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Trails through lush Knuckles vegetation
Rice paddies - enjoy the flat while you can!
Stepped paddies below cliffs of Knuckles Range
First view of Mini World's End
Photogenic tea fields

Trek Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Trek
Trek Camping Terrain ORANGE 1
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About the Challenge

Little can rival Sri Lanka’s variety. From paddy fields, high grasslands and emerald-green tea estates, to dense forest and golden tropical beaches, this Island of Serendipity is renowned for its natural beauty, rich wildlife and fascinating culture.

Our trek takes us through the Knuckles Mountain Range, named after its likeness to a clenched fist, in central Sri Lanka. This region is a trekker’s paradise, offering us the chance to follow little-trodden trails through rice paddies and tea-blanketed highlands, passing tumbling waterfalls and small mountain villages as we walk towards our highest point: Knuckles Peak, at 1900m. In addition, the isolated villages and communities of local farmers and tea planters provide an authentic glimpse of everyday life in the Central Highlands, contrasting with the colonial grandeur of former British hill-stations and the colourful Buddhist temples of the cultural capital, Kandy.

All combined, this is an irresistible and unforgettable trek – you will not want to leave Sri Lanka!


Trek Sri Lanka


OPEN 9 DAYS
  • Arriving at the international airport near Colombo, we transfer straight to our hotel in Sigiriya, where we can freshen up and prepare our kit for tomorrow’s trek. If time permits, an optional trip can be arranged to climb up to Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There will be a full trip briefing in the evening over dinner. Night hotel.

    (Lunch not included)

    Drive approx 4 hours

  • After an early breakfast, we transfer to the start point of our trek, in the small village of Andawala. Before setting off, there will be the opportunity to receive the blessing of the monks at Andawala Buddhist Temple. Our trek begins on small village paths, which lead us out across small paddy fields fringed by palm trees. The irrigation streams lead us into forest, which is broken up with areas cleared for pepper farming. We stop for a rest at a small village before continuing on jeep tracks which ascend through the hills, opening up to wonderful views. The end of our day lies at a picturesque forest bungalow, where we camp on the smooth, shaded lawns and enjoy some local folk songs around the campfire, with a hot cup of local tea. Night camp.

    Drive approx. 1.5 hours, trek 3 – 4 hours

  • Our beautiful, hilly day starts with an uphill trek through pine forests – the only trail to Kargastene; this village is completely isolated and supports only one small farming family. From here, we enjoy a change of scenery as we trek for an hour or so across grassland, before heading into jungle-like forest. Our undulating path takes us across small reservoirs and streams before emerging at paddy fields marking another small village – where there is the chance to help cook your own lunch! We should have time for a quick swim at a nearby waterfall before continuing on our way. The challenge ramps up this afternoon, as we head uphill again, through dense forest. As we near the end of the day, we’re rewarded with one of the trip highlights – Mini World’s End, a lookout with panoramic views of the forests and peaks of the Knuckles range, down to the fields and villages of the foothills, and even, on a very clear day, to the Indian Ocean 81km away! Jeep trails take us our night stop in Riverstone.  Night camp.

    Trek approx. 5–6 hours

  • After a hearty breakfast, we head out initially on small village back-roads, passing emerald-green stepped paddy terraces on the way, admiring the way that farmers have managed to work with the steep terrain.  Continuing through dense forest, with many small stream crossings, we tackle steep slopes as we cross this hilly and jungled landscape. A long climb, tough-going at times, brings us to the top of Manigala Rock, a stand-alone sheer-sided mountain at 1300m, which was once used by the locals to calculate time. We may see water-buffalo, who graze freely here when not needed for farming work.  From this impressive mountain plateau, we are rewarded with jaw-dropping views of our terrain for the next two days – the mighty Knuckles range. The views over these misty peaks will either whet appetites or make legs tremble, depending on how you found today! After some time to take in the views, we begin our hike back to our campsite and relax. Night camp.

    Trek approx 5–6 hours

  • A long, winding day today, predominantly uphill. Leaving the village on jeep tracks, we walk through pine forest, before heading into thick forest bush and on to cardamom plantations. There is a great variety of vegetation in this lush region and we’re surrounded by beautiful views of the valley. Deep in the forest, we pass a quaint forest temple, where animal sacrifices to the gods are sometimes performed. Our scenic route continues along the rocky Thelganu Oya River, with its gushing stepped waterfalls, and it brings us out into tea country – yet more diverse scenery! We trek the last few miles of the day through a tea estate dating from 1880, then meet our vehicles and transfer the last stretch to our campsite. Night camp.

    Trek approx. 5–6 hours; transfer approx. 1.5-2 hours

  • We have saved some of our best trekking till last!  Initial jeep tracks soon give way to tea estates and, time permitting, we will have the opportunity to visit a tea factory and learn about tea production. From here we head into the jungle, our path snaking relentlessly through tea plantations and jungle as trek up through the folds of the Knuckles range. While this region covers only a small percentage of Sri Lanka’s land, it is home to a significant proportion of the country’s biodiversity, and over 34% of its endemic flora is found here. We gain height slowly but surely, heading for the highest point at 1900m: Knuckles Peak. We pass several small waterfalls along the way, and the breaks in vegetation give us a taster of the views that await us. A final haul up the top, and it’s well worth the effort! We take time to enjoy the views – probably our most scenic lunch-stop! – and then descend. Going down isn’t always easier than up, and there will be a few aching muscles as we negotiate the often-muddy paths. This is an achievement to savour as we meet the awaiting vehicles and drive to our lovely hotel in Kandy. This evening we have a great celebration to mark our triumphs over the past week, and the opportunity to watch a traditional dance – Kandy is the cultural capital of Sri Lanka. Night hotel.

    Trek approx 5-6 hours; drive approx 2 hours

  • After a good night’s sleep and a relaxing lie-in you have the day free to explore Kandy as you wish. There are plenty of fascinating sights, and you can shop for souvenirs or indulge in a lazy day and treat yourself to a massage. In the evening, we visit the impressive golden-roofed Temple of the Tooth, one of Buddhism's most sacred shrines as it houses a relic of the Buddha. Night hotel.

    (Lunch and Dinner not included)

  • Transfer to the airport in time for our flight home.

    (Lunch not included)

    Drive approx 3-4 hours


Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    This challenge requires a minimum of 10 participants
    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target £3,750 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target £2,750 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,650 Airline Taxes £225.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All flights and transport from London to Colombo return
    • All meals except where specified
    • Accommodation and camping equipment (except sleeping bag and sleeping mat)
    • Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with a group of 15 or more participants; local guides, drivers, porters and cooks
    • Entry to Temple of the Tooth and traditional dance show in Kandy
    • Local support and back-up equipment

     

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Any meals specified 'not included' in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Sleeping bag and sleeping mat
    • Sri Lanka entry visa
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Inbound airport departure tax (no tax applied at the time of writing)
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Airline taxes: we cap these so £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions
    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    This challenge requires a minimum of 10 participants
    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target £3,750 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target £2,750 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,650 Airline Taxes £225.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All flights and transport from London to Colombo return
    • All meals except where specified
    • Accommodation and camping equipment (except sleeping bag and sleeping mat)
    • Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with a group of 15 or more participants; local guides, drivers, porters and cooks
    • Entry to Temple of the Tooth and traditional dance show in Kandy
    • Local support and back-up equipment

     

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Any meals specified 'not included' in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Sleeping bag and sleeping mat
    • Sri Lanka entry visa
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Inbound airport departure tax (no tax applied at the time of writing)
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Airline taxes: we cap these so £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions
    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    This challenge requires a minimum of 10 participants
    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target £3,750 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target £2,750 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,650 Airline Taxes £225.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All flights and transport from London to Colombo return
    • All meals except where specified
    • Accommodation and camping equipment (except sleeping bag and sleeping mat)
    • Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with a group of 15 or more participants; local guides, drivers, porters and cooks
    • Entry to Temple of the Tooth and traditional dance show in Kandy
    • Local support and back-up equipment

     

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Any meals specified 'not included' in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Sleeping bag and sleeping mat
    • Sri Lanka entry visa
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Inbound airport departure tax (no tax applied at the time of writing)
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Airline taxes: we cap these so £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions
    Download Challenge Details

Detailed Information

  • Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick on scheduled airlines and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). 

    Your journey may involve a transit en route, details of route and flight times will be confirmed several months before departure.  We do not always use the same airline for each destination; if you wish to know the probable carrier and flight times, please call for details. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.

  • Accommodation is usually on a twin-share basis in hotels or camp. Occasionally we may use hostel-style accommodation. Please tell us if you know somebody else on the trip that you would like to share with and we will try our best to accommodate your request. If you don't know anyone else in the group don't worry, we always pair you up with someone of the same gender, and a similar age where possible. We do not charge a single supplement if you are a solo traveller in a shared room.

  • We camp in two-man tents; these are usually expedition-style (ie sleeping room only). Camps are usually simple, in remote locations with great views! We have communal dining areas (usually with tables and chairs/stools) and toilet tents, and the local crew look after us very well. We stay in hotels (of a 2-3* standard or equivalent) at the start and end of the trip; standards may vary between different hotels, but they are generally clean and comfortable with good facilities.

  • The food provided is plentiful, often local in style and freshly-cooked, and will give you plenty of energy. Sometimes we enjoy a buffet-style lunch-stop, other times we might have packed lunches. On some trips we stop at small local restaurants. Dinners are generally eaten in camp or at the hotel, depending on accommodation. In some regions there may be less variety than you are used to, and in others fresh meat or produce can be harder to come by. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally on travel / free days, giving you the opportunity to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit different budgets.

    Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we may be in very rural or remote areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat we strongly recommend you bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.

  • Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. Usually leaders are based in the UK or other English-speaking countries and lead for us regularly throughout the year in many different countries. In some instances, trips are led by in-country guides with a wealth of knowledge about the region; they have been trained by us to provide the level of support expected on a Discover Adventure trip.

  • Our local support crew is made up of local guides, assisted by drivers, porters, cooks and other support staff, depending on the type of trip. Local guides know the area well, and are a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. Not all support crew will speak English well, but are very friendly and approachable. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. 

    Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek, and you will be provided with a guideline amount in advance. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! All our local crew are paid wages, but bear in mind that the average wage in many countries we travel to is far below what you would spend on a normal night out.

  • Your luggage, food, water and equipment is transported for you from one night-stop to the next. If there is easy road access this is done by vehicle; if not porters, mules or even camels might carry your bags, depending on the destination and terrain.

    Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

  • Your booking is part of a group challenge, and the tour costs and fundraising targets listed on our website are based on a minimum number of participants which is shown on the challenge  Our typical groups run with approximately 20-30 participants; however you may find your group is smaller or larger than this.

    We will confirm at least 12 weeks prior to departure that your challenge is guaranteed to run. Occasionally it may be possible to still run the challenge with less than the minimum numbers, subject to a small group supplement.  If we think a small group supplement may be necessary, we will discuss this with you as soon as possible, usually 5 months before your departure date. 

    Minimum numbers and groups sizes may vary on Bespoke Charity challenges.  If you are booked onto a bespoke challenge please contact your charity for full details.

  • In the unfortunate circumstance that you need to cancel your booking, we would ask that you notify us in writing either by post or email.  Your cancellation will be considered effective from the date the notice is received. Registration fees, amendment fees and insurance premiums are non refundable and, depending on your payment option and how close it is to your challenge departure date, you may be liable for a cancellation charge.

    Full details of all cancellation charges may be found in the Terms and Conditions of booking.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

  • This is designed to be a challenge, and it is vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. We expect all participants to train hard in advance, but we respect everyone’s limits and do not expect everyone to maintain the same pace. Inadequate training is likely to have an impact not just on your chances of completing the challenge, but enjoying it too - and we want you to have the time of your life!

    Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience, fitness and ability as well as all ages and backgrounds. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. If you have concerns about your fitness or if you have reduced mobility please do contact us for a confidential chat about whether this challenge is appropriate for you.

    For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners may find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid, and any visas are obtained in good time. Check the FCO’s advice on entry requirements for your destination to be sure. To find out if you need a visa you can check requirements on our website; please ensure you allow plenty of time.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.

  • For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow participants and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!

Trek Training Weekend

Snowdon_Training_Trekking

£170 Special Offer - Only when you book at the same time as registering for your main challenge

Discover Adventure Trek Training Weekends take place in Snowdonia National Park, Wales. This training weekend is designed to put you through your paces to enable you to gauge fitness levels and gain advice from our experienced leaders.

MORE INFORMATION

GRADE | ORANGE

Trips are graded Yellow, Orange or Red, in increasing level of challenge. This trip lies within the ORANGE range.

Orange colour

The grade is determined by factors such as terrain, distance, climate, altitude, etc. Each colour grade has a spectrum which reflects the difficulty of these factors; trip duration, accommodation and living conditions (see icon) are also taken into account. 

Trip grading explained

 

Challenges 2019-2020

Get our latest Brochure

Our 2019 / 2020 Challenges Brochure is available by Post or Download