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Birds and Wildlife Of Sri Lanka

A chance to see rare birds, wildlife and whales whilst enjoying the scenery, culture, cuisine and welcome in Sri Lanka.

From£2,699

  • Sri Lanka

  • 14 nights
  • Bird Watching

    Wildlife

  • Feb

    Oct

Leisurely

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 47360

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Our holiday walking grades

Leisurely

Grade 2

Mixes active sightseeing with short city or countryside walks.

The National Parks, beaches and rainforest of Sri Lanka are typical examples of places you will enjoy visiting in one holiday.

Any walks will take up to 2 hours and any ascents or descents will be taken at a leisurely pace.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Travel with a local expert birding/naturalist guide throughout.
  • Enjoy a huge diversity of birdlife including 33 endemics.
  • 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 elephants at Udawalawe National Park.

Guided Walking Holidays - Birds and Wildlife of Sri Lanka

The morning air is cool in the hills of Sri Lanka. The still air allows noise to travel, so quiet is essential. The verdant jungle is an ideal habitat, the time of day is just right and all is set for the perfect morning…

Sri Lanka is well known as a naturalist’s paradise with 430 species of outstanding birdlife including 33 endemic to the island. There will also be good chances of encountering spectacular land animals including leopard, sloth bear and Asian elephant. Our expert local guide will make sure we see everything possible.

We fly into Colombo and drive for a night between mangroves and the ocean. Then up to Habarana to start our explorations of the highlands. Next morning we continue up to Kandy where activities will include a birding visit to the spectacular Peradeniya botanic gardens, searching for flamebacks, parakeets, Sri Lanka swallow and more. We also have a little time to take in some culture here.

Then on and up through tea plantations to Sri Lanka’s highest town Nuwara Eliya and across to Horton Plains where several endemics can be found such as Sri Lanka whistling thrush, white-eye and soaring raptors. Still in the hill zone we continue to Sinharaja Forest Reserve, a lowland tropical rain forest with endemics such as Sri Lanka blue magpie, frogmouth, red-faced malkoha and green-billed coucal. There may be sightings of Purple-faced Leaf Monkey and Giant Squirrel.

We descend to drier plains of the National Parks of Udawalawe, famed for its Asian elephants and Yala with its magnificent rock outcrops and most of all, its population of leopards, plus sloth bears and deer herds. Finally we reach Mirissa for whale-watching with a short boat trip to look for the huge Blue Whale, Short-finned Pilot Whale and large schools of acrobatic Spinner Dolphin. 

On all departures of this holiday to date we have worked with Upali Ekanayake, an acknowledged expert, internationally known and respected in the birding world. Having studied in Sri Lanka, Aberdeen and Cambridge Universities he is very well qualified to guide our tours. 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
  • 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 (you can add this when you book)

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.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

In flight

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

Day 2

Minuwangoda

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

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

Habarana

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

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. At dusk around 18.00hrs have a look up at the sky. Hundreds of fruit bats fly over each evening flying out to feed. At the size a small dog they make an impressive sight. 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

Habarana

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

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

Kandy

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

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. the gardens are also one of the best places to see fruit bats roosting in their hundreds.

Day 6

Nuwara Eliya

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

After breakfast we drive to Nuwara Eliya visiting a Tea plantation and a Tea 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

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

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 Dusky-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 Langur, 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

Sinharaja

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

We have the option of a pre breakfast walk to hopefully catch any missing sightings from yesterday. After breakfast we continue to Sinharaja rain forest, a world heritage site. Here we find tropical low land rain forest, with a high degree of endemism in this ecosystem. 95% of the endemic birds of Sri Lanka have been recorded in Sinharaja. Some of the birds to look out for in the forest are the Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Green- billed Coucal, Red-faced Malkoha, Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, Orange-billed Babbler and many more.

Day 9

Sinharaja

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

We will have a pre breakfast visit to the Sinharaja forest before returning to the hotel. After some free time, late in the afternoon we will walk along the forest edge to hopefully spot the nocturnal, endemic Slender Loris.

Day 10

Udawalawe

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Those who prefer can take another pre breakfast trip into the forest. 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-shouldered 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, Changeable Hawk Eagle and Indian Peafowl. The grasslands are also important for both Plaintive and Jacobin Cuckoos. We stay until dusk at Udawalawe, as it is a reliable area for Brown Fish Owl, a specialty of the park. Among the migrant birds are Forest Wagtail, Indian Pitta and Osprey, as well as waders and terns.

Day 11

Tissamaharama

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

After breakfast we leave for Tissamaharama and check in to our hotel. Later we visit the Tissamaharama tank. The huge lily-covered tank and surrounding farmland are excellent for birds. We expect to locate Cotton Pygmy-goose, Pacific Swallow and Ashy Prinia. This region has the remarkable White-naped Woodpecker and Clamorous Reed Warblers. The local roads also offers bird watching stops, in addition to being an exceptional area for mammals.

Day 12

Tissamaharama

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Early morning we proceed to Yala National Park for a Jeep safari. Here we should see Elephant, Spotted Deer and Sambur and there is a good chance of seeing Leopards at dawn. The birds are similar to those at Bundala National Park but with the added attraction of the huge Black-necked Stork, Brahminy Starling, Black-headed Cuckoos and Black Drongo. On the way back from Yala, you may see Indian and Jerdon's Nightjars sitting on the tracks.

Day 13

Tangalle

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

At dawn, proceed to visit Bundala National Park, a birdwatcher's paradise. You will travel around the park on rutted and often water-filled tracks. Bundala holds Peafowl that are here in their natural habitat, often in the treetops. We should get close views of Painted Stork, Asian Open Bill, Greater Flamingo, Indian and Little Tern, Ceylon Jungle fowl, Little Green, Chestnut-headed and Blue-tailed Bee-eaters, Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark, Black backed Yellow Woodpecker and Oriental Darter. There are waders including Eurasian and Greater Thick-knees. Later we leave for our hotel on the south coast, the journey takes just over 2hrs. Here we can enjoy some well earned relaxation time.

Day 14

Tangalle

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

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.

Day 15

Final day

Meals

Breakfast

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

From (GBP)£2,699

Departure dates for your selected tour

21st Feb 2020 - 6th Mar 2020 (14 Nights)

23rd Oct 2020 - 6th Nov 2020 (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

Accommodation information

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

Hotel Heaven Seven

Surrounded by woodland and tea plantations, the Heaven Seven Hotel is set on a hill above Nuwara Eliya town. The warmly decorated rooms with wooden accents feature flat-screen TVs, safes and Wi-Fi, as well as tea & coffee making facilities.

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. Waling 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 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.

Tipping

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 www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, 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.

Passports and Visas

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 travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.

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 www.eta.gov.lk 
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.

Meals

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

Footwear

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.

Footwear As Hand Luggage

We recommend that you either wear your walking boots or shoes or pack them and some waterproofs in your hand luggage as in the unlikely event that your hold luggage is delayed, you will still be able to participate in the holiday programme.

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) and trousers
  • 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)

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

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 www.watertogo.eu. 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 www.watertogo.eu 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: www.srilankatourism.org

The Map Shop

Maps and guidebooks relating to your the areas you will be walking in may be brought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk

Weather

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

You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.

Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.

See our brochure or website for further advice regarding holiday insurance.

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.

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. 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

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Sri Lanka

  • Capital

    Colombo

  • 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

    24°C

    Avg. Rain: 111mm

  • February

    25°C

    Avg. Rain: 71mm

  • March

    26°C

    Avg. Rain: 88mm

  • April

    27°C

    Avg. Rain: 155mm

  • May

    27°C

    Avg. Rain: 180mm

  • June

    26°C

    Avg. Rain: 125mm

  • July

    26°C

    Avg. Rain: 101mm

  • August

    26°C

    Avg. Rain: 97mm

  • September

    26°C

    Avg. Rain: 133mm

  • October

    25°C

    Avg. Rain: 265mm

  • November

    25°C

    Avg. Rain: 288mm

  • December

    24°C

    Avg. Rain: 212mm

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