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By No owner — last modified May 24, 2018 11:15 AM

 Sri Lanka - Profile

Facts

  • Srti Lanka is an island nation in South Asia, situated in the Indian Ocean toward the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea.
  • The population of Sri Lanka is approximately 21.5 million.
  • Sinhala is the most common language but Tamil and English are spoken by about a quarter of the population.
  • The currency used is the Sri Lanka Rupee, for specifics see General Info.
  • The climate is tropical, and the weather is hot and humid throughout the year. See Weather section below for more details
  • Sri Lanka operates on India Standard Time, UTC+5.30.
  • Repair and haul out facilities are very limited. For more information see Yachting Essentials.
  • Sri Lanka is renowned for it's natural beauty with exotic animals and lush greenery exemplified at the Udawalawe National Park where a safari can be taken. In addition there are dozens of historical sites scattered throughout the country.
  • 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.
  • It is highly likely on your approach to Sri Lanka you will be accosted by fishing boats at full speed 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.

Security

Overall Crime and Safety:

On 21 April 2019 there were bomb attacks on three churches and three hotels in centra Colombo and in Batticaloa on the east coast. Security has been increased across the country. Visitors are recommended to avoid large public gatherings and religious festivals.

For travel advisories, see the following websites:

Violent crime against tourists is rare, however visitors should be aware of sexual assault, spiked drinks and credit card fraud.

Specific areas of concern:

North and Eastern Provinces: Since the end of the conflict between the Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009, security in the N and E provinces of the country has reduced greatly. However, there are still checkpoints in this part of Sri Lanka and roads closed. Landmines may also be found in more remote areas.

Maritime Issues:

No serious incidents against yachts have been reported.

General Emergency Numbers:

For more detail see General Info

Last updated:  April 2019

Weather

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.

Sri Lanka Weather Forecast

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.

Main Ports

Colombo * , Galle * , Trincomalee *

* indicates port of entry

AmyEAlton
AmyEAlton says:
Mar 31, 2019 09:20 AM

We had a great 25-day stay in Sri Lanka. Our boat was in Trincomalee the whole time, which we loved. The anchorage is flat calm and the town is quiet. We cleared in using Sandeep from GAC, who was extremely helpful to us.

We hired a driver, Raj, to get us around the Cultural Triangle for three days. He can be reached at +94 77 766 7256. He dropped us off at Kandy where we took the train down to Ella and back over three days, and then we had Raj organize a driver to get us to Wilpattu for a three-day safari then back to the boat.

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country. It's unfortunate we can't gunkhole, but I enjoyed our stay.

Provisioning is available. Food City is a small grocery store, but has meats (chicken, some pork and some beef), cheese, and basic pantry goods. Near the dock in Trinco, there are a few small shops with staples. Dried beans, raisins and dates are easy to find.

We used Dialogue for our SIM, and got 30 GB (with time restrictions) for $8USD.

April Cunningham
April Cunningham says:
Mar 14, 2019 12:07 PM

clif everett says:
Feb 23, 2019 04:35 AM

Tango shipping agency got us through customs formalities on a national holiday at 8pm. I was amazed. The price was $325. We were able to go to dinner that same evening.

Joana Amen
Joana Amen says:
May 23, 2018 04:27 PM

When we arrived to Sri Lanka we called for Tango Shipping Agency on the Ch 16 – Mr. Chatura and Nilusha where great and went beyond the formalities to enter the country. Mr. Chatura is a man of sea, very experienced in many areas and helped us a lot in electrical problems for free! They were clear, helpful and kind and we became friends. We also made friendship with the helpful and smiley Ekka, the tuk tuk driver that knows everything and everyone – www.ekkatours.com +94723371116. We loved Sri Lanka, thank you all!

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Apr 13, 2018 01:01 PM

Steve - the best group to get involved with is the Red Sea Passage Facebook Group. See http://www.noonsite.com/General/Piracy/red-sea-passage-facebook-group.
There is also a facebook group for Crossing the Indian Ocean (on passage)

steve gould
steve gould says:
Mar 20, 2018 01:41 AM

I am plannng to sail from Sri Lanka to the Red Sea early in 2019 and would like to communicate with other sailors (owners and / or crew) interested in doing he same.

Rchildress
Rchildress says:
Mar 01, 2018 05:57 PM

To everyone planning to go to Trincomalee Sri Lanka...
TWO important points....

NIGHT TIME ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE

Be advised that entrance or exit in or out of Trincomalee Port is NOT allowed at night. There will be no circumstance that will permit entrance at night. There are no lighted buoys, and the harbor master is not willing to be responsible for your night time entrance/departure. You must heave to or drift until morning if you arrive at night. Plan your arrivals accordingly.

CUSTOMS CLEARANCE TO PORT

Be advised that it is a big problem if you arrive to Trincomalee with clearance to a port of “Maldives” or anything besides “Trincolamee, Sri Lanka” or “High Seas”. GAC agent Sandeep worked hard for many hours today to get the problem cleared up with customs, and it is now resolved, but be aware that common practice elsewhere is not common practice here.

Southern Wing
Southern Wing says:
Feb 03, 2018 02:11 PM

We cannot speak highly enough of our agent, Sandeep Kavinda Wickramarathne, from GAC Shipping Ltd. (Ph +94764675451). We paid US$310 to GAC Shipping for their services for a one month stay in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. We found them to be very professional and efficient. Clearing in was no problem and very friendly. Nobody asked for any extra fees.
The harbour is an excellent place to anchor and leave your boat for a few days exploring inland. Trincomalee is a nice sized town to use as a base for further travel inland. We had an excellent and well priced guide - Yoosef Ph.+94778802557. His price included all his expenses and then we paid for our meals and hotel on top of that. We were not approached by any fishermen upon entering the harbour.
We chose Trincomalee because we had heard that the concrete plant in Gal leaves concrete dust all over your boat.
Overall a great anchorage with good holding, easy access and great people.

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