Overview & Itinerary


Start
Negombo, Sri Lanka
Finish
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Country
Sri Lanka
Style
Original
Code
HHFL
Travellers rating
3.83
Ages
Min 5
Group size
Min 2, Max 16
Validity
01 Jan 2017 to 31 Dec 2017

Is this trip right for you?

  • Though its equatorial position means fairly constant year-round temperatures, the summer months in Sri Lanka are very hot with short, sharp monsoons in the south-west of the country. Be sure to use adequate sun protection and drink plenty of water.

  • We visit a number of temples on this trip, which requires a certain level of modesty. Please bring clothes that cover the arms and pants/skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.

Physical rating

These trips are setup to involve and include all the family so no real physical preparation is necessary. The trips all have some degree of physical activity but nothing that is too strenuous. Please check the physical rating on the trip notes and if you need further explanation please contact one of our sales consultants who will provide you with more detailed information.

Joining point

Paradise Beach Hotel
289, Lewis Place,
Negombo
Negombo
SRI LANKA
Phone: 94 31 2 224258

Joining point description

Paradise Beach hotel is a 66 roomed charming hotel by the Negombo beach. Negombo is the closest beach resort to the International Airport of Sri Lanka and perfect location to see all the attractions in the area, some of these include the temples and markets.

Joining point instructions

Colombo Airport (CMB) is located just 12.6 kms away from paradise Beach Hotel. Taxis are readily available at the airport to transfer to the hotel and are safe and cheap. A taxi from Bandaranaike International Airport to Negombo takes approx 15 minutes and costs approx. 2,600LKR (20USD).

Alternatively Intrepid offer a pre-arranged transfer service option.

Enquire with your agent and advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure.

If you have pre-booked this service, upon arrival at the airport please head towards exit number 1 where you will see an Intrepid Travel sign. Your transfer driver will collect you for your onward transfer to your hotel.

If your flight is delayed or cancelled or if you have any trouble locating your transfer representative on arrival to Colombo airport please call the below numbers:

+94 (0) 76 831 6000
+94 (0) 71 927 7676

If you are staying in Colombo prior to the tour it is approximately 30km from Colombo to Negombo, which will cost about LKR5,600 (US$40).

Normal check-in time is 12:00.

Problems and emergency contact information

For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below.

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

Peak DMC Sri Lanka: +94(0)71 927 7676 Peak Emergency – 0094 (0) 76 831 6000

Itinerary

Welcome to Sri Lanka! Known as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, the island offers travellers palm-studded beaches, rolling plantations, and sacred sights steeped in spirituality. There are no activities planned today until your group welcome meeting at 6pm. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have these with you.

If arriving in Negombo earlier, settle in to your hotel room and spend some time poolside or head out on an explore of the neighbourhood.
Accommodation
  • Paradise Beach Hotel or Similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
In the morning after breakfast drive inland to Dambulla and the “dry zone” in the heart of Sri Lanka's cultural triangle (approximately 4 - 5 hours). Dumbulla is home to vibrantly decorated cave-temples and a great base from which to explore the area's wide array of natural wonders and historic sites. Continue to the Palwehera area of Dambulla, famous for its mangoes, and rest up in your eco-friendly accommodation, surrounded by green gardens and vast green paddy land. The evening is free to relax.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today we drive from Dambulla to Sigiriya (approximately 30 minutes). Here you’ll have the chance to shake off any cobwebs with a climb/leisurely walk back in time to the top of enormous Sigiriya rock and its elaborate ancient fortress.
You'll continue on to Giritale this afternoon (approx 1 hour) where you can enjoy some free time and perhaps take a swim in the hotel pool to cool down.
Included Activities
  • Sigiriya - Lion Rock
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning after breakfast we will enjoy a leisurely cycle around the Sri Lankan countryside so see how rural Sri Lankan life is as we cycle through villages before enjoying a Sri lankan lunch.
We will head up to explore Polonnaruwa in the evening, once the capital and a thriving religious and commercial centre, you'll have time to explore the area before heading back to your accommodation in Giritale for tonight.
Accommodation
  • Giritale Hotel or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Giritale - Bike ride with lunch
  • Giritale - Polonnaruwa Site
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Rise early for a guided tour of Dambulla's cave complexes and World Heritage Site, the Golden Temple of Dambulla. While more than 80 caves have been documented in the surrounding area, our time here will be spent in the five main ones, which house 153 Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and four statues of gods and goddesses. From here we'll travel on to Kandy, stopping in at a spice farm en route to see how some of the country's most important exports are cultivated. A traditional Kandyan dance show will welcome your arrival at tonight's hotel.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Senani or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kandy - Cultural Dance & Fire Walking Show
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Encircled by verdant hill country and home to a picturesque lake, bustling market, old shops and some great restaurants, Kandy is one of Sri Lanka's most pleasant cities. It was at one time also home to Sri Lanka's last king, who managing to resist European control long after the coastal areas had surrendered. This morning you’ll visit Dalada Maligawa (the Temple of the Tooth), which houses the country's most sacred relic: a tooth said to be the Buddha's. Pilgrims have been coming to pay homage at this site since the 16th century. Visit the magnificent Peradeniya Botanical Gardens with its immense fig tree and impressive orchid collection. Considered among the finest botanical gardens in all of Asia, this is a great spot for the kids to run around in. Next up, learn the steps to traditional Kandian dancing during some lessons from local performers.

Family tip;
When visiting the Temples you have to take your hats and shoes off, do not leave your shoes at the side of the road or the monkeys will run off with them. Store them with the ‘shoe keepers’ for a small charge or put them in your rucksack.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Senani or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kandy - Temple of Tooth
  • Kandy - Traditional Kandiyan Dancing Class
  • Kandy - Botanical Gardens
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leaving Kandy, travel by bus through the green ranks of tea bushes that cover the higher hillsides on your way to Kitulgala (a journey of approximately 3 hours). Located in thick forest on Sri Lanka’s second-longest river, the Kelani, Kitulgala is rapidly becoming something of an adventure centre. The river, which is where, doubling for Thailand, ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ was filmed, is an ideal location for swimming and other water-based activities. While here you'll embark on a nature walk in search of wildlife in Bandarakele and there is the option to go white water rafting. Tonight's accommodation, the Kithulgala Rest house, is set on the banks of the Kelani is rather rustic.
Included Activities
  • Bandarakele - Nature Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast we hit the road by private bus past lush green hills and gushing waterfalls to Nuwara Eliya (approximately 2 hours). This old British hill station is the heart of the tea growing industry and full of colonial charm. Built entirely during the 19th century, its old world architecture reflects what you might normally expect to find in an English country village. Once referred to as 'Little England' by British colonialists, it’s a fascinating mix of water buffalo and brick Victorian buildings, golf courses and tea plantations. En-route you will visit Devon and St Clair's waterfalls – the 97 metre high Devon waterfall is one of the most scenic in the country, while St Clair is sometimes exaggeratedly called the ‘Little Niagara of Sri Lanka’. Devon Falls are named after a pioneering English coffee planter – the failure of those plantations due to disease lead to the cultivation of tea, and the rest is history. Later this morning we’ll visit a tea factory to learn about the production of the country’s most important export (and sample a few brews, of course). After lunch we board the train bound for Bandarawela and head to our accommodation and enjoy the views across the hills and tea plantations.
Accommodation
  • Orient Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nuwara Eliya - Tea factory Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After a few days on the road, today runs at a bit of a slower pace. Bandarawela is an unhurried, unpretentious hill-country town that exists to supply the needs of the tea plantation workers and their families. The people of Bandarawela enjoy a simple way of life, where school children and grandparents work together harvesting their crops and tending their livestock. Another distinctive feature of Bandarawela is the colonial flavour still preserved in the many old buildings, including the Bandarawela Hotel and the old Cargill’s Supermarket. We'll enjoy a leisurely morning walk through the countryside, past tea pickers plucking the tips of the plants and throwing them into the baskets on their backs.
Tonight we stop in at a local family for some traditional, home-cooked Sri Lankan food.
Accommodation
  • Orient Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bandarawela - Cookery Demonstration and Local Meal
  • Bandarawela - Country side trek
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
After a hearty breakfast and 9am check-out, drive to Uda Walawe National Park (approximately 3 hours). This park has an amazing array of animal and birdlife, with more herds of wild elephant than anywhere else in Sri Lanka. Following lunch, discover how this majestic creature has been part of Sri Lankan culture for centuries during a visit to the nearby Elephant Transit Home. Run by the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation, ETH provides shelter for orphaned or abandoned baby elephants with the aim of releasing them into the wild. Arriving at a viewing platform at feeding time ensures you'll get to see the elephants only metres away! Once feeding is over, hop in a jeep for a safari inside the park. Wildlife regularly spotted here includes macaques and larger monkeys, spotted deer, crocodiles and sometimes even leopards. This is a real safari experience, nothing like a zoo or safari park – truly an adventure for all ages!

Family tip;
Don’t forget your camera!
Accommodation
  • Wild Trails - Luxury Camp or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Udewalawa - Elephant Transit Home Visit
  • Udewalewa - Park Entrance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Time for a bit of beachside R&R. Checking out at 9am, drive to the seaside town of Tangalle. With its calm waters, pristine sands and palm-fringed shores, this is just the place to get your beach fix. Arriving at Tangalle by lunchtime, you'll have a whole afternoon to spend either at the beach or lounging about by the pool. The rest of the day is free until our included dinner tonight.
Accommodation
  • Portofino Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
The day is at your leisure, either with more beach time, a leisurely local breakfast of hoppers and fresh fruit or perhaps learning the rules of Carrom.
Accommodation
  • Portofino Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today we check out of our hotel in the morning after breakfast and head towards Colombo. On our way we will visit the Tangalle fish market ( this is closed on a full moon and some other public holidays) before we visit the Royal Dutch Fort in Galle and arrive in Colombo after lunch. Here you can explore the city or just relax and unwind in the hotel's pool.
Accommodation
  • Ozo Hotel Colombo or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tangalle - Fish Market
  • Galle Dutch Fort
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your Sri Lankan family holiday concludes this morning after breakfast.There are no activities planned for today and you are able to depart the hotel at any time. Check out time from the hotel is 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel. Additional accommodation is available through your booking agent at the time of booking your trip.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Finishing point

Ozo Hotel Colombo
No. 36-38, Clifford Place
Marine Drive
Colombo
Colombo 04
SRI LANKA
Phone: +94 11 255 5570

Itinerary disclaimer

A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only and are subject to availabilities. For our families we have priced an all inclusive package including entrance fees, transport and local guide where relevant to assist you with budgeting the exact amount required on tour. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. The optional activities listed in your itinerary are activities that are available to you as a guideline and have been checked locally.

The decision to partake in any activity not listed above is entirely at your own discretion and risk. If you do have any complaint about or problem with, any such optional activity your claim should be directed to the activity provider and not to us.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. Below link will take you to the feedback site:

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We realise that our partner company may ask you to complete paper or online feedback following your trip, however we would also like to know what you thought and encourage you to submit your feedback to us too. We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

Essential Trip Information

Important notes

Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.

Minimum age for children on this trip is 5 years old.

A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children 14 years and under at time of travel.

Pre-departure checklist

Before you travel please download our pre-departure checklist to make sure you are fully prepared for your trip: http://www.peregrineadventures.com/pre-departure-travel-checklist

Passport and visas

SRI LANKA:

Foreign passport holders are required to obtain a visa prior to entry into Sri Lanka. This can be done on-line at the following website:
www.eta.gov.lk

Detailed information and application forms are provided here. The process is simple and the cost is US$20 for most countries.

Please note that visa requirements can and do change. It is essential that you confirm requirements with the nearest relevant embassy or check with your travel agent before you travel.
Since January 2012, all foreign passport holders require an ETA (Electronic Transfer Authorisation) Visa to travel to Sri Lanka. The process is simple and the current cost is US$20. This ETA visa is valid for 30 days. The ETA visa can be obtained online by logging onto www.eta.gov.lk (detailed information and the visa forms are provided through this site).
The ETA visa is generally provided within 1 working day.
The ETA visa is also available on arrival at the ETA issuing counter at Colombo airport. The cost on arrival is US$25 and is also valid for max 30 days. Payment can be made in $USD or using a credit or debit card. Please note that if you are refused an ETA on arrival you will not be allowed to enter Sri Lanka.

Medical and health information

Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please consult your doctor or a travel health specialist. The choice of vaccinations can depend on a range of issues including the specific destination, the duration of the trip, your personal health and of course what vaccines you have had before.
Routine Background Vaccines: We strongly endorse current public health recommendations that all travellers should be up-to-date with their routine vaccines such as tetanus, diphtheria, measles/mumps/rubella, polio and influenza, and paediatric vaccinations for children.

Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please consult your doctor or a travel health specialist. The choice of vaccinations can depend on a range of issues including the specific destination, the duration of the trip, your personal health and of course what vaccines you have had before.
Routine Background Vaccines: We strongly endorse current public health recommendations that all travellers should be up-to-date with their routine vaccines such as tetanus, diphtheria, measles/mumps/rubella, polio and influenza, and paediatric vaccinations for children.
Travel Vaccinations: While the food and water-borne diseases such as hepatitis A and typhoid will apply to most of our travellers, other travel vaccines such as hepatitis B, rabies, meningitis, Japanese encephalitis and cholera may apply to select travellers, especially long-term travel. Travel health experts can advise on what is required and also what is not required!
It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain any vaccinations or preventative medicines for the countries you are visiting – or any which may be required by your home country upon your return. To find out which, if any, vaccinations are mandatory or recommended for your destination contact your local doctor, immunisation centre or medical centre for up-to-date information. If you need to arrange vaccinations or a supply of preventative medicine (e.g. malaria tablets), you should contact your doctor at least two months before you depart. Some inoculations require more than one visit and can take several weeks to administer the full course.

 

For travellers from Australia and New Zealand, we recommend the Travel Doctor-TMVC clinics (see http://www.traveldoctor.com.au/ or phone 1300 658 844 for an appointment in Australia). Travellers from countries other than Australia and New Zealand should contact similar organisations or their travel doctor for advice. General health and vaccination information is available to all travellers at
http://www.traveldoctor.com.au/travelreport.asp?UnqID=0.4630191&Page... Some vaccines require more than one dose, so arrange for your visit at least 4-6 weeks before you travel.

Carry Your Certificate
You should be issued with an International Certificate of Vaccination booklet that records each vaccination. Always carry this with you on your travels; it could provide essential information for doctors in the event that you fall ill whilst travelling.

 

Malaria: There is no vaccination against malaria, which is transmitted by mosquito bites and is a risk in the tropical areas. Protection against mosquito bites is essential and where the risk is considered high, anti-malarial medications are recommended. Anti-malarial medications should be discussed with experts as there are different medications available and not all medications suit all people or all destinations.

DENGUE FEVER:
Rare instances of dengue fever have been reported in this region. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn.

Food and dietary requirements

Sri Lankan cuisine caters very well towards vegetarians and vegans with almost all restaurants having a veg section on the menu. If in doubt please check with your tour leader.

Sri Lanka has a good selection of vegetarian food from veg curry and rice (a Sri Lankan staple) to hoppers, veg rotty and an amazing array of fruit. there is a large south Indian population in Sri Lanka cooking great veg and pure veg south Indian cuisine. 

For those who eat fish, Seafood is in abundance around coastal areas. 

'Rice and curry' is the national dish of Sri Lanka and is found on almost every menu. This dish (changing from one restaurant to the next) is a array of small, spiced dishes made from vegetables, meat (commonly chicken) or fish, and served with pappadoms, chutneys and sambol. 
  
Your tour leader will be able to direct you towards restaurants that are known to have better hygiene, especially in tourist areas where they are travelling with our groups regularly 

Some tips that will help you stay well when eating in Sri Lanka (and around the world) include.

- Stick to restaurants and street stalls busy with locals - local families eating there are a good bet.
- Wash your hands before eating (most restaurants will have a hand basin or bathroom)  or use a sanitising hand gel
- give yourself a few days to get used to local food, especially spicy food.
- if in doubt,  stick to the veg meal
- avoid salads and peel fruit to avoid eating skin that may be washed in local water
- steer clear of ice unless in higher end restaurants
- drink more chai

Keep some space for the amazing variety of sweets on offer in Sri Lanka.

Accommodation

12 nights Hotel, 1 night Luxury Camping

GENERAL ROOMING CONFIGURATIONS:
Family of two - All family groupings of two will be put into a twin room.
Family of three - Wherever possible we will put you in a triple room. Please be aware that in a handful of places triple rooms are in short supply. This means that, in practice, a triple room will often simply be a twin room with a mattress on the floor or a further bed squashed in. Where it is impossible to provide a triple room, you will have to decide which of your party takes the single room.
Family of four or more - You will most likely stay in two twin rooms. If and wherever possible we will aim put you in a quadruple room. Whilst we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.

Transport

Private bus, train, cycle

We believe that the vehicles you use pay an important part in your holiday so where possible we include a wide variety of vehicles from local remorks or tuk tuks in Asia to feluccas on the Nile as well as the ubiquitous air conditioned minibus.

Money matters

The official currency of Sri Lanka is the Rupee (LKR).

There are now many ATM machines throughout Sri Lanka, which accept both Visa and MasterCard. Although this is a safe and convenient way to access money during your trip we do recommend that you carry some money as cash when ATMs can not be accessed. Some money should be taken as US dollars cash in case of emergencies.

A 'black market' for currency changing does exist in Sri Lanka, these are considered a danger and best avoided. Major credit cards are accepted in the larger shops and restaurants but only in the bigger cities. Some banks will allow cash advances against a credit card.

Although the culture of tipping may not be part of your own culture, it is nonetheless part of the culture in this area of the world and it is often the way some people supplement their earnings.

Tipping has become an accepted part of tourism in Asia. On our trips your tour leader can advise you on this matter; however, as a guideline we would recommend a tip of 5-10% in restaurants. The bellboys at hotels will appreciate a small tip for carrying your bags. Taxi and rickshaw drivers do not expect a tip. If you are unhappy with a service, of course, you are under no obligation to leave a tip. However, if the service has been satisfactory, a tip is always appreciated....with a smile!

To protect you from the sometimes seemingly endless soliciting of tips, we suggest you discuss with your tour leader about setting up a tipping kitty whereby everybody contributes an equal amount (this amount can vary from trip to trip, but a good approximate is US$3 per person per day). Your tour leader can then distribute tips along the way (except restaurant tips) to local guides and hotel porters, etc. and keeps a record of all moneys spent.

Your tour leader works hard to ensure you have a great trip, so please don't hold back if you would like to reward them for their services. You can tip them individually or make a group presentation at the end of the tour. The suggested amount is US$3 per person per day.

Packing

Remember - the lighter you travel the better! A soft-sided duffel or sausage bag is the ideal form of luggage. A small or medium-sized backpack or dufel bag (45-50 litres) is another good option.

It can get chilly between October and March in the hills and a warm jacket is recommended.

When you pack your clothing, consider the climate at the time of year you are travelling and any specific requirements for your trip as at certain times of the year some of the items suggested in the list that follow may not be necessary. Laundry facilities are available in most destinations.

Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday.

Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts, Trip Notes
Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets
Spare passport photos
Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card
Money belt
Small padlocks
Metal chain and padlock to secure luggage on overnight trains – additional precaution
Small first-aid kit
Daypack for use on day or overnight excursions
Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
Electrical adapter plug
Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes
Insect repellent
Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain)
Refillable water bottle
Phrase book
Warm clothes - when travelling in cooler months (Oct-Mar)
Wind and waterproof jacket
Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
Camera and spare film (or recharge for digital cameras)
Binoculars

Climate and seasonal information

PERAHERA FESTIVAL:
A surcharge will apply for stays in Kandy during the Perahera Festival (dates are based on the lunar calendar, usually in July-August). The Festival is a 10 day period of evening processions to honour the Sacred Tooth, which is enshrined at Kandy's Temple of the Tooth. Each night features thousands of dancers and drummers, and a parade of more than 50 decorated elephants. Due to Intrepid's stance on Elephant cruelty we do not visit the Perahera and cannot purchase tickets on your behalf. .

Choosing when to travel to Sri Lanka can vary depending on the time of year and part of Sri Lanka you wish to travel to.

The south-western monsoon brings rain to the south-west of Sri Lanka between May and September, while the dry season in this region runs from December to March. 

In the north and eastern coastal regions of the country, the weather is influenced by the north-eastern monsoon, which brings wind and rain between October and January, and dryer weather between May and September.

Group Leader

Family Trips

All Intrepid Family trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to assist your family take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for fun things to do and see- for both kids and parents, recommend great local eating venues that will even get the kids trying new things, and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

Our leaders are not babysitters on this trip - we leave that to you (the experts), but they will make sure that group members of all ages are able to explore their destination safely and with as much fun as possible. Our group leaders are not responsible for looking after children at any time and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times throughout this itinerary.

Safety

WATER SAFETY:
Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.

TRAVEL ADVISORY:
Where we use a local partner to fully operate one of our itineraries, we use the travel advisory of the country where that operator is based rather than the Australian DFAT advisory. This itinerary is operated by our local partners Dragoman, and as such will follow the British Government (FCO) Travel Advice. To view these travel advisories please log on to:

TRAVEL ADVICE & TRAVEL INSURANCE
We recommend that you check your government's advice in relation to the area west of the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.

A couple of rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders, local operators or locals.

Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader or local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travelling on a group trip

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

Travel Insurance

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

Responsible Travel

Although western standards of dress are becoming more accepted, the Sinhalese in general remain very traditional in what they wear. Out of respect (even though you may see other travellers dressed otherwise) both men and women should dress conservatively - no sleeveless/halter-necked tops please. Whilst shorts are acceptable in tourist centres they should be modest and reach to just above the knee. Arms and legs (and, occasionally, heads for women) should be covered when in religious buildings.

The Intrepid Foundation

The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation set up to enable our travellers to help make a difference by supporting local communities, projects and non-government organisations in the places we travel. The smallest contribution can make an enormous difference and all donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched dollar for dollar (yes, we’ll double your donation!). We support a range of initiatives – from wildlife protection and environmental conservation to supporting vocational training for underprivileged individuals – all with the aim of helping to improve lives and empower communities across the world to make meaningful change. All administration costs are covered by us so you can be assured 100 per cent of your donation will reach your chosen project. To learn more about the projects we support, ask your trip leader for more information about projects in the region you are travelling in or visit www.theintrepidfoundation.org