Voorbereiding van uw reis

Horizon Lanka is gelegen in een klein dorp, Mahawilachchiya. Het ligt op 40 km van de oude en grotere stad  Anuradhapura, waar men alles kan vinden wat men nodig heeft (kleding, bevoorrading, cosmetica, enz. ). We proberen uw trip te helpen voor te bereiden en zo een zorgeloos verblijf tegemoet te gaan. Hier zijn enkele links die kunnen nuttig zijn voor de vrijwilligers.  

 

Visa

Iedere toerist die komt naar Sri Lanka moet een Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) aanvragen en bekomen voor zijn vertrek naar Sri Lanka. Kosten en methode verschilt volgens de nationaliteit.  . Op de officiële  website  www.eta.gov.lk kan u alle informatie vonden voor het aanvragen

De ETA is geldig voor 30 dagen. Iedere bezoeker kan dit verlengen tot  90 dagen. Deze verlenging moet aangevraagd worden door de vrijwilliger zelf aan het Department of Immigration and Emigration in Colombo voor de vervaldatum van de  ETA .

De bijkomende  90 dagen kan toegekend worden aan bezoekers die hun verlenging kunnen verantwoorden.  

Dit is de info die u nodig heeft voor het aanvragen van de  ETA:

Address in Sri Lanka: Horizon Lanka Foundation, No. 125, Left bank, Mahawilachchiya, Anuradhapura.
Staying With: Nanda Wanninayaka
Reason for entry: Tourist.

Banking

Visa and MasterCard can be used in Sri Lanka to withdraw money. This said, only certain banks will accept international cards.

The closest reliable two ATMs are located at Pemaduwa, downtown of Mahawilachchiya (3 km from our premises); yet, we strongly recommend volunteers to withdraw some cash prior to arriving in Mahawilachchiya in case the Pemaduwa ATMs are malfunctioning. But not to worry, may you run out of money during your stay, we will happily take you to the nearest functioning ATM!

Internet and Phone

 

All five mobile network providers in Sri Lanka: Dialog, Mobitel, Etisalat, Hutch and Airtel have covered Mahawilachchiya. Dialog, Mobitel and Hutch provide 3G Internet coverage to Mahawilachchiya. We advise our volunteers to pick up a prepaid 3G Dialog SIM card at the airport upon arrival for the modest amount of 1300 LKR ($9). This card will last you a month and includes 5 GB of data as well as plenty of credit for call and text. Dialog has the widest mobile and 3G coverage in Mahawilachchiya with the help of two towers situated in the village. So, rely on our word for this.

As of yet, Wi-Fi is not available at Horizon Lanka or in the surrounding area. Your best bet for internet connectivity is to use the 3G data plan from your phone. If you have a laptop, you can also use your smartphone as a hotspot to surf the web.

Health

No vaccination is required for tourists by the Sri Lankan government. However, we strongly recommend volunteers to seek advice from a health professional on this topic.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control recommends travelers to be up-to-date on the following prior to their visit (click for further details):

 

  • Routine vaccines: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Typhoid
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Rabies
  • Sri Lanka has been declared a malaria free country by the World Health Organization.

The closest hospital is located 2 km from Horizon Lanka and will provide medical care for both urgent and benign matters. The hospital will also supply medication free of charge based on the doctor’s diagnosis. Public hospital is open from 9. 00 am to 4.00 pm but the open 24X7 for any emergency needs. (There are a couple of private medical practitioners from 4.00 pm to 9.00 pm for a nominal fee.)

Living environment

As a volunteer, you will stay in one of Horizon Lanka’s students’ home and eat the local food they will prepare. They will provide you mainly fresh vegetables, rice and other grains, fresh fruits, fresh water fish, sea fish and meat. However, beef will not be provided as it is not in Sri Lankan village meals due to both religious (Buddhist) and cultural reasons. Diet restrictions (i.e. vegetarian, Halal) and special living arrangements should be requested early in advance when needed.

The volunteer will get a separate room with a bed with a mosquito net and a standing or a table fan. A regular bicycle will be provided to the volunteer for the traveling within the village.

Packing Your Suitcase

Climate

Sri Lanka climate is tropical and consists of distinct wet and dry seasons. Temperatures can drop in the hill country (eg. Kandy) as the region rests higher in altitude. More info on climate is provided on Sri Lanka’s Department of Meteorology’s website.

 

Clothing

During their time at Horizon Lanka, volunteers are free to dress to their liking, except when teaching in public schools where male volunteers are required to cover shoulders and legs (t-shirts, shirts, jeans and pants are appropriate), while female volunteers will be encouraged to wear a traditional sari which you can buy for less than $10 USD from the village clothes stores.

Also note both men and women have to cover shoulders and legs (3/4 length) when visiting Buddhist temples.

 

Power Outlets

In Sri Lanka, the standard voltage is 230V and both D and G (UK) plug types are in use. Most places will have adapters (including Horizon Lanka,) but you may choose to bring a universal adapter for your own comfort.

 

Donations and Educational Support

School supplies and stationeries are available on site.

Volunteers are welcome to submit donations to Horizon Lanka such as educational literature, sports equipment, art tools and any other prop the volunteer judges will benefit the children.

Transportation

 

Most of the transportation in Sri Lanka is done by bus, train or tuk-tuk (3-wheel taxi).  Getting around by bus is extremely affordable (eg. Mahawilachchiya – Colombo < $5 USD)

There is one bus line linking Mahawilachchiya to Anuradhapura (count 1.5 hours). From there, one can reach just about any major city (eg. Jaffna, Kandy, Trincomalee, Colombo). The bus staff is extremely friendly to foreigners and will tell you when to alight.

Each volunteer will also be provided a bicycle to move around the village.

Reaching Mahawilachchiya from the airport:

A Horizon Lanka staff member will meet you at the airport the day of your arrival.

May you need or elect to complete the journey on your own, here is how to get to Mahawilachchiya from the airport using public transportation –

Total journey duration: 6 hours

NB: The Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) is located in Katunayake, 30 km from downtown Colombo.

 

    1. Wave down a tuk-tuk and tell the driver you would like to catch a bus to Anuradhapura.
    2. Board on a bus to one of the following destinations (indicated above the bus’s windshield): Anuradhapura, Jaffna, Vavunia or Mannar (the sign boards of these long distance buses are blue)
    3. Get down at the “Old bus stand” station in Anuradhapura
    4. At the bus station, board a bus going to Wilachchiya
    5. Tell the driver you want to get down at Horizon Lanka at “Bogashandiya.”

 

Driving in Sri Lanka

Whether you own a motorcycle or car license from your country, you will need to obtain a temporary Sri Lankan driving permit before you can use a vehicle to move around in Sri Lanka. The procedure is very simple and low-time consuming, but requires you to go to Colombo.

Present yourself to the Department of Motor Traffic in Boralesgamuwa (known as RMB by the locals). Beware, there is a RMB in the center of Colombo on Elvitigala Mawatha road which does not deal with foreign licenses.

Bus 120 will take you straight to the driving license office from Colombo Fort.

To obtain a Sri Lankan temporary driving permit, you will need to present your original driving license (international permit not necessary,) passport, and one photocopy of both the picture page and visa page of your passport.

The processing fee is 1000 LKR ($7 USD) and the whole process takes about an hour (permit delivered immediately). Do not trust people standing outside the RMB who pretend they can expedite the deliverance of your permit for a tip (– they can’t –).
May you require any additional information, feel free to contact Nanda Wanninayaka at nanda@horizonlanka.org or our receptionist at info@horizonlanka.org.