Sri Lanka is famous for its 1,600 km of unspoilt, golden beaches

“Wow – where do I start?? I have just had the most amazing experience of my life, the only bad part was that it had to come to an end.”

Live and Work in SRI LANKA
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Programmes you can
do in Sri Lanka:
Teach English
Coach Football
Elephant Conservation
Colombo Zoo Project
An Elephant Experience!
A Rural Experience
Work Experience
Volunteers’ Feedback
Apply to Join

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WEATHER in Colombo.
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Click for MAP

Sri Lanka is a vibrant country of 18 million people; rich in its diversity of culture, race, language and religion. The island has an abundance of natural resources, fauna and flora, mountains, rivers and beautiful beaches. It is located at the crossroads where East meets West and is regarded as the gateway to South Asia.

The hill country has gorgeous rolling hills and tea plantations. The entire island is teeming with bird life and exotics like elephants and leopards. The people are friendly, food delicious and costs low!

A stunning island filled with beaches and wild life sanctuaries like the Elephant Orphanage, ancient cities, hills, beaches – and most of all, it’s incredible beauty.

EXCITING NEW PROJECT
Wasgamuwa – teach in the heart of this amazing country!

To read about the extensive Support & Backup we provide in our countries, please click here.

A beach in idyllic Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

ABOUT SRI LANKA
There’s good swimming at any number of beaches along the south-western coast. Excellent scuba diving, snorkelling and surfing are found at Hikkaduwa, there’s pleasant snorkelling at Unawatuna, and sailing, windsurfing and water skiing on the Bentota River. For trekking, try climbing Adam’s Peak or walking across the strange silent plateau of Horton Plains near Nuwara Eliya to see the 700m (2296ft) drop at World’s End.
Animal life is profuse and includes the ubiquitous elephant, as well as leopards, deer, monkeys, sloth bears, wild boar, cobras, crocodiles, dugong and turtles. The island is an important seasonal home to migrating birds, including flamingoes, who flock to the lagoons, wetlands and bird sanctuaries for respite from the northern winter. The best time to see birds is between January and April.

Climate: the driest and best seasons are from December to March on the west and south coasts and in the hill country, and from May to September on the east coast. December to March is also the time when most foreign tourists come, the majority of them escaping the European winter.

The coastal stretch south of Colombo offers palm-lined sandy expanses as far as the eye can see. The Kandyan dances, a procession of elephants or the masked devil dances. Then there are the ruins, ancient and inspiring architecture in the cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa to satisfy any archaeologist.

A hilarious Story about Sr Lanka Cows by Richard Anderson

ABOUT COLOMBO
Colombo is the capital city and the commercial centre of Sri Lanka, filled with shopping centres and all modern facilities. The city has an eclectic blend of old and new, traditional and modern, Eastern and Western.

Colombo, the island’s largest city, is noisy, frenetic – and just a little crazy. Thankfully, the breakdowns, snarled traffic and power cuts are received with a shrug and a smile. ‘No problem’ might be the national motto; it’s certainly the one phrase everyone knows and can say.

Colombo is a relatively easy city to find your way around. To the north is the Fort district, the country’s business centre, which has department stores, book shops, airline offices and is the site of the Central Bank which the Tamil Tigers blew up in January 1996. There are also ample sights such as the clock tower, a former lighthouse, the president’s residence (known by incorrigible traditionalists as Queen’s House), and a cluster of colonial buildings which lend the district an aura of bygone Empire.

Immediately south of here is Galle Face Green, a seafront expanse of occasional green graced by cricket games, kite flyers and trysting lovers. Cinammon Gardens, further south, is Colombo’s most fashionable neighbourhood, with elegant mansions, tree-lined streets and the city’s largest park. East of the fort is the pungent Pettah bazaar district. Walk through and marvel at the riot of goods – fruit, vegetables, meat, gems, gold, silver, brass and tin junk.

Culture buffs shouldn’t miss the National Museum, which has a good collection of historical works, the Art Gallery, which focuses on portraiture and temporary exhibits by local artists, and the city’s many mosques and Buddhist and Hindu temples. After familiarising yourself with Sri Lankan culture, check out the island’s fauna at the Dehiwala Zoo. The highlight here is an afternoon elephant show. The closest real beach is at Mt Lavinia, a faded resort 10km south of the city.

Budget accommodation, cheap food and the best shopping can be found in the Fort and Pettah districts. Nightlife is moribund, though a visit to the cinema in the Fort district is an experience.

RATNAPURA

Ratnapura is known as the City of Gems. You can visit a gem mine, gem museum and cutting and polishing centre.

It is said that King Solomon obtained gems from Sri Lanka to give to the Queen of Sheba.

GALLE

To get to the old Dutch Fort town of Galle (famous for its exquisite hand-made lace), drive along the beautiful south coast road next to golden beaches. Palm trees are everywhere! You will also find the Bentota National Holiday Resort and the mask makers of Ambalangoda along this road

The 36-hectare (89 acre) Dutch Fort, built in 1663, has withstood the ravages of time. Its massive ramparts surround the promontory that forms the older part of Galle, and shelters within its walls sturdy Dutch houses, museums and churches. This area has a quiet, relaxed atmosphere that seems almost detached from the flow of history. The New Oriental Hotel, built for Dutch governors in 1684, is a colonial gem with a wonderfully atmospheric bar. Nearby is a tiny sliver of a beach suitable for a dip.

KANDY
The Royal City

The laidback ‘capital’ of the hill country, and the historical bastion of Buddhist power, is built around a peaceful lake and set in a picturesque bowl of hills. It has a distinctive architectural character thanks to its gently sloping tiled roofs and the town centre is a delightful compendium of old shops, noise, buses, markets and hotels. Its standout attraction is the octagonal Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth), a temple which houses Sri Lanka’s most important religious relic – the sacred tooth of Buddha.

To get to Kandy, you pass through rural Sri Lanka. One of the many attractions is the Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic of the Buddha. On the way you can also visit the unique elephant orphanage at Pinnawala.

NEGOMBO

To the north of Colombo lies Negombo, a busting fishing town with golden beaches and a pallet of colour provided by sails and boats against the deep blue of the ocean.

MIRISSA BEACH

‘Discovered’ by Travellers Project Coordinator Fergus Kane, it is “one of the most beautiful beaches on the island”.

Sri Lanka’s Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
THE ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE AT PINNAWALA

Sri Lanka’s Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
The Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawala attracts visitors from all over the world to view these magnificent animals. Watching the elephants being hand-washed in the river is an amazing experience.

Our ‘Elephant Experience’ Project at Pinnawala is outstanding – for a description of the placement and the work you can do in this stunning place, please click here.

Roshan, Travellers Sri Lanka Manager, with two children from one of the schools

MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION:
Currency: One Sri Lanka Rupee is made up of 100 cents.
Time Difference: Sri Lanka is 5 hrs. ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
Banking hours: 0900 hrs. to 1500 hrs., Mon-Fri.
Credit Cards: All the major credit and charge cards are widely accepted.
Electricity: Voltage : 230 – 240 volts 50 Cycles A.C.
Food: Many races have contributed to Sri Lanka’s culinary diversity – Indians, Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch, British Malays, Chinese ….. as you can imagine the range of foods is immense!
What to Wear: All-year-round wear should be light cotton, drip-dry dresses and light-weight suits, Comfortable shoes or sandals, a wide-brimmed beach hat and sun glasses. However, in the hill country temperatures can drop to as low as 10’C – so take some jumpers with you.
“I’d just like to say that the Travellers teaching placement in Sri Lanka was brilliant, couldn’t fault it at all. Doing the placement was the best decision I ever made, it was absolutely fantastic and I was pretty sad when I finished. Met some really nice people too.” Gemma Leonard

SRI LANKA ON THE INTERNET:
An excellent (but rather slow!) web site which contains anything and everything you could possibly want to know about Sri Lanka is: http://www.srilankatourism.org/

Programmes you can
do in Sri Lanka:
Teach English
Coach Football
Elephant Conservation
Colombo Zoo Project
An Elephant Experience!
A Rural Experience
Work Experience
Volunteers’ Feedback
Apply to Join

Before you leave on your placement with Travellers, we will send you LOTS of information about your placement and about the country itself, with travel tips, useful info on the culture, money, banking hours, transport, where to go an what to see.