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SRI LANKA FAQ’s

Home Icon Find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from our customers

  • Is there a time difference?

    Sri Lanka is GMT +4½ hrs.

  • What is the currency?

    Sri Lankan Rupee

  • What will the weather be like?

    Sri Lanka’s climate is tropical and consists of distinct wet and dry seasons. Generally speaking, the coastal areas of Sri Lanka enjoy temperatures averaging 28°C (82°F) while the upland areas are cooler and more temperate, with a yearly average around 16-20°C (60-68°F). Our tours of Sri Lanka operate in January, February and March, which is a great time to travel across the whole country. Sri Lanka is generally basking in sunshine and relatively dry throughout these months. Temperatures will be warm, although it is noticeably cooler up in the hill country around Nuwara Eliya. We recommend checking up-to-date weather forecasts before you travel.

  • What clothing should I take to Sri Lanka?

    Dress for our tours is generally relaxed and informal during the day, dressing to suit the weather conditions and the activity you are undertaking. It’s likely there will be occasions when exploring you’ll be walking on uneven surfaces, so we recommend sturdy and comfortable walking shoes. Wearing layers of clothing means it’s much easier to deal with potentially varied weather conditions and it’s always advisable to carry a waterproof. Any included evening dinners are also informal, with smart casual dress being the norm. We would also recommend taking good insect repellent, a high factor sun-screen lotion and a hat for protection from the sun.

    It is always worth being aware of local customs when visiting sacred places. As a general rule, when visiting such places, it is recommended that arms and legs are covered. Women may also wish to take a shawl to cover their shoulders and all visitors should wear long trousers, skirts or shorts that reach below the knee. Taking off your shoes is also a prerequisite before entering many sacred places, and as floors can sometimes be wet or very hot, a few pairs of spare socks will be very useful. For our safaris in Yala National Park, we recommend layered clothing including something warm as it can be cold on early morning drives. If you have them, binoculars will provide a great opportunity for closer wildlife viewing.

  • What is the best way to pay for things in Sri Lanka?

    ou cannot obtain Sri Lankan Rupee before arrival in the country. Opportunities for cash withdrawals from ATMs are limited and restricted to daily limits ranging between Rs40,000 and Rs60,000 (approx. £148 and £220). We recommend taking some sterling or US dollars that can be exchanged locally in Sri Lanka at local money exchanges. When you change money, ask for some small bills and keep these separate from the larger ones, so that they’re readily accessible. Small amounts of US dollar bills are handy for tipping.

    Major credit cards can be used throughout your tour in most hotels. We recommend advising your bank of your travel plans so you do not encounter potential problems when trying to use your card to make a purchase or withdraw money.

    Your tour manger will be on hand to help you find the best places to exchange your money.

    You may also wish to consider a currency card to buy currency and lock in a great exchange rate before you travel. Distant Journeys recommends Revolut, a digital banking app which offers a pre-paid physical or virtual currency card. It is also simple to apply for, set up and use.

    For more information on the Revolut Currency Card, please click here

  • How much should I tip in Sri Lanka?

    Unlike the UK, tipping is very much a way of life in Sri Lanka. We have included a number of gratuities into your tour, although for your Tour Guide, Drivers and assistants, suggested tipping amounts are as follows

    Very Best of Sri Lanka: USD $100 per person to be distributed amongst the Tour Manager, driver and assistant.

    Treasures of Sri Lanka: USD $120 per person to be distributed amongst the Tour Manager, driver and assistant.

    Private Tours
    Driver Guide: USD $25 per day

    Holiday Extensions
    Drivers: USD10 per transfer

  • What are the entry requirements for Sri Lanka?

    The following information on entry requirements, passports and visas is for British citizens only. Holders of a British Subject passport, non-British citizens and holders of a passport endorsed in any way should check immigration requirements with the relevant embassy or consulate of the country to be visited, as should clients with dual nationality or renounced citizenship.

  • Do I need to renew my passport?

    A valid ten-year British passport is required for all holidays, valid for a minimum of 6 months after your return date to the UK. If you are not currently in possession of a valid passport, please make sure you leave plenty of time before your holiday to apply for this document. Our recommendation is that you should apply at least three months before your holiday.

  • Will I need a visa to enter Sri Lanka?

    You are required to obtain an eVisa before travelling to Sri Lanka. You can apply online for your visa within 90 days of travel on the government of Sri Lanka’s Official Sri Lanka Visa website. Alternatively, you may prefer to use a visa agency to help you obtain your visa and we recommend The Travel Visa Company. We also suggest referring to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) website, for up-to-date entry requirements.

    For more information on passport information and entry requirements please visit the Government Passport Office website and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) website.

    Please note entry requirements may change and it is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of all necessary travel, passport, visa and other entry requirements before departure. All costs incurred in obtaining such documentation must be paid by you. We regret we cannot accept any liability if you are refused entry onto any transport or into any country due to failure on your part to obtain and carry all required documentation.

  • Do I need to have any vaccinations?

    Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and may change at any time. You should take health advice from your GP or local travel clinic about your specific needs as early as possible and ensure that vaccinations or preventative measures are taken early enough (which may be a month or more prior to departure) to be fully effective by the date of travel.

    We also suggest referring to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) website, and the NHS Travel Vaccinations website.

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