Sri Lanka is an island country located in Indian Ocean approximate 31 miles off the southern coast of India and separated by the Palk Strait. The maximum length and width of Sri Lanka is 435 km and 225 km respectively and the total area of Sri Lanka is 65610 sq km (Land area: 64740 sq km, Water area: 870 sq km). Its coastline is 1,340 km long. The pear-shaped island consists mostly of flat-to-rolling coastal plains, with mountains rising only in the south-central part. The most significant mountains in the Island are Sri Pada and Pidurutalagala, which is also known as Mt Pedro, Sri Lanka's highest point at 2,524 meters (8,281ft). The Mahaweli River and other major rivers provide fresh water to the burgeoning foliage. The pattern of life in Sri Lanka depends directly on the availability of rainwater. The "wet zone" which consists mainly of the mountains and the southwestern part of the country, receive ample rainfall (an annual average of 250 centimeters). Most of the southeast, east, and northern parts of the country comprise the "dry zone", which receives between 1200 and 1900 mm of rain annually.
Electric Supply and Plugs
The voltage is Sri Lanka is 220/ 240 volts. Sri Lankan hotels have two types of plug bases; either the UK (Type G) or India (Type D).
The time in Sri Lanka is GMT +5:30 hours.
The national language of Sri Lanka is Sinhalese, spoken by about 75% of Sri Lanka. Tamil is a regional language spoken by 4%. Tourism plays such an important part in Sri Lanka that in the majority of well-populated areas the locals speak English, so you will find it easy to get along. However, if you learn some phrases either before you go or by asking your tour guide it pays dividends and is part of the fun to try out your vocabulary during the trip.
Sri Lanka has a typically tropical climate with an average annual temperature of 27°C / 80°F at sea-level. It is, of course, cooler at higher elevations, with annual average temperatures of 20°C / 68°F in Kandy, dropping to 16°C / 58°F at Newara Eliya. Year round, the conditions in the hill country are pleasant for hiking, with cool evenings. Bright, sunny, warm days are the rule and are common even during the height of the monsoon - climatically Sri Lanka has no off season. The south-west monsoon brings rain from May to July to the western, southern and central regions, while the north-east monsoon brings rain to the northern and eastern regions in December and January.
The currency of Sri Lanka is the Indian Rupee. For up to date exchange rates visit: www.xe.com
It is not possible to obtain local currency prior to departure. Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are equally acceptable for exchange in India. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of cash. If you prefer not to carry all of your spending money in cash, it is possible to withdraw money from ATMs in Delhi using your debit or credit card.
From the 1st January 2012 a visa is required for all nationals (except from the Maldives and Singapore) and will need to be obtained PRIOR to arrival. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of entry. Visa forms and details of requirements can be found on the UK Sri Lanka High Commission website: www.srilankahighcommission.co.uk or your own country's equivalent.
We do keep our information up to date but be advised visa requirements are subject to change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant commission in the case of recent alterations.
You should attend your own doctor and dentist for a check-up. Your doctor will have access to the most up to date information on the required vaccinations for the country you are visiting. In general we recommend vaccinations against the following: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis ‘A'. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended for this trip although the incidence of Malaria in the areas visited on this tour is low.
A very good online resource is the NHS travel website at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk
Additional Sources of Information
Sri Lanka. Lonely Planet Guide.
Footprint Sri Lanka. Footprint Guides.
Sri Lanka: The Bradt Travel Guide.
Sri Lanka. Nelles Guides & Maps - 1:450,000
Sri Lanka. Periplus Maps - 1:525,00