Sri Lanka - Profile
- Sri Lanka is a useful stop for yachts en route to the Red Sea and a good point of departure for cruising the Maldives, Chagos and Seychelles.
- Whilst the northern parts of the country were out of bounds for many years, Trincomalee on the NE coast has now opened up to cruising yachts. Special permission must still be obtained before travelling to other northern states.
- Colombo, on the central west coast of Sri Lanka, has a large commercial harbour with little provision for yachts and formalities are complex.
- Refuelling and provisioning at the old port of Galle (a tourist port on the SW corner of Sri Lanka) is straightforward and this is where most yachts clear-in. Conditions for visiting yachts have improved slightly here, however it's likely a not a port you would want to spend much time in.
- Whilst Trincomalee is a military port and therefore unfamiliar with pleasure boat clearance, it is a port of entry and cruising boats have succesfully cleared into Sri Lanka here. Delays may be possible however due to officials being more familiar with commercial vessels.
- It is highly likely on your approach to Sri Lanka you will be accosted by fishing boats at full speed (despite waves and wind) shouting and waving at you wanting gifts. Wave them away and proceed west as fast as possible. Don't be surprised if you have to bear off or start an engine to avoid them.
Tropical climate with distinct dry and wet seasons. The seasons are slightly complicated by having two distinct monsoon seasons.
From May to August the Yala monsoon brings rain to the island’s southwestern half, while the dry season lasts from October to March. The southwest has the highest rainfall – up to 4000mm a year.
The Maha monsoon blows from October to January, bringing rain to the North and East, while the dry season is from May to September. The North and East are comparatively dry, with around 1000mm of rain annually.
There is also an inter-monsoonal period in October and November when rain can occur in many parts of the island.
Colombo and the low-lying coastal regions have an average temperature of 27°C. At Kandy (altitude 500m), the average temperature is 20°C, while Nuwara Eliya (at 1889m) has a temperate 16°C average. The sea stays at around 27°C all year.
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.