Highlands of Sri Lanka

15 days
from
1 905 €
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Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 18 reviews >
Moderate
Learn more
Trip code: 
TGY
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

Spend two weeks walking and exploring the delights of this diverse and inspiring island

Behind the dazzling beauty of Sri Lanka’s world famous beaches is an island of lush jungle, spice gardens, ancient Buddhist temples and an abundance of wildlife - all of which makes for a unique trekking experience. Our adventure begins in Sigiriya with a visit to the stunning Lion Rock. From here the trekking begins in earnest, through the unspoilt World Heritage conservation area of the Knuckles Mountain Range, past rice paddies and brushing the vibrant, emerald-green tea plantations of Dickoya. After this we tackle the challenging Adam's Peak (2243m) and then enjoy the spectacular 1000m cliff drop of World's End.

Highlights

  • Walking through rice paddy fields and tea plantations
  • Exploring parts of Sri Lanka rarely seen by other Westerners
  • Visit the beautiful lakeside town of Kandy
  • Sunrise on Adams Peak (except between May-November)
  • Searching for a Leopard in Yala National Park
  • Maldives extension available

Key information

  • 13 nights hotels, all en suite, 1 night full-service camping
  • 8 full and half-day walks
  • Full porterage throughout
  • Maximum altitude 2243m

What's included

 

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 1 dinner included
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplements are available on request (not available for 3 nights).
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
316 810 698
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

8

Pace:

Moderate: 5-6km/3-4miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; good paths

Day by day breakdown
Day 26.0km/3.0miles
Day 315.0km/9.0miles
Day 414.0km/8.0miles
Days 6-714.0km/8.0miles
Day 99.0km/5.0miles
Day 1012.0km/7.0miles
Day 125.0km/3.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Dambulla.

    The group flight arrives at Colombo's Katunake Airport and we transfer to our hotel at Dambulla (160km, 4hrs drive). Those not flying with the group can meet us at the hotel or the airport in time for the transfer.
    Pelwehera Village Resort or similar

  • Day 2

    Visit Dambulla Caves, village walk towards Sigiriya; afternoon visit to Lion Rock Fortress.

    After breakfast we visit the magnificent Cave Temple at Dambulla, one of the most impressive sights in Sri Lanka. There are colourful and very well preserved paintings and statues of Buddha inside the caves, which date back to the 1st century BC. We then have a short, gentle, warm up walk which takes us through villages and rice paddies and on towards Sigiriya, where we have lunch. In the afternoon we visit the imposing 5th century rock fortress, which rises 180m from the plains overlooking the surrounding countryside giving far-reaching views. Used as a safe haven from invaders, the route to the top is up a series of steep steps and gangways. From the base, where a moat surrounds impressive water gardens, we ascend 200m and pass an overhanging rock under which superb portraits of native maidens holding flowers and temple offerings still adorn the walls. Crowning the flat-topped summit are extensive remains of the King's Summer Palace from where there are breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. The descent is much easier and we have a final 35 minute drive back to our hotel in Dambulla.

    Approximate walking distance 6km. Alt. gain 395m, Alt. loss 395m
    Pelwehera Village Resort or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 3

    Drive to Illukkumbura; walk the Manigala Trail in the Knuckles Range.

    The next two days takes us across the famous Knuckles Mountain Range. We start early with a three hour drive to the start of our walk, from where we begin with an easy descent past rice paddies and through the villages of Pitawala Patana and Etanwala. Descending to the river we cross a small bridge and start to climb up through more farmland. Finally emerging at the top of an escarpment we are rewarded with great views of the surrounding countryside. An easy trail takes us along the top of the escarpment to Manigala Top at 1115m, the high point of today. Next we descend to the Mahalakotuwa village area which leads to the main road and then it’s a 20 minute walk to our campsite by the river where we can bathe in the cool, refreshing water.

    Today is the longest walk and is approx. 7 hours walking, 15KM, Alt gain 900m, alt loss 100mAlt. gain 240m, Alt. loss 450m

    (Please note – occasionally due to high water levels we use an alternative campsite. The alternative campsite is about 40 minutes’ drive from Illikumbura).
    Camping at Knuckles with Eco Team or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Walk through forests to Meemure, transfer to Orutota.

    We begin with a short half hour drive to the Narangamuwa Temple at Ranamuregama. Passing rice paddies and coconut groves before entering a heavily forested area. The trail climbs gently for an hour and then levels out before undulating though this lush forest. The only sounds we can hear is the birdsong all around us. Emerging from the forest in the village of Meemure from here we look back and get a great view of the peaks of Lakegala. Passing farms growing pepper and other spices we come to a small tea shop where we have lunch. Approx. 5 hours walking, 14km, accent 240m, deccent 450m. After lunch we take a truck or rickshaws for a bumpy 90 minute ride to Corbetts Gap, a famous viewpoint. Our bus will meet us here for the 1.5hr drive to our hotel at Orutota overlooking the Victoria Reservoir.
    Oruthota Chalets or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    To Kandy; visit the Temple of the Tooth.

    A relaxing morning to enjoy the garden and pool at the hotel. Mid-morning we have a short 18km drive to Kandy and have the afternoon to explore. The town is located around a small lake and we can walk round to hopefully spot several varieties of water birds and large water monitors. Later we visit the Temple of the Tooth, which houses Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist relic - The Tooth of Buddha, which was taken from the funeral pyre in India in 543 BC and only found its way to Sri Lanka in the 4th century AD. There are literally hundreds of worshippers who visit the temple each day and in July/August the most spectacular ceremony takes place.
    Hotel Hilltop or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Days 6-7

    Ascend Adams Peak (2243m).

    This morning we drive to Dickoya (3 hours), where we stay for two nights in simple colonial tea planters bungalows, with wonderful view of the Castlereagh Reservoir. On a clear day we can see the outline of Adams Peak in the distance.

    In the pilgrim season (December-May) we have the day to relax or you can take a short walk around the lake (approx. 6km). We leave around midnight for the walk up Adams Peak (approx. 14km). This will take around 4 hours and we should reach the top, with the many pilgrims at sunrise. In the off season (May – November) we spend Day 6 (Day 7 Ex London) at Dickoya and can walk around the lake and on Day 7 (Day 8 Ex London) we will climb Adams Peak during daylight hours.

    Total accent 1211m, decent, the same.

    (Day 6: B) (Day 7: B,L)
    Glencarin Bungalows or similar

  • Day 8

    To Nuwariya Eliya; optional walk and time to explore the town.

    This morning we have a wonderful drive through tea plantation districts to Nuwariya Eliya. This was the favourite hill station during the British era, situated in the cool highland air at 1890m and has a very British feel. Known locally as 'Little England' it is dotted with British style houses, hotels and a racecourse. There will be an optional walk into the hills around the town and also time to explore the bazaar.
    Windsor Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Early morning to Horton Plains; walk to World's End viewpoint; to Ella by train.

    Today we drive to Horton Plains, a large plateau over 2,000m above sea level, overlooked by the second and third highest peaks in Sri Lanka. The scenery is beautiful and is best explored on foot. We trek through the rolling grasslands, seeing forest and unusual wildlife, such as the sambar deer and purple faced monkey, all the way to 'World's End', one of the most stunning sights in Sri Lanka. Here the ground drops 1050m to the plains below. We then catch the train from the highest railway station in the country; within two hours we’ve dropped from 1889m to 1097m. The train travels through the cloud forest into the tea plantations, the views are spectacular; we disembark at Ella.
    Hotel Country Comfort or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Daywalk around Ella; visit the Ravana Waterfalls and Ella Gap.

    We drive to Kithalaella and climb up to a rocky area to enjoy stunning views of the waterfalls. Continuing on to Ella Gap, we have dramatic views of the coastal plain nearly 1,000m below. Almost the whole of the southern part of the island is in view and on a particularly clear day the shimmering silver of the ocean is visible (approx. 12km walk). We return in the late afternoon to our hotel in Ella.
    Hotel Country Comfort or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 11

    Drive to Yala National Park; afternoon game drive.

    We now head south out of the hills to Tissamaharama down the plains stopping en route to visit the spectacular Ravana Waterfalls as well as the Kataragama Temple. This is a pilgrimage place for both Hindus and Buddhists, who come to worship here in the early mornings and evenings. Colourful and noisy, the temple is always busy. Tissamaharama will be our base for visiting Yala National Park. Its open undulating terrain made it famous for elephants for many years, but recently the park has become well known for leopard. The park, which is primarily shrub jungle with several salt and fresh water lagoons, has one of the highest concentrations of leopard per square kilometre in the world. We will have a game drive in the afternoon. (Please note that the sanctuary may be closed for 4-6 weeks from September to October allowing the park authorities to check the animals. In this instance we will go to an alternative area close by, usually the Udawalawe National Park).
    Chandrika Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Visit Kataragama Temple and walk around Tissamaharama lake; transfer to the coast.

    This morning we drive to Tissamaharama lake where we walk for approximately 3.5 hours (approx. 5km), this is an opportunity to see the day to day life of the local people as well as some good birdlife. In the late afternoon we drive to the coast.
    Insight Resort or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Free day to relax on the beach or optional activities including whale watching (Nov to April).

    Free day to relax on the beach or by the pool. There are also numerous optional activities including a boat ride through mangrove swamps to a cinnamon plantation, or from November to April you can go whale watching off Dondra Head. This is one of the best places in the world for seeing Blue and Sperm whales.
    Insight Resort or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    To Galle; transfer to Colombo.

    We set off early today and drive along the coastal road to the historic port of Galle. Dating back to the 17th century, and now a UNESCO world heritage site, here we visit the Galle Fort and have some free time to enjoy this pretty town. We then follow the coast for the drive back to Colombo visiting a turtle hatchery on the way, reaching Colombo in the late afternoon.
    Hotel Sapphire or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    End Colombo.

    If you are travelling on the group flight we will have a morning transfer to the airport for the daytime flight to London. The arrangements for those not flying with the group ends after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Post-trip Extensions

Maldives

If you are keen to end your holiday on a very relaxed note we can arrange a visit to the Maldives for you.

The flight from Colombo is around 1 hour and upon arrival you will be transferred by speedboat (approximately 20mins) to the Paradise Island 4* resort. Paradise Island is a beautiful coral island with a total land area of 178,900 square metres, covered with lush tropical vegetation, numerous palm trees, surrounded by a wide sandy beach and the crystal clear waters of an azure lagoon.

 You can choose to add on as many extra nights to your trip as you wish; your time on the island will be at leisure for you to do as you wish. The accommodation used has a swimming pool, restaurant, bar, room service and all rooms are air‐conditioned and have en suite facilities. As well as the modern amenities of the resort there is also access to scuba diving and snorkelling or for the less active the chance to swim in these wonderful, calm waters. Either way it is a veritable paradise and a memorable end to the trip.

 If you choose to take advantage of this opportunity then we can arrange flights for you to Malé as well as booking the hotel and speedboat transfer to the island.

Essential Info

Visas

Sri Lanka

A visa (Electronic Travel Authorisation) is required if you are British and for most other nationalities. If you do not hold a British passport, please check the visa requirements with your local Sri Lankan Embassy or the ETA website www.eta.gov.lk. Passengers should also be aware of local laws and customs in Sri Lanka (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/sri-lanka/local-laws-and-customs). The mistreatment of Buddhist images and artefacts is an offence; please note that people have been refused entry to Sri Lanka because of visible tattoos of Buddha.

Vaccinations

Sri Lanka

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 1 dinner is included.

We suggest allowing about GBP10-15 (approx. . USD16-24) per day for all other meals and drinks. Sri Lankan cuisine is a fascinating reflection of the island’s heritage; there is a unique fusion of fresh local produce with spices brought to the island over the centuries by Malays, Arabs, Indians as well as the Dutch, Portuguese and English. Despite (or perhaps because of) these influences, Sri Lankan cuisine is often referred to as simply ‘Rice and Curry’. This is the staple dish in most restaurants and is usually a serving of rice accompanied by assorted meat and vegetable curries as well as various pickles, ‘sambols,’ and a handful of tiny poppadum’s – all using the contrasting flavours of coconut, chilli, curry leaves, cinnamon and garlic.

Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Please note that in Sri Lanka the availability of certain products is minimal or non-existent, for example wheat or dairy-free. Please be prepared for this and you may need to bring these from home. Spicier food can be avoided easily and lots of the hotels will serve Western options alongside traditional food.

Weather

Generally, you should expect rain at some time but with plenty of sunshine. On the plains, day and night time temperatures are very hot and humid with Colombo having an average daytime temperature of 30ºC. It can be humid whilst walking. The temperatures drop as we go higher into the hills where daytime temperatures are between 15º - 25º C and night time temperatures will be cooler (about 10º C minimum) and a warmish fleece will be needed.

Kandy

Is this trip for you?

This is a moderate trip graded B with some day walks and some half day walks. There will be a back up vehicle making all the walking optional. Some days there will be options of easier and more challenging walks. Most of the walks are between 4 and 6 hours, with one longer 7 hour walk. The trails are fairly well made and used by locals. If it rains some of the trails can get slippery and there can be leeches. It can be hot and humid on the lower walks. The drives to the start of the walks and from the end of the walks to the hotels are sometimes on narrow winding roads. Most of the accommodation is comfortable with two nights spent in simple hotels and one night spent in a fixed camp. All the hotels have twin bedded rooms with attached bathrooms and the tented camp has tents with camp beds, bedding and towels, a toilet and shower tent.

Call us on
316 810 698
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Camping

You will stay 13 nights in hotels all of which have en suite facilities; all hotels have twin bedded rooms with attached bathrooms. There will also be 1 night of full service camping. The tents have two camp beds with bedding. There is a toilet tent with sit down toilet and a shower tent. A cook team will prepare meals which are usually served outside. Single supplements are available on request (not available for 3 nights).

Call us on
316 810 698
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call us on
316 810 698
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed March 2017
    Anne Marie Cavana

    Discovery Sri Lanka 25/02/2017

    Were can I begin as this was the most amazing holiday I have ever had . From the beginning to the end there was so many great things I did, everyday was so different filled with so many great experiences. The people are so friendly,with breathtaking views,to the white sandy beaches,even to the hustle and bustle of the city I would highly recommend this wonderful part of the world as there is something for everyone to enjoy

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Adams peak was what I wanted to achieve on this holiday, as I knew it would be one of the most beautiful places to see. To reach the top of the mountain and wanting to see what the temple was like when I got there. Eventually three of us made it to the temple at the top,It felt like you could touch heaven as the clouds were just beneath you. Breathe taking views It was the most challenging of all the walks we did but I felt so humble to get to see and be part of the pilgrim The Sri Lankan people with there children,carrying their babies, old and frail achieving to reach the very top to worship, people stopping off along the side of the trail to rest and have tea . Such a honor to be there and get to the top

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sujeewa Rathnayaka was a fabulous guide, full of local knowledge going above and beyond his job. He arranged lots if different experiences for us to be part of , giving individuals there dreams come true. When we arrived from the train in Ella, we were greeted by the other members of Sujeewa team with bunches of flowers, that was such a lovely touch. His team of drivers and assistant were more than excellent so friendly they couldn't do enough for us all

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would highly recommend this holiday, as it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. With happy and friendly people along the trip, they were delighted for us to see and be part of the country

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus have planned this holiday with great detailed experiences for everyone to see and enjoy I can't wait to see we're I can go next xxxx
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Karin May

    Highlands of sri lanka

    We thoroughly enjoyed our Sri Lankan experience and found it to be very good value and well organised. It is such a stunningly beautiful green and lush country and the views often made us gasp with delight! The locals were very welcoming and kind and friendly. The trip was very varied and each day was a new and different experience. Our group was mixed but we got along fine and had some great laughs along the way!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many - for my husband the challenge of Adams Peak was inspirational. Meeting locals and the beautiful landscapes and walking around the tea plantations and visiting the cave temple in Dambulla, visiting Kandy and the temple of the tooth and the historic port of Galle were just amazing for me. In fact every day there was something inspirational!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sujee was very well organised, very friendly and professional and very kind and also had a good sense of humour! He was very passionate about his country and keen to impart his knowledge - we learned so much about Sri Lanka which was amazing. His back up team of drivers deserve a mention for their hard work and commitment to delivering a top class service, always with a huge smile!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go and open up your heart to Sri Lanka - you will be fully rewarded!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The accommodation in Dickoya was very picturesque in a very beautiful location surrounded by tea plantations and a reservoir and I wouldn't want to change this - however the bottom bungalow had a rodent problem in our bedroom and the whole place needed a very thorough deep clean - towels were extremely thin old and stained as were the bed linen. These are issues that could easily be rectified.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Karin for her review, although we are sincerely sorry to hear that she was disappointed with the cleanliness of the accommodation in Dickoya. It is the first time we can recall receiving this feedback and we have raised Karin’s concerns with the property’s management. We understand that these issues have been addressed and arrangements made to prevent rodents from entering the buildings, which we trust will prevent future clients experiencing similar issues. Whilst we realise that this cannot alter Karin’s experience, we hope it shows we have taken her comments seriously. John Penge - Product Manager

  • Reviewed February 2017
    Phyllis Ryan

    A Great Experience

    A fantastic experience. The weather wasn't always with us, but we enjoyed ourselves anyway. The treks were varied and very interesting. The whale watching trip is well worth the extra money, so do it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment of my trip was Adam's Peak. The amount of pilgrims going up there carrying elderly or disabled relatives or friends was amazing. Lots of young people too, and different religious beliefs. Truly inspiring!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sujan was a very good guide. Very informative, and helpful. He was always there with us, and kept an eye on the slower members of our group. He arranged many little treats with our kitty, too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have adequate mozzie spray. I had taken plenty, but still got bitten.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    John Clarke

    Highlands of Sri Lanka

    A thoroughly enjoyable group tour of the southern half of Sri Lanka. Highlights included an overnight ascent of Adam's Peak and whale watching off the south coast.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of Adam's Peak in time for sunrise (notwithstanding that the clouds had gathered).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sujan was excellent throughout and provided good local knowledge and background information - all with a nice sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's worth doing some homework on Sri Lankan birdlife before you leave, and take a good pair of binoculars.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Generally the accommodation was good, the highlight being the tea plantation bungalows. If I'm being critical, the campsite didn't really work for me - it might be better to consider finding a lodge or guest house instead.
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Susan Gearing

    Highlands of Sri Lanka

    We enjoyed this holiday immensely. It gave us an insight into a beautiful country and its people, history, geography and development. Much of this was made posible by an exceptional leder,Ruwan Balasooriya who managed to combine organisational skills and knowledge with a pleasing sense of humour. Walking companions proved good company and generally accommodation, travel and food were up to expectations. It was one of our best-ever holidays.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Glencairn tea plantation - its location, general ambience, including winderful views Trek to Horton Plains and World End Visit to a 'tsunami' family Views too many to mention

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Exceptional. See above. We were a group but he found time for us as individuals.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Exodus covered the ground well enough

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    In any holiday, there will be one or two small matters. The stay at the campsite was agood idea but the site could use some help in upgrading and siting of toilet facilities. Buffet at Insight hotel needed more attention. However none of this impacted on our enjoyment of the holiday
  • Reviewed January 2017
    David Simpson

    Highlands of Sri Lanka

    A really varied trip in a very beautiful country, giving a great mix of culture, walking and nature amid some stunning scenery. Coming from the UK winter, the lush greenery and fabulous flora and fauna of Sri Lanka was a joy, and the leader and other local staff ensured everything ran like clockwork and everyone was well looked after and kept happy.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of Adam's Peak for sunrise, hiking in the remote Knuckles mountain range, and seeing about 8 blue whales on the optional coastal excursion - definitely a 'must-do' option for anyone travelling in the right season.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ruwan was an excellent leader, full of local knowledge of all aspects of local culture, food, flora and fauna. He kept everything running smoothly at all times, was always available, and always patient even when asked the same questions many times. Also a friendly guy with a sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Really varied bird life, so worth taking a small pair of binoculars and a bird book. Take the optional whale watching trip if there in migration season. The first 3 months of the year seem a great time to visit for whales, weather and pilgrimage season up Adam's Peal
  • Reviewed December 2016
    Julian and Helen Penfold

    Highlands of Sri Lanka

    Exhausting, exhilarating, exceptional, exciting.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Almost every day brought us an inspirational moment from seeing Leopards to the scenery to tasting authentic Sri Lankan food, but for me the wow moment was seeing an elephant strolling through a lake of water hyacinths chomping to his (her?) hearts content oblivious to our presence.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kingsley the guide was exceptional. Not only did he know his stuff about wildlife he could spot creatures that I would have walked past, but he also took the time to take an interest in what everyone in the group was interested in and helped us get the most from the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A combination of altitude, heat and humidity can take it out of you if you are not used to this type of environment. It's difficult to prepare for these factors so be prepared to find things a bit hard going until you are acclimatised.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was our first outing with Exodus and we were really impressed with everything, from the pre and on site organisation through to the activities themselves. Kingsley, our guide really made the holiday with his knowledge and attention to our wants and interests. Perhaps it would have been less "busy" to have stopped in some of the hotels for a little longer, but that would have meant longer bus drives or limiting the activities, but overall we were very pleased with everything.
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Julie Beauley

    Highlands of Sri Lanka

    Once again I had a fantastic time on a trip with Exodus, this time to Sri Lanka. The guide was excellent, very informative and friendly, in fact he couldn't do enough for us. The driver, co driver and luggage driver were also happy to help with anything we asked of them. The country is beautiful and full of amazing things to see, the people were extremely friendly and the local guides were very helpful. I would recommend this trip to anybody. All the hotels we stayed in were lovely, the staff were friendly and the food was great.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were to many to choose from really. The Buddhist temples were beautiful and very peaceful, the jungle walk and mountain climbing was lovely and it was great to be able to go whale watching and we were lucky to see two blue whales and a white one.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide was excellent, he had a big group to look after (16) but he did it with ease. He was very proud of his country, very informative and very friendly and good fun. He couldn't do enough for us. I would recommend him as guide of the year.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I think this has been mentioned by others but the trip notes suggest walking sandals but I would strongly suggest walking shoes or boots because of the terrain and the leeches in the jungle. Please do not be put off by the mention of leeches, they do not do any harm and the local guides carry a solution to get rid of them immediately.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I could not fault this trip in anyway. We had 16 very different people put together on a small bus and everybody got on and helped each other if needed. If you are thinking about going do not hesitate, you will not regret it.
  • Reviewed November 2015
    David Issitt

    HIGHLANDS OF SRI LANKA WITH MALDIVES EXTENSION

    The perfect combination - a wonderful walking tour visiting some of the many and varied splendid sights of Sri Lanka followed by a few days winding down in the Maldives! Sri Lanka lived up to its name "Resplendent Island" and the places visited, walks walked, sights seen, people met and food eaten, all backed up by a first class leader, made this an adventure to remember and recommend to others.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Where to start? Just when you thought it couldn't get better, Sri Lanka had a surprise for you just around the corner. I can't decide - pick any one moment from these; wild elephants up close, arriving at the summit of Adam's Peak, a soaring eagle, a refreshing swim in a river, the sights and sounds of the jungle, whales spouting, amazing historic artefacts and the most incredible local food!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group Leaders are the face of an adventure company and leaders of the calibre of Sampath Kulathunga put Exodus in the forefront. The complete unflappable professional, Sam ensured that the group was always safe, well informed, entertained and extremely well fed (despite many special dietary requirements within the group). Longish coach journeys were far from boring, with Sam providing great commentaries on a wide variety of relevant subjects. Thanks to Sam, I felt that I hadn't just visited Sri Lanka, but had been totally immersed in its culture, history and geography. One of the very best Leaders I have come across.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Sri Lanka - Whilst the trip notes state walking sandals, light boots/trainers are better for the time of year we went (very wet underfoot at times and leeches abound). Expect your kit to get damp due to high humidity so packing in waterproof bags helps. Although the overall trip is graded Moderate, the temperature and humidity can make some of the walks e.g. Adam's Peak, feel harder (but very rewarding). Maldives - you can't take alcohol into the Maldives; don't try and cheat, your bags (hold baggage too) WILL be Xrayed and checked by customs on arrival and alcohol is taken from you on arrival and returned as you leave - be prepared for this if you have developed a taste for Sri Lankan Arrack like I did!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Sri Lanka is a wonderful place to visit and this trip - well presented by Exodus staff - is an ideal way to see it and get a taste for what the place has to offer.
  • Reviewed February 2015
    Andrew Collins

    A most enjoyable trip to a beautiful country.

    We have just returned from the late January / early February slot and had an excellent time. The tour ran as per the itinerary with no disruption as a consequence of the heavy rain back in December, and offered a good balance between walking and culture / sightseeing. The Group all got on well together and we enjoyed plenty of laughs. We were looked after incredibly well by the whole 'crew' throughout our stay.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip had many highlights but we particularly enjoyed the walking in the Knuckles Mountains which are well off the tourist trail. The walk at Horton Plains is also very enjoyable, albeit quite busy. On the cultural side the caves at Dambulla are exceptional as are the very early wall paintings at Sigirya. For those interested in wildlife, the range of birds seen on the various walks was unexpected.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rewan was an excellent guide - very knowledgeable, always helpful, well organised, sociable and everything was done with a smile. His talks on the bus journeys on a variety of subjects including the history of Sri Lanka were fascinating. In addition to Rewan, mention should also be made of our bus driver who was very accomplished and showed great skill in manoeuvring the bus around some tight roads.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The kit list suggests walking in trekking sandals and has walking boots listed as optional. In my view walking boots are essential given the terrain of some of the walks in the Hill Country and to offer protection against the leeches that exist on the damp forest paths. I would also recommend taking a lightweight pair of waterproof overtrousers as when it rains it can be very heavy and the mountain weather is unpredictable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a very good trip which we felt allowed us to glimpse the 'real' Sri Lanka. Given the range of activities, the distances travelled and the logistics involved in pulling a tour like this together, we felt it offered good value for money. The hotels used are not smart highly 'westernised' places, but all quite comfortable albeit with a few rough edges. We shall certainly return to Sri Lanka in the future.

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Maldives Extension

If you are keen to end your holiday on a very relaxed note we can arrange a visit to the Maldives, just 1 hour flying time from Colombo

For more details on this particular extension please go to page 4 of the Trip Notes. Alternatively, you can call one of our Sales team, who will be happy to assist you.

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