FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS -FAQs

BEFORE TRAVELLING TO SRI LANKA

1 - What about the climate?


The weather in Sri Lanka’s is rather complicated for such a small country, due to the fact that the island is affected by two separate monsoons. Though this also means that there is usually good weather somewhere on the island, at most times of the year. When thinking about the best time to visit Sri Lanka, it’s worth bearing in mind that the basic pattern for weather in Sri Lanka as described below can vary significantly from year to year, and that global warming has disrupted these already complex weather patterns.

What about the basic rainfall pattern across the island

The main southwest “yala” monsoon brings rain to the west and southwest coasts and hill country from April/May to September (wettest from April to June). The less severe northeast “maha” monsoon hits the east coast from November to March (wettest from November to December); there’s also a inter-monsoonal period of unsettled weather preceding the Maha monsoon in October and November during which heavy rainfall and thunderstorms can occur anywhere across the island. In practical terms, this means that the best time to visit Sri Lanka if you’re heading to the west and south coasts and hill country is from December to March, while the best weather on the east coast is from April/May to September, without forgotten the northern part is from January from October.

What kind of the temperature & humidity you could experience during your stay?

The country’s position close to the Equator means that at least one aspect of the weather in Sri Lanka, the temperature, remains fairly constant year-round. Coastal and lowland areas enjoy average daytime temperatures of around 26–30°C (often climbing up well into the 35°Cs during the hottest part of the day). Temperatures decrease with altitude, reducing to a temperate and a pleasantly mild 14–22°C in Hill Country and the highest parts of the island – nights in the hills can be quite chilly, with temperatures sometimes falling close to freezing. Humidity is high everywhere, rising to a sweltering 90% at times in the southwest, and averaging 60 to 80% across the rest of the island. The northern part remain one of the dryest part of Sri Lanka could make you feel 45°C when it is 35°C.
To say, you can currently travel Sri Lanka all year long, we will work out your itinerary following the season in keeping the whole experience exactly the way you desire




2 - Does my cell phone work while in Sri Lanka?


This is a good question for your cell phone service provider. You’ll want to check with your service provider regarding international coverage and make sure you understand exactly what you’ll be charged for making calls and, if you have a smart phone, for using data (email/internet). Another option is to buy a local SIM card once you are in Sri Lanka if you do have an unlocked phone, we will help you to add this option upon your arrival at Colombo International Airport.




3 - Time zone in Sri Lanka


Time Zone in Sri Lanka is UTC+05:30




4 - Travel documents to set up prior arrival


Passport

You need a valid passport to travel to Sri Lanka. As a requirement for entry, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your departure date from Sri Lanka. Please check your passport and its expiration date, if it is expires within the 6 months before the departure from Sri Lanka, you ABSOLUTELY MUST renewed your passport

Tourist Visa

A tourist Visa is required for any citizen traveling to Sri Lanka. You will have 2 opportunities to get it, ONLINE Thirty-day visitor visas cost US$25 to US$100, depending on your nationality. Apply in advance online (www.eta.gov.lk) or upon arrival before you will pass the immigration counter, direct yourself to the Tourist Visa Counter to pay the fee in US$ per person. The tourist Visa in Sri Lanka is ONLY valid 1 month

Insurance

Bring along with you copies of your Insurance policy numbers & contacts as well as emergency contact information for your Medical Evacuation Insurance.

DO NOT FORGET to purchased in your country for a Travel Insurance.

Immigration & Customs

As any others countries, each traveler must pass through Immigration & Customs clearance upon their arrival at the Colombo International Airport. Your luggage could be subject to inspection at this time.

Upon departure, each traveller must pass back thought both immigration and custom clearance before leaving the country.

Lost Luggage

Make sure you have been setting up a luggage tag on each of them, as it will be very helpful to identify them as well as getting them back in case of lost luggage.




5 - Money Matters


Currency

The national unit of currency in Sri Lanka is the rupie (LKR). Currently the change is USD1=LKR160 of course it will vary day to day. We recommend exchanging money on an airport layover, upon arrival at the airport in Colombo or even in your home city (if the currency is available). Most places will accept USD but it will be always much better to pay in LKR.

Banks & Atms

They will be counterless of banks and atm during your journeys in Sri Lanka. Only in certain remote location as Galoya (no bank/atm) in 50KM around, apart of it, we will be always able to find it for you. Be aware certains local banks won’t accept your credit card for any debit (please ask your bank with which local bank(s) they are affiliate).

Please notify your credit card company of your travel plan so charges on your card do not raise suspicion which could result of a blockage of your account.

Hotels/ Shop/Restaurants

For any reasons you will need to pay any expenses, you will be able to pay in credit card in most of the place, cash (USD or LKR).

Money Safety & Theft

When you are away from your belongings, they should be properly secured (lock in your luggage do discourage theft) and if you do have in your hotel room set your precious belonging inside during your daily trip.

As all cities, big as they could be as well as touristic spots, there is always a possibility of theft while traveling. Make sure you carry your belonging under your shirts, be alert of any possibility of con games such as unbeatable bargains and too friendship offers of assistance. Do not travel and show any sign of wealth.

Should you be victim of theft, please immediately notify to your guide/driver guide and/or the property owner/manager as soon as you realize it. Make you sure to obtain a written documentation of the incident for insurance purposes.




6 - Medical Information


Safely

Most of the sections of your adventure take place in remote areas where urgent evacuation, medical services are very limited, engaged in hiking, safari and exploring areas contain certain inherent risks. If you do not feel comfortable, we invite you in advance to be close to your guide/driver guide and inform her/him about your concerns about the safety.

Wildlife & local animal

You will venture in certain zone occupied by multiples of wildlife species (part of them are not afraid and can be aggressive against the human), stay at safely distance of the animal and follow the instruction given by the National park rangers, natives guides.

Same if you see a cute puppy, please do not touch or even feed any animal (including dogs & cats), even if they look healthy pet, they can carry the rabies and other diseases. If you get bitten or scratched, we will wash gently the wound with soap before rinse it before seeing a doctor.

Physical requirement

It is important that you prepare physically for your trip, especially if your trip is rated moderate to strenuous. Take into consideration the heat or the humidity in the area as well – a short walk sometimes can feel a lot more strenuous simply because you are not used to the weather. Depending of your expectation and desire, please look carefully at each level of difficulty expected on each trekking/hiking trip option proposed on our website.

Each participant must be able to walk without assistance for:

- Easy (0-1*): a minimum of 1.5 miles (2.5km) flat ground with limited elevation.

- Moderate (2-3*): a minimum of 3 miles (5km) over in uneven ground across different climate conditions.

- Strenous (4-5*): a minimum of 5 miles (8km) over in uneven ground across different

climate conditions.

Vaccination before departure

For most short-term travellers the usual recommended vaccinations for Sri Lanka include cover against the childhood diseases (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Poliomyelitis, Measles, Mumps and Rubella) as well as cover against the food and water borne diseases of Typhoid and Hepatitis A. For those trekking in the Sri Lankan countryside or staying for longer periods then cover against Hepatitis B and Rabies should be considered.

Each participant should have their initial consultation for vaccinations for Sri Lanka at least 4 – 6 weeks in advance of departure. Those planning a more extensive trip or undertaking adventure sports should consider attending a consultation earlier.

Many tourists to Sri Lanka will stay within the south-western corner of the country or travel inland to Kandy. The incidence of foreign tourists developing Malaria after their time in Sri Lanka is very small. A decision on the requirement for Malaria Prophylaxis will need to be weighed against time of the year, locations to be visited and duration of the trip.

Sri Lanka is situated like a teardrop off the south-eastern tip of India close to the equator. The climate is fairly steady throughout the year with temperatures generally above 20c and a moderately high humidity throughout the year – especially along the coastal resorts. Most rainfall tends to fall during April, May and June and again during October and November. It will be important to ensure that the correct clothing is brought to cope with the climatic conditions.




7 - Important Reminder


  • Bring contact information for your travel/medical evacuation insurance.
  • Print a copy of your passport and one scan of the same document in your mobile phone (please check the expiration date).
  • Print a copy of your flight itinerary and bring it with you.
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary, passport number, list of emergency numbers as well as your insurance contact details to your friend or relative.
  • Notify your credit card company & bank(s) of your travel plans.
  • Review your flight reservation 24-48hrs prior departure to check for any last minute schedule changes.





ADVENTURE PACKING ADVICE

1 - Practical packing


Get practical in preselecting your clothes at least one week before you leave for you to get a better idea of what you absolutely need or even forget.

Beware of overload packing of things you didn’t wear for ages or even need during your time here. Be objective on what exactly you will need and be comfortable to wear and carry with you during your trip

Due to the extreme difference of temperature & climate you could encounter during your adventure, we highly recommend bringing synthetic & fast drying material clothes (if rain, cotton fabric won’t dry so quickly).




2 - Clothing Pack-Up


Rain jacket or poncho, rain pants, light trekking pants, good hiking boots (Salomon X Trail type – light and fast to dry), pair of sleepers, short sleeved light shirts, long sleeved light shirt, 3-4 pairs of football/hiking socks, 2-3 shorts or zip off pants, 1 sweat shirt (for the cool night), 1 extra pair of comfortable shoes, underwear, lightweight sleepwear, swimsuit




3 - Others Things Pack-Up


A compact umbrella, one waterproof cover for your backpack, one small dry bag for your documents and mobile phone, headlamp & small flashlight (usb chargeable will be more efficient), sun hat, quick dry hand towel, outlet adaptor, mobile phone charger, sunglasses (with UV protection), Contact lenses & prescription glasses (if you wear any)




4 - Toileterie & Medical Pack-Up


Your personal treatment (if you follow any), first aid kit (betatine, anti-bacterial gel, antiseptic cream, oral rehydration salts, medicinal charcoal, panadol, cough syrup, non woven swab, handsaplast, strap, adhesive plaster, cotton leafs, eyes cleaner), insect repellent and anti-itch ointment, mosquito spray (tropical level), suncream, after-sun cream, Lip Balm (if you have lips sensitive), mini tissue packs (very dusty air), ear plugs (if you are a light sleeper), deodorant, aromatic soap




5 - Photography Gear Pack-Up


Camera(s), lens(es), Go Pro, polarizing filter(s), tripod, lens cleaners/cloths, battery charger(s), extra batteries, extention power strips, extra memory cards, storm camera cover, waterproof camera bag/lens(es), binocular

Don’t forget your lens 300mm minimum for you to snap-shot splendid wildlife/bird all the way of your expedition




6 - Electrical Current & Plug?


You’ll need three kinds of electrical plugs (D, M & G), the D is the most common used. Some rooms have outlets for all three plugs, but sometimes only the D. If you’re holding the wrong plug and you are in Colombo, you can find the right adapter at Pettah market, where there are a bunch of electrical stores with bins full of them. The shopkeepers will even test them for you before you buy. The very best will be you buy prior your departure one international adaptor and bring along with you a multiple plugs extention for you to be able to connect all your devices in the same time





WHILE ON TOUR

1 - What about the climate?


The weather in Sri Lanka’s is rather complicated for such a small country, due to the fact that the island is affected by two separate monsoons. Though this also means that there is usually good weather somewhere on the island, at most times of the year. When thinking about the best time to visit Sri Lanka, it’s worth bearing in mind that the basic pattern for weather in Sri Lanka as described below can vary significantly from year to year, and that global warming has disrupted these already complex weather patterns.

What about the basic rainfall pattern across the island

The main southwest “yala” monsoon brings rain to the west and southwest coasts and hill country from April/May to September (wettest from April to June). The less severe northeast “maha” monsoon hits the east coast from November to March (wettest from November to December); there’s also a inter-monsoonal period of unsettled weather preceding the Maha monsoon in October and November during which heavy rainfall and thunderstorms can occur anywhere across the island. In practical terms, this means that the best time to visit Sri Lanka if you’re heading to the west and south coasts and hill country is from December to March, while the best weather on the east coast is from April/May to September, without forgotten the northern part is from January from October.

What kind of the temperature & humidity you could experience during your stay?

The country’s position close to the Equator means that at least one aspect of the weather in Sri Lanka, the temperature, remains fairly constant year-round. Coastal and lowland areas enjoy average daytime temperatures of around 26–30°C (often climbing up well into the 35°Cs during the hottest part of the day). Temperatures decrease with altitude, reducing to a temperate and a pleasantly mild 14–22°C in Hill Country and the highest parts of the island – nights in the hills can be quite chilly, with temperatures sometimes falling close to freezing. Humidity is high everywhere, rising to a sweltering 90% at times in the southwest, and averaging 60 to 80% across the rest of the island. The northern part remain one of the dryest part of Sri Lanka could make you feel 45°C when it is 35°C.
To say, you can currently travel Sri Lanka all year long, we will work out your itinerary following the season in keeping the whole experience exactly the way you desire




2 - Does my cell phone work while in Sri Lanka?


This is a good question for your cell phone service provider. You’ll want to check with your service provider regarding international coverage and make sure you understand exactly what you’ll be charged for making calls and, if you have a smart phone, for using data (email/internet). Another option is to buy a local SIM card once you are in Sri Lanka if you do have an unlocked phone, we will help you to add this option upon your arrival at Colombo International Airport.




3 - Time zone in Sri Lanka


Time Zone in Sri Lanka is UTC+05:30




4 - Travel documents to set up prior arrival


Passport

You need a valid passport to travel to Sri Lanka. As a requirement for entry, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your departure date from Sri Lanka. Please check your passport and its expiration date, if it is expires within the 6 months before the departure from Sri Lanka, you ABSOLUTELY MUST renewed your passport

Tourist Visa

A tourist Visa is required for any citizen traveling to Sri Lanka. You will have 2 opportunities to get it, ONLINE Thirty-day visitor visas cost US$25 to US$100, depending on your nationality. Apply in advance online (www.eta.gov.lk) or upon arrival before you will pass the immigration counter, direct yourself to the Tourist Visa Counter to pay the fee in US$ per person. The tourist Visa in Sri Lanka is ONLY valid 1 month

Insurance

Bring along with you copies of your Insurance policy numbers & contacts as well as emergency contact information for your Medical Evacuation Insurance.

DO NOT FORGET to purchased in your country for a Travel Insurance.

Immigration & Customs

As any others countries, each traveler must pass through Immigration & Customs clearance upon their arrival at the Colombo International Airport. Your luggage could be subject to inspection at this time.

Upon departure, each traveller must pass back thought both immigration and custom clearance before leaving the country.

Lost Luggage

Make sure you have been setting up a luggage tag on each of them, as it will be very helpful to identify them as well as getting them back in case of lost luggage.




5 - Money Matters


Currency

The national unit of currency in Sri Lanka is the rupie (LKR). Currently the change is USD1=LKR160 of course it will vary day to day. We recommend exchanging money on an airport layover, upon arrival at the airport in Colombo or even in your home city (if the currency is available). Most places will accept USD but it will be always much better to pay in LKR.

Banks & Atms

They will be counterless of banks and atm during your journeys in Sri Lanka. Only in certain remote location as Galoya (no bank/atm) in 50KM around, apart of it, we will be always able to find it for you. Be aware certains local banks won’t accept your credit card for any debit (please ask your bank with which local bank(s) they are affiliate).

Please notify your credit card company of your travel plan so charges on your card do not raise suspicion which could result of a blockage of your account.

Hotels/ Shop/Restaurants

For any reasons you will need to pay any expenses, you will be able to pay in credit card in most of the place, cash (USD or LKR).

Money Safety & Theft

When you are away from your belongings, they should be properly secured (lock in your luggage do discourage theft) and if you do have in your hotel room set your precious belonging inside during your daily trip.

As all cities, big as they could be as well as touristic spots, there is always a possibility of theft while traveling. Make sure you carry your belonging under your shirts, be alert of any possibility of con games such as unbeatable bargains and too friendship offers of assistance. Do not travel and show any sign of wealth.

Should you be victim of theft, please immediately notify to your guide/driver guide and/or the property owner/manager as soon as you realize it. Make you sure to obtain a written documentation of the incident for insurance purposes.




6 - Medical Information


Safely

Most of the sections of your adventure take place in remote areas where urgent evacuation, medical services are very limited, engaged in hiking, safari and exploring areas contain certain inherent risks. If you do not feel comfortable, we invite you in advance to be close to your guide/driver guide and inform her/him about your concerns about the safety.

Wildlife & local animal

You will venture in certain zone occupied by multiples of wildlife species (part of them are not afraid and can be aggressive against the human), stay at safely distance of the animal and follow the instruction given by the National park rangers, natives guides.

Same if you see a cute puppy, please do not touch or even feed any animal (including dogs & cats), even if they look healthy pet, they can carry the rabies and other diseases. If you get bitten or scratched, we will wash gently the wound with soap before rinse it before seeing a doctor.

Physical requirement

It is important that you prepare physically for your trip, especially if your trip is rated moderate to strenuous. Take into consideration the heat or the humidity in the area as well – a short walk sometimes can feel a lot more strenuous simply because you are not used to the weather. Depending of your expectation and desire, please look carefully at each level of difficulty expected on each trekking/hiking trip option proposed on our website.

Each participant must be able to walk without assistance for:

- Easy (0-1*): a minimum of 1.5 miles (2.5km) flat ground with limited elevation.

- Moderate (2-3*): a minimum of 3 miles (5km) over in uneven ground across different climate conditions.

- Strenous (4-5*): a minimum of 5 miles (8km) over in uneven ground across different

climate conditions.

Vaccination before departure

For most short-term travellers the usual recommended vaccinations for Sri Lanka include cover against the childhood diseases (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Poliomyelitis, Measles, Mumps and Rubella) as well as cover against the food and water borne diseases of Typhoid and Hepatitis A. For those trekking in the Sri Lankan countryside or staying for longer periods then cover against Hepatitis B and Rabies should be considered.

Each participant should have their initial consultation for vaccinations for Sri Lanka at least 4 – 6 weeks in advance of departure. Those planning a more extensive trip or undertaking adventure sports should consider attending a consultation earlier.

Many tourists to Sri Lanka will stay within the south-western corner of the country or travel inland to Kandy. The incidence of foreign tourists developing Malaria after their time in Sri Lanka is very small. A decision on the requirement for Malaria Prophylaxis will need to be weighed against time of the year, locations to be visited and duration of the trip.

Sri Lanka is situated like a teardrop off the south-eastern tip of India close to the equator. The climate is fairly steady throughout the year with temperatures generally above 20c and a moderately high humidity throughout the year – especially along the coastal resorts. Most rainfall tends to fall during April, May and June and again during October and November. It will be important to ensure that the correct clothing is brought to cope with the climatic conditions.




7 - Important Reminder


  • Bring contact information for your travel/medical evacuation insurance.
  • Print a copy of your passport and one scan of the same document in your mobile phone (please check the expiration date).
  • Print a copy of your flight itinerary and bring it with you.
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary, passport number, list of emergency numbers as well as your insurance contact details to your friend or relative.
  • Notify your credit card company & bank(s) of your travel plans.
  • Review your flight reservation 24-48hrs prior departure to check for any last minute schedule changes.





WHAT I SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SRI LANKA

1 - Culture & Belief


One distinctive feature of Sri Lankan culture is the way in which ethnicity, language and religious affiliation correlate with one another, each being key determinants of an individual’s identity. Alongside the two largest ethnic groups – Sinhalese (74.9%) and Tamil (15.4%) – the third largest ethnic group is Sri Lankan Moors (9.2%). The remaining 0.5% of Sri Lanka’s population is comprised of Burghers (mixed European descent), Parsis (immigrants from west India) and Veddas (who are identified as the indigenous inhabitants of the land). The Tamils separate further into two groups, Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian Tamils.

Ethnicity and religion are often closely linked in Sri Lanka. In fact, one’s religion is often able to be interpreted from their ethnicity. More specifically, 70.2% of the population identify as Buddhist and are typically of Sinhalese ethnicity, while those who identify as Hindu (12.6%) tend to be ethnically Tamil. Although those who identify as Muslim (9.7%) come from various backgrounds (most being Sri Lankan Moors), they are commonly recognised as a single populace in Sri Lankan society.

The prevalence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka tends to reinforce the dominance of the Sinhalese majority. The Sinhalese elites and parts of the Buddhist Sangha who support Sinhala Buddhist nationalism argue that Sri Lanka is the ‘Dhamma Kingdom’ – the land of Buddhism.

There are three official languages of Sri Lanka: Sinhala, Tamil and English




2 - Can / Can't Do


Using Your Hands in Sri Lanka

Like many people in the world, Sri Lankans don't use cutlery, instead eating with the fingertips on their right hand. For travelers who don't want to do the same, most restaurants will offer cutlery if you ask politely. But don't cause a fuss – join in the fun!

It's polite to use your right hand when shaking hands or handing money and small objects to someone else. Of course, you can use both hands for something large and heavy.

Respecting Buddhist Culture in Sri Lanka

Buddhism is the main faith in Sri Lanka, and more than 70% of the population is Buddhist. The remaining population follow Hinduism, Islam or Christianity.

Never touch or pat the top of the head of a Buddhist monk, including young children at temples. As religious leaders of the community, they are to be respected.

Do not turn your back to (or be alongside) a statue of Buddha that is nearby. If in doubt, look at the behavior of the locals around you. This includes posing for photos; it's okay to take a photo of a statue, but anyone in the photo should be facing Buddha, not standing beside or with their back to the statue.

Don't wear any clothing that features Buddha or any other deity. It might be considered disrespectful and insensitive, could incur the wrath of authorities, possibly leading to arrest.

Always be polite to monks, offer them a seat if you're on a crowded bus (unless you're elderly or disabled). If you're entering a temple, cover your shoulders and legs, and remove footwear and headwear before heading inside. The same attire rules apply to Hindu temples. You should also, always remove your shoes before entering someone's home.

Social Etiquette Tips in Sri Lanka

Public displays of affection (PDA), such as kissing and/or hugging, may be frowned upon. In Sri Lanka, PDA is considered to be private behavior but is generally acceptable at functions and establishments for adults (such as nightclubs, casinos and beach parties). Allowances are made for travelers, and holding hands and affection between parents and their children are allowed.

Public nudity is illegal in Sri Lanka. So, if you were hoping to skinny dip and sunbathe nude or topless, stick to the private beach resorts which allow it (but ask first to avoid embarrassment).

LGBTQ travelers should be aware that same-sex relations are still illegal in Sri Lanka.

Our best advice? Behave as the locals do, learning from them is the best way to avoid offending someone, and potentially getting into trouble.




3 - Electronic Devices Right?


Be cautious when operating Drones! You must Obtain requisite approval for operating any Drones devises anywhere in the island (Operations of Drones in Sri Lanka requires approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka. For details of the requirements,




4 - Should I bring gifts to give along the way?


We discourage indiscriminate gift giving on our trips. Generally a smile and a respectful attitude are the best gifts you can give. We strongly discourage giving out candy, toys, or pens to children as this can develop a beggar mentality.