Day 12



Breakfast & Dinner


As a highlight of the tour we take a morning Jeep safari in the famous Yala National Park with an emphasis on seeing rare mammals. We make an early start with packed breakfasts and enter the park as it opens at dawn. We should see Elephant, Spotted Deer and Sambar. There is a good chance of seeing Leopards and the possibility of Sloth Bear as well. Breakfast is taken on a spectacular beach. This is a tourist hotspot with hundreds of tourists hurtling on rutted tracks to reach they latest Leopard sighting. We don’t join in but drive through this huge reserve at a slower pace looking at the great variety of mammals and bird species that occur here but, hopefully, we will see a Leopard as well. We return to the hotel for lunch and a relaxing afternoon.

Day 13



Breakfast & Dinner


This morning we have a Jeep safari in the Bundala National Park. This is a smaller and much quieter park than Yala. It has no mammals and so very few tourists but it is a paradise for birdwatchers. With an early start, we can expect to see a number of rare migrants. As we drive round the pools and salt pans, we expect to see many species of waders including Great Stone-curlew, Black-winged Stilt, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Lesser Sand Plover, Kentish Plover, Marsh Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint and Small Pratincole. After this, we continue to our next hotel and some relaxation time.

Day 14



Breakfast & Dinner


Today is whale watching day! We start out early to Mirissa Harbour and take a boat out into the ocean. Sighting of whales is possible within 6-7 km of land and varieties commonly seen are Blue, Sperm and occasionally Orca. Dolphins can be spotted frequently. We return to the hotel for lunch and a possible swim in the sea.

Day 15

Final day



This morning after breakfast, we transfer to Colombo airport for our direct day flight back to the UK with Sri Lankan Airlines.

Departure dates for your selected tour

8th Feb 2023 - 22nd Feb 2023 (14 Nights)

27th Sep 2023 - 11th Oct 2023 (14 Nights)

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Heathrow to Colombo (Sri Lankan Airlines) 
  • Airport transfers
  • Arrival transfer by road c.30mins
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights this may be Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Most low-cost carriers also have extra legroom seats.
  • If direct regional flights are not available, we can often offer add-on flights to a London airport at a competitive rate. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.
  • Visa is required


Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

The Tamarind Tree Hotel

The Tamarind Tree is located close by the airport, so we have an easy and relaxed transfer on arrival. The rooms are set on cottages around the reception and restaurant. Rooms are spacious with ceiling fans, Wi-Fi, air conditioning and safe. The hotel grounds extend some distance with lawns and trees offering some great bird watching opportunities.

Habarana Village by Cinnamon

Habarana Village by Cinnamon is located a short walk from Habarana town. It has a long and impressive drive that leads up to the open plan reception. The restaurants offers a huge buffet for breakfast and dinner which caters for every taste. Rooms are located in blocks in front of the unusual triangular swimming pool and a large lake which offers plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities. Rooms offer free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, safe, hair dryer and tea & coffee making facilities. Alas the website requires patience to find out what you need. Keep a look out for troops of monkeys crossing the grounds and fruits bats flying out to eat around dusk.

Earls Regent Hotel

Overlooking the Hanthana Mountain Range, the Earls Regent Hotel is 6 km from the centre of Kandy. Rooms feature traditional hand-painted murals and come with free Wi-Fi, TV, minibar, hairdryer and tea & coffee making facilities. Breakfast and dinner are buffet style with plenty of choice. There is a small swimming pool.

Galway Heights Hotel

The recently refurbished Galway Heights Hotel has rooms with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV and minibar. There's a low-key pub and restaurant, library and games room.

Blue Magpie Lodge

The Blue Magpie Lodge is only 5 minutes away from the Sinharaja Rain Forest, and has simple Sri Lankan style accommodation provides an excellent base for exploring the rich nature around the lodge, including a swimmable natural stream.

Delicious cuisine is authentically Sri Lankan, and served in an open restaurant with magnificent views, where butterflies and birds flutter about nearby. Friendly staff will add to your stress free and peaceful stay here, in the middle of nature.

Rooms are simple but clean and spacious and come with en-suite bathrooms, fans, veranda and mosquito nets.

Grand Udawalawe Hotel

Spread out over several buildings surrounded by lush greenery, the Grand Udawalawe Hotel a short distance from the entrance to Udawalawe National Park. Rooms offer free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, air conditioning and ceiling fans. Breakfast and dinner are buffet style. Other amenities include an outdoor pool and a fitness centre.

The Raintree Hotel

The Raintree Hotel a short distance from the entrance to Yala National Park. Rooms offer free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, air conditioning and ceiling fans. Breakfast and dinner are buffet style. Other amenities include a small outdoor pool.

Sooriya Resort & Spa

The Sooriya Resort and Spa is beautifully located next to the beach on the south coast of Sri Lanka. Set amongst tropical fauna and flora, nestled on a hillock, the hotel enjoys a swimming pool, natural lagoon, mangrove canopies and enchanting rock pools. The rooms feature free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, hair dryer, safe and tea & coffee making facilities.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This is a Grade 2 leisurely holiday which mixes active bird watching with short countryside walks. There is also a limited amount of sightseeing which will be done on foot. Walking to see bird life will always be at a slow pace with plenty of stops to study our quarry.The walks are never very long with the maximum distance probably around 5km. However always consider that we might have to walk further to come across the birds you will have travelled so far to see.

Walks & Excursions

Each evening the leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day.  If you do not wish to join in with the suggested programme from a centre, please let the leader know.

The holiday consists of a good mix of travelling, wildlife watching, walking and sightseeing – it promises to be a great experience.  Many of the walks will be fairly short – usually between one and four hours on undulating ground. You should be aware to see some species of bird we must tackle some rough terrain but we will always travel at a slow pace with plenty of stops to see the wildlife.

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Optional Excursions

A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

All organised excursions mentioned in the itinerary are included in the holiday cost. There is very little additional cost to be paid locally with regards to the noted itinerary, however if you wish to take any optional excursions, or visit sites not mentioned, these will be at your own expense.

It is difficult to estimate an allowance for spending money, however about £200 per person for the trip should be sufficient for lunches, drinks, any optional visits, and personal tips. Hotel staff expect small tips for porterage, restaurant service and room cleaning. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff & to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by Ramblers Walking Holidays plus, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday. We suggest an amount of £40 to £45 per person for this, although this is a discretionary amount.

At some monuments there is a small charge for taking a camera in (please speak to your tour leader if in doubt) and much more for a camcorder. Hotel drinks, particularly imported spirits can be expensive. You will need to allow extra for souvenirs and gifts. Major purchases can often be charged to a credit card account.

Currency in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Rupee.
Please note the Rupee is not available to purchase outside Sri Lanka. Most major banks will allow Visa and Mastercard cash withdrawals. There will be an opportunity to change money at the airport. There are ATMs in major towns and cities but not all of them accept international cards.
Sterling cash can be exchanged but make sure any notes you bring are in pristine condition. Scottish or Northern Irish bank notes are not exchangeable in Sri Lanka.


Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high.  In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff & to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.

Local Guides

To enhance your experience, as well as your tour leader, each holiday will be accompanied by a well qualified and knowledgeable English-speaking local guide.

Your Travel Details

We fly from London Heathrow to Colombo direct with Sri Lankan Airlines.

Travel in Sri Lanka is by road and rail. Please note that the road system in Sri Lanka is not maintained to the same standard found in Europe, and occasionally detours or delays may occur due to blockages or road works. Even travelling short distances is likely to take considerably longer than you might expect.

If you are joining or leaving the holiday abroad we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will meet the party at the first hotel and leave at the last hotel – please contact us before departure to confirm the hotel details! However, should you wish to join the holiday at Colombo airport or wish to make other alternative arrangements, please be sure to let us know in writing at least 5 weeks before departure.

Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?

If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.

Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.

If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.

Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details. 

Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.

Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents

For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.

Personal Details Check

To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Entry Requirements

General Passport Advice

It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.

Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.

General passport advice for UK nationals on the UK Government website.

FCDO Travel Advice

You must ensure you check all entry requirements in good time by reviewing the official FCDO advice for your destination. Please take time to read and regularly check this website for changes to the entry requirements and any local restrictions.

Proof of Covid-19 Vaccination

You may be required to provide proof that you have been fully vaccinated when travelling or in your destination. Proof of vaccination can either be digital via the NHS app or a printed copy via NHS Hard Copy. We recommend allowing seven working days for your printed copy to arrive. Please note both the NHS app and printed copy are only valid for 30 days.

We anticipate that all travellers will need to be fully vaccinated including the booster jab and to carry proof of this with them at all times. Some indoor venues require, and may ask for proof of vaccination, as well as masks becoming mandatory for indoor public spaces, and we ask you to be prepared for this.

Face Masks

Some airlines or destinations are requiring the wearing of FFP2, FFP3, KN95 or N95 masks without a valve. You should check the FCDO advice for your destination and with your airline before you travel, although you may wish to have one of these masks on hand just in case.

Passport Information for Sri Lanka

Passports are required and should be valid for at least six months beyond the end of your intended stay. Visas are required for trips to Sri Lanka. All tourists travelling to Sri Lanka must now obtain an ETA before travelling. They cost 35 US$ per person. To apply please visit 
First you will be asked to select your language. Select English.

This brings you to a page that explains about the ETA system. To apply for the ETA click the ‘Apply’ button in the middle of the page. This brings up a page requesting you to agree to the conditions of the Sri Lankan government. You must click 'Agree'. 

This brings you to a page asking you to select which type of visa you require. On the top left of the screen select Tourist ETA for an individual. You must make a separate application for each individual travelling. 

You will be asked for passport details, address in Sri Lanka and your home address. For the address in Sri Lanka use the first hotel listed on the accommodation list overleaf on this Holiday Information Sheet. When asked to select nationality, Country of birth, etc British citizens will have to select 'British Citizen' there is no option of 'Great Britain' or 'United Kingdom'. 

Your flight number will be on your flight tickets received 10 days before departure. use the flight number of the flight that lands in Colombo. If you would like to apply for your visa further in advance please contact us for flight details. You should then submit your application printing a copy for your reference. You should keep a printed copy of your application for future reference.


Breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday charge and will be taken at the hotels.  Some breakfasts may be packed for early starts. Lunches, which are not included in the holiday    apart from two days, will be at hotels, restaurants or hotel-prepared picnics.  Bottled water is widely available. There will be a supply on the coach.

Meals are usually buffet style with choice of Western or Sri Lankan food and vegetarian options.   Sri Lankan food can be hot & spicy. However, there will always be plenty of options which are not spiced. Make sure you walk around a buffet in Sri Lanka with the local guide who can explain to you some of the unfamiliar names of the food on offer. There will always be plenty of choice to suit every diet and lifestyle choice. 

Local Lion Beer is reasonably inexpensive, wine is expensive although no more than one would pay in the UK. Perhaps avoid the cheaper local wine as it is not of the highest quality! Most rooms have tea and coffee making facilities and a bottle of water is often provided.

Footwear & Kit List


Good quality waterproof walking shoes or trail shoes with a thick, moulded sole with a good tread and a low heel are likely to be all that is required for these holidays. If you are a frequent walker and are comfortable in good quality hiking sandals, these may be adequate for some walks. You can wear lightweight walking boots if you prefer.

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar)
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun screen
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the days activity)
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Reusable Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • A good pair of binoculars
  • If you have your own birdwatching telescope and tripod, you may find it useful to bring them

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Country Specific Kit

Wildlife and scenery viewing experiences are always improved with binoculars. For seeing a bird in the treetops or picking out some detail on the horizon they are invaluable. If you have a pair, please bring them with you on your holiday. On some holidays it will be appropriate to have them with you all the time. Sometimes you might prefer to avoid carrying the extra weight. Your tour leader will always be happy to advise which days it will be particularly useful to take them.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

Maps, Guidebooks & More

Suggestions include:
Birds of Sri Lanka by Helm Field Guides
Rough Guide or the Footprint guides to Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Rough Guide map (1:500,000)
Sri Lanka Insight map (1:560,000)

Further information on Sri Lanka can be found on the Sri Lanka National Tourist Board or government tourism website:

The Map Shop

If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:

The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs

Tel: 01684 593 146

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.


Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.

Health Advice for Sri Lanka

No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Sri Lanka. You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK. Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhoid immunisation is recommended. You might also like to consider immunisations against Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis and Hepatitis B. There is a low to no risk of Malaria in Sri Lanka. Dengue fever exists in Sri Lanka; please take normal precautions against mosquito bites.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Ramblers Walking Holidays that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the trip, including all optional activities.

Your travel insurance policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation. Please ensure your policy covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are walking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover are not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.

Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.

Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.

Covid-19 Cover

If you should have symptoms and test positive for Covid-19 whilst abroad, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative and you may have to seek treatment. We strongly recommend that you take out an insurance policy that covers you for this eventuality.

Looking for travel insurance?

If you have not already arranged cover, please visit SunWorld who offer travel insurance.

SunWorld policies include cover for COVID-19, subject to applicable terms and conditions.

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.

Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements. 

Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.  

As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.


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Useful Information

Find out more

Sri Lanka

  • Capital


  • Currency

    Sri Lankan Rupee

  • Language

    Sinhala; Tamil

  • Time Difference

    UTC +05:30

  • Flight duration

    11hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

Visa Required

Average weather

  • January


    Avg. Rain: 111mm

  • February


    Avg. Rain: 71mm

  • March


    Avg. Rain: 88mm

  • April


    Avg. Rain: 155mm

  • May


    Avg. Rain: 180mm

  • June


    Avg. Rain: 125mm

  • July


    Avg. Rain: 101mm

  • August


    Avg. Rain: 97mm

  • September


    Avg. Rain: 133mm

  • October


    Avg. Rain: 265mm

  • November


    Avg. Rain: 288mm

  • December


    Avg. Rain: 212mm

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