A tropical island just off the tip of Southern India, Sri Lanka is known for its rickshaws and tea plantations. Our group trips in Sri Lanka are open to anyone with a passion for volunteering together in the developing world; including those at school, in a community group, at university or working together.
A great variety of projects are on offer to groups volunteering in Sri Lanka. Groups can join Care/Teaching, Community – including an IT Project, Language, and Medicine & Healthcare – including Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing and Physiotherapy Projects.
General info on Sri Lanka
Before gaining independence in 1948 and since establishing itself as a democracy, Sri Lanka was ruled over by the British, the Portuguese and the Dutch. In the last decade the country had suffered some tensions as well as the devastating Boxing Day tsunami, but since then the country has established itself as a peaceful, safe destination for travellers and many international travel magazines have selected Sri Lanka as a country not to miss.
Sri Lanka's population is multi-religious and multi-ethnic, and its cultural heritage is equally as rich and diverse. Its countryside is lovely and teeming with varied and exotic wildlife species. There are more than ten national parks in Sri Lanka, and the Sinharaja rainforest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
One aspect that Sri Lanka is famed for is its food. Being a spice producer and a trading post under different colonial rule for many centuries has influenced the country’s cuisine into the unique flavours and dishes that make it so unique. From a huge array of curries to the sweetest mango juice you’ve ever tasted and from the fish straight out of the boat to the range of recently picked fruit and vegetables, the food really will be the perfect addition to your trip.
Another Sri Lankan passion is cricket. Whether you are talking to an orange-robed Buddhist monk or a young school student, they will want to find out what you think of their heroes and which team you support.
Where we are based in Sri Lanka
Projects Abroad’s Sri Lankan office is based in the capital city of Colombo on the western coast. The majority of our volunteer placements are located within a 2 hour drive from Columbo between Negombo in the north and Kalutara and Galle in the south. Groups will stay in a local hotel in the town or city in which they are located so that organisation of work and free time is easier to manage.
Travel and Tourism in Sri Lanka
In the evenings and at the weekends, groups will get free time which they can spend either relaxing or exploring. In the evenings, most groups will either relax down on the beach or explore their local area, whereas at the weekends groups can plan trips to other parts of the island to do activities of their choice.
The capital of Colombo is a bustling city full of heritage, such as the mass of Hindu temples spread throughout the city and the narrow crooked market streets that sell everything from clothes to fresh food. You’ll gain a flavour of Sri Lankan life simply by strolling through its streets but, if you’d rather sit back and watch the world by, you can always people-watch in the Pettah Bazaar or take in the sunset from Galle Face Green. For other urban life, consider taking a visit to the town of Galle; a sea port with a strong Dutch heritage and plenty of old colonial buildings to explore.
For the more adventurous groups, venture inland to hike in the hills, visit the traditional hill towns and swim in the cool waterfalls. Otherwise, Sri Lanka's national parks include safari parks where you can spot leopards and elephants, or visit wetland sanctuaries that are particularly good for bird-watching. There are also rainforest reserves crammed full of tropical biodiversity.
The beach resorts stretching along the south coast offer the opportunity to dive, snorkel and relax at reasonable prices. In all areas you will find the Sri Lankan people extremely friendly to tourists.