Visa requirements for different Nationalities/kids are specified online http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/. Visa on arrival is not available. Please check the requirements and obtain an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation) prior to arrival in Sri Lanka. You can apply online on http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/ upto 90 days ahead of travel. It’s quite easy to apply and if you are requested for an address in Sri Lanka you may include the address of your first hotel. Please keep a printed copy to show on arrival at the Airport.
There is no actual “best” time to visit. Sri Lanka is really a four season destination. So best time is largely dependent on your specific interests. If you're looking for the best (low season) rates for accommodation in Sri Lanka, think of traveling in May, June or September.
What you need to be aware of are the monsoon seasons – of which there are two, and plan your route accordingly. Due to these monsoons, one side of our 1432 Km coastline is ‘in season’ at any given time of year. However, like elsewhere in the world, weather has become completely erratic in Sri Lanka but you could take the following as a rough guide;
Check out our Wildlife Calendar to see which National Parks are in season and what wildlife you can spot on safari. Insightful Ayu in the Wild Guides make wildlife fun with their incredible knowledge of animal behaviour, sounds, spoor, ecology and more.
Sri Lanka is malaria free. We do recommend that you consult your usual GP or Travel Clinic for up to date information on vaccinations required.
With the recently opened Expressways, travel times have been cut down drastically along some routes. However, depending on your itinerary and the time of day you travel in, it can be long but we try to keep it to about 3 hours. If this is not possible, we factor in places for quick stops to stretch your legs.
A combination of transport options are now available and Ayu in the Wild Holidays can advice you on the best options depending on your holiday route.
We believe, the people you meet, make a holiday that much more special!
Yes, with separate beds for kids but it is not common. Where Family rooms are not available, you could book a double or triple with an extra bed or an interconnecting room in hotels. In most places fold-away beds will be provided even in Family Suites.
Cost of entrance fees can be excluded from your tour cost, so you pay only if you go. Check with us about which activities are included and which ones are ‘optional extras’.
The Jeep rides can be rather bumpy and are usually in open sided jeeps with bar handles for protection. The roof is generally canvas or metal but you will be safe from the sun and rain. Be prepared for a bit of wind, dust and the thrill of being in one of the top destinations outside Africa for Wildlife and you will have the time of your life.
If there is one thing you must do in Sri Lanka is a train journey! We love to send our guests on the old fashioned carriages that ply the tracks in Sri Lanka, just to transport them back in time to old school rail travel that started on the island in the 1800s!
Views of tea laden hills on a train journey from Ella to Nanuoya or vice versa is a must do your visit to Sri Lanka
Initially built to transport tea and coffee from the cool mountains of the Central Highlands to coastal Colombo for export to the rest of the world the off beat routes are an insight into everday island life. Embrace the slow travel. ..the sights ( think stunning scenery, quaint small towns and beautiful old, really old railway stations )...the sounds ( gram sellers selling hot boiled gram with coconuts salt and pepper) and mostly the people...from energetic school kids to friendly locals who love to know where you're going!
Sri Lanka train travel - the old fashioned slow travel option.
The old fashioned carriages that chug along the ancient railway tracks are a far cry from the speed trains that many travelers are familiar with but adults and kids love it.
We will discuss each activity in detail when crafting your tour including the the duration, what time to wake up and leave (e.g; Sigiriya is best done early am, its about a 1000 steps, very doable, but the last bit of the ascent is windy and steep for young children). There won’t be any unpleasant surprises.
When you book your transport with us we will provide either a toddler sear or a booster seat depending on your child's age. *Please note that our vans do not have 3 point belts.
Toddler Seat Booster Seat
Accommodation throughout the tour can be selected based on your budget. They can be a mix of the world’s best Small Luxury Hotels, Spa Resorts, 3-5 star Luxury Hotels, Boutique Hotels and Villas with the most blissful pampering, Tented Campsites exclusively for your use and some incredibly unique Eco Lodges. Many of the Eco-lodges are jungle-enclosed little gems with all the extra comforts you need on safari. They can also be quite secluded and isolated from any shops. It is advisable to purchase your requirement of toiletries, snacks, food, beverages (including any alcoholic beverages) etc prior to check-in at the Eco Lodges. However, please check with us about the availability of fridge/freezer facilities for storage. An advance payment is construed as acceptance of the accommodation offered. Please see the Discover Sri Lanka page for details of the accommodation.
Electricity – 220 Volts/50 Hz Ac. Sri Lanka has a range of electrical sockets throughout the island and we would advise you to purchase travel adaptors with square pins and round pins. Adaptors are widely available at the airport and at hotels and wayside shops too.
Some of our Eco Lodges have extremely limited network coverage but all hotels and most B&Bs have sufficient network coverage and are wifi enabled. We suggest you purchase a local SIM card at the airport before leaving the arrivals lounge.
You need to pack for all seasons and reasons – culture, seasons and mosquitoes!
GMT +5 ½ hours
Always use bottled water. It’s available cheaply and freely at stores island-wide and is also provided in your vehicle by Ayu in the Wild. Complementary bottles are supplied at each Lodge/Hotel. Food hygiene is very high throughout the tour. Do try the incredible variety of Sri Lankan curries served with rice but a number of international food options will also be available. You will never go hungry!
For group tours, all ground transportation will be in comfortable air-conditioned vans. For 3 pax or less an air-conditioned Sedan (car) will be used. All ground transportation have generous luggage space. If traveling on a Scenic or Photography Flight on a Light Aircraft or Helicopter, strict weight restrictions will apply to baggage allowed on board. Be prepared to carry only a day-bag of maximum 3 Kg on board (including photography equipment) – rest of the luggage will be transported overland in the Van/Car.
Most Hotels/Lodges offer good laundry services with one day delivery. Prices will vary. No laundry will be offered at the Campsites or Eco Lodges.
You will arrive at Bandaranaika International Airport in the suburbs of Colombo. Central Colombo is about 20 minutes drive on the Expressway but may take just over an hour depending on traffic if you arrive at mid day or during the peak traffic periods where schools and office open/close.
Yes, absolutely recommended.
Sri Lanka is known as one of the safest tourist destinations in the world. However it is advisable to keep your belongings safe at all times. Please bring lockable bags to keep your personal belongings at Hotels/Lodges/Campsites, while you are out of your room. Please be careful when drawing out your wallet/handbag at crowded place – especially at cultural sites. Ayu in the Wild Holidays will not be held responsible for loss or theft of your belongings.
Water is an essential resource for our island, sustaining our agriculture and producing our power. We kindly request you to conserve water when bathing, brushing your teeth & shaving. Please refrain from wasting drinking water. Please switch off lights, electronic equipment & air-conditioning when not required.
Please refrain from purchasing any curios or items made out of endangered species, especially ivory. It is an offense to carry around feathers, fur or other animal parts with you. Please do not purchase ancient artifacts – they are very likely to be fakes and if they are not, it is an offense to sell them commercially.
Our suggested reading list for your travel and holiday in Sri Lanka is about taking a deeper look at the people of this island and places that you may tour in Sri Lanka through the eyes of Sri Lankan authors. This list has been personally curated by the owners of Ayu in the Wild Holidays Sri Lanka.
The Road From Elephant Pass won the 2003 Gratiaen Prize for creative writing in English “for its moving story, for its constant feel of real life, for its consistency of narrative momentum, for its descriptive power, for its dramatic use of dialogue to define social context, capture character psychology, and trace the development of a relationship, for its convincing demonstration that resolution of conflict and reconciliation of differences are feasible through mutual experience and regard, and last though not least, for its eminently civilized handling of the last degree of intimacy between a man and a woman.
The Book: Man Eater of Punani – A past rediscovered through a remarkable journey to one of the most exotic countries of the world – Sri Lanka. More than a simple tale of adventure of a man-eating leopard that terrorized the tiny village, the story is the revelation of a colourful but troubled past – a charmed life of the author. A quick read for those traveling across Sri Lanka. The Author : Sir Christopher Ondaatje was born in Sri Lanka, educated in England and built a successful career in finance and publishing in Canada. In the early nineties he sold all his business and has broken new ground as a respected book reviewer and a writer of thought-provoking books. He is a life patron of the National Portrait Gallery where the Ondaatje Wing is named after him. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in June 2000, and awarded a Knighthood in the Queen’s honours list, June 2003.
The Book : Running in the Family – Michael Ondaatje’s portrayal of fact, fiction, a lost Ceylon and a blur of recollections about his family, stories from memory and a vivid imagination! The Author : Michael Ondaatje lives in Toronto and is the author of the internationally celebrated novels In the Skin of a Lion,The English Patient, Anil’s Ghost. His other books include Running in the Family, Coming Through Slaughter, The Cinnamon Peeler, and Handwriting. Ondaatje was born in Sri Lanka, and came to Canada
The Book: Out of the Blue – Although titled as a guide to marine mammals, the book is a personal exploration of the deep seas and and indepth compilation of marine mammal behaviour learnt through hours spent tracking pods of Spinner Dolphins, Dugongs, Ocras and Whales. A must to read for a deeper look at these fascinating creatures of the sea and at least glance through before embarking on a Whale Watching safari in Sri Lanka. The Author : Howard Martenstyn returned to Sri Lanka following an early retirement in his career in Canada and has since then pursued his passion for the wild seas off Sri Lanka. Currently a Director Director Research at CRIOMM – Centre for Research on Indian Ocean Marine Mammals he was awarded for his ‘Outstanding Contribution’ at the Marine Conservation Conference 2013 for his intensive research on marine mammals as reflected in ‘Out of the Blue’ the most comprehensive publication on the subject to date.
This novel, set in Ceylon, follows the lives of a handful of villagers hacking out a fragile existence in a jungle where indiscriminate growth, indifferent fate and malevolent neighbours constantly threaten to overwhelm them.
Sri Lanka is a popular destination with a rich avian diversity. Almost 30 species are endemic to the country and there are another 70 endemic subspecies. This fully illustrated guide is an essential companion for anyone interested in Sri Lanka's birds.
The book describes all the mammalian species in Sri Lanka known up to date, with 125+ species, both terrestrial and marine. The colored portraits were drawn by Gamini Ratnavira, who is popular wildlife artist in Sri Lanka. The other natural colored photographs were taken by numerous animals lovers, and there are unique collection of photographs, where some photos of very rare species are into the arena for the first time with this book.
Bespoke experiential holidays that make the inner you connect with outdoor Sri Lanka.