The sun shines in the countryside, with its million shades of green and it practically beckons nature lovers to pack up and go camping in Sri Lanka. Frankly, camping sounds rather intimidating (at least to some of us) because you never know what to expect or what dangers await and more often than not, camping in Sri Lanka isn’t an activity a lot of people embark on. So for those of you who are scouring the internet on what you need to know when camping in Sri Lanka, I hope this article has you covered.
Is camping in Sri Lanka a good idea?
Absolutely. Sri Lanka flaunts pure, untouched nature and camping is probably the best way to get intimate with nature. Yes, it’s going to be a very different and challenging experience but it’s going to be one that you’ll look back one day, high-five yourself and think, ‘Wow, I actually did that!’
Thankfully, Sri Lanka has a proud tradition of doing outdoor stuff, which means that camping sites are abundant in our little island. The camping sites are protected and are located deep within the jungles, away from the main villages and towns so it does take some motivation to get up and head out on a camping adventure but if you’re reading this, then at least you’re willing to give it a go.
What are the best camping spots in Sri Lanka?
The most popular camping sites in Sri Lanka are located in the main wildlife parks and nature reserves such as the Horton Plains, Knuckles Range, Yala National Park and the Minneriya National Park to name a few. You can read more on the top sites that prove Sri Lanka as a camping lover’s paradise.
Wild Camping or Luxury Camping?
Okay, so wild camping in the middle of nowhere is not everyone’s idea of fun. For one, there aren’t any showers. Or other people. Or toilets. Or restaurants. Or WiFi! In other words, it’s just you and nature so if you’re a genuine nature lover, wanderer or explorer, then you’re going to absolutely love wild camping. However if you aren’t, then there’s another option for you – luxury camping.
Luxury camping or glam-camping, codename Glamping includes accommodation in the wilds complete with all the facilities that you could dream of. It even includes en suite bathrooms with hot water showers, wooden decor, comfy beds and lavish meals. If this is your kind of thing, you could base yourself at Yoho Wella Road as you observe nature by staying in a luxurious accommodation that’s specifically designed for the sophisticated traveler. Sri Lanka is a little new to the world of glamping but many cities in the world, Rajasthan and areas surrounding Chitwan National Park in Nepal are ahead of their game.
Camping essentials you need to pack
- Sleeping bag or sleeping mat – For a genuine wild camping experience, you simply cannot miss out on a sleeping bag or mat.
- Warm jacket – While Sri Lanka generally has a warm climate, the temperatures can drop during the night-time at campsites so it’s always worth carrying a spare layer.
- Sunscreen – Like mentioned above, daytime temperatures are usually high so make sure you pack a big ol’ tube of sunscreen. After all, you’re going to be outdoors so take your precautions!
- Torch – It’s always worth carrying one around and what’s camping without a torch anyway?
- Water bottle – When camping, you’re going to have to do a lot of walking and trekking, which means that you’re constantly going to be thirsty.
- Bug spray – No one wants to wake up with a face swollen with itchy bites and the mosquitoes here are more savage than blood sucking vampires so be on your guard and spray your bug spray all over you (other than your eyes of course).
- Comfy boots – If you wear sandals or slippers, you could blister your poor feet so whenever possible, cover your feet completely. And a pair of boots would do just fine.
- First aid kit – When you go hiking or trekking in the wilds, you’re bound to get a lot of scrapes, blisters, cuts and whatnot. So pack a comprehensive First Aid kit tailored to your needs.
A few things to bear in mind when camping in Sri Lanka
- Always, always look out for the weather forecast before heading out. If it’s going to get windy or stormy overnight, you might want to re-schedule your camping adventure.
- Cooking over a campfire is a wild camping classic but if you feel that it’s unsafe to light a fire, then by all means stay away from it. A wildfire is certainly not worth the risk.
- Take a few minutes to explore the camping site you’ve chosen or spend some time researching on your chosen location because unfortunately, maps can’t tell you everything.
- Make sure to prepare for some activities ahead of time. Organising day hikes, fishing, picnics or nature tours can make camping a lot more fun.
- Make sure to clear all your foodstuff before going to bed because you don’t want anyone or anything looking around to steal your food. Leave no trace, remember?
Hope you have an exhilarating camping adventure!