The ultimate Sri Lanka Adventure - drive a Tuk-Tuk, explore the country and complete challenges .
We are sure you want to know more about what really makes this trip unique... so here we go
Our Sri Lanka Tuk-Tuk adventure does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s in Sri Lanka. It’s an Adventure. You drive your own Tuk-Tuk’s. And a Sri Lanka adventure is pretty much guaranteed. But really, there’s so much more in the tin than that: there’s epic scenery, getting lost and the occasional bit of road rage.
Our Tuk-Tuk adventure is about new experiences, cultural immersion but mainly about having fun – the adventure type of fun. Where you have to work for it, get dirty but finish off indulging in a fresh drink and outrageously delicious food while laughing about the challenges of today. All of our Adventure Challenges are geared around fundraising and responsible travel. It’s kind of our thing. That means that 10% of every dollar we get goes straight back to flagship charity projects and tree-planting campaigns in the countries we visit. The grassroots organisations that can really make a difference in the world.
Join, accumulate points and win the challenge. How do you get points? By nailing various challenges, we set you along the way. It’s not a race, it is an adventure challenge! So forget about setting a new Sri Lanken ground-speed record in a Tuk-Tuk . Questions you will be forced to ask yourself during the Lanka Challenge include: Who’s going to go and get a photo of that crocodile? Who’s going to get us invited to a local’s place for lunch? Who’s going to take one for the team in the chilli-eating challenge? What day is it? And where did I put my Imodium? One hell of an amazing time is guaranteed.
We have three departure dates: April, July and September.
April and July cover a more central route and September ventures down south.
✔ Training and driving lessons on arrival day.
✔ Half-board. Delicious locally-made breakfasts and dinners at hotels.
✔ Hire and use of 1 genuine, ready to go vehicle for duration of challenge.
✔ Accommodation for all nights in double or twin rooms.
✔ Challenge logistics & legal stuff (mechanics, ambulance, support team, permits, luggage truck & support vehicles).
✔ Welcome pack (sim card and phone, map, t-shirt, event bag, phrase-book & navigational sheets).
✔ Awards ceremony & farewell party.
✔ 10 % contribution to our Meaningful Travel projects
✘ Flights, visas, airport transfers.
✘ Day to day costs (lunch, dinner, drinks & gratuities)
✘ Spare parts and repairs (approx. total £40-120 per team).
✘ Fuel (approx. total £100 per team).
Ah, the humble Tuk-Tuk. The ride so nice they named it twice. These are standard issue, Indian-made, Sri Lankan-modified Tuk-Tuks.
They’ve got three wheels (don’t ask us why), an open frame, a canvas roof with drop down sides, a cabin for the driver and two seats in the back. Oh, and an engine: a 4-stroke beast that is probably slightly more powerful than a horse.
Tuk-Tuks have a few advantages: they’re durable, easy to use and very forgiving. They’ll happily handle almost any surface, climate or level of abuse. Their cruising speed is a tasty 35kph (22mph). Their cruising altitude is about one foot.
Warning: Tuk-Tuks can easily roll and flip if not handled correctly. We take safety really seriously on these challenges, and you should know there are inherent risks involved, including potentially life-threatening situations.
For a comprehensive answer, go and Google ‘internal combustion engine’. But here are the cliffnotes.
On the first day of the event, everyone is required to attend a mandatory tuk tuk driving induction and safety training session (this means you). You’ll get enough lots of time to practice before hitting the road. A rickshaw is a cross between a car and a scooter, so clutch control is key. If you´ve driven a scooter or motorbike before, it’ll be a breeze.
It’s worth remembering that the Lanka Challenge is just that – a challenge. The Lanka Challenge is not a race. It’s not like Cake’s seminal 90s hit The Distance. Speed should not be your priority. If anything should be, it’s probably fun.
The Challenge is broken up into various driving legs. Each team gets a road map and a daily navigational sheet, which they’ll use to get from A to B each day. The winning team isn’t necessarily the team that finishes first, it’s the one that accumulates the most Challenge points. How do you get points? By nailing various challenges, we set you along the way.
That means that racing is not really encouraged. In fact it’s actively discouraged. There’s no need to set a new Sri Lankan ground-speed record (very difficult to do on a 200cc tuk tuk, but still…) We’ll provide mechanical support when you need it, but essentially you’re hiring a tuk tuk and driving it independently each day. By yourself. Han solo.
A team is made up of either 2 or 3 people. Apparently there is no ‘I’ in it. You get one Tuk-Tuk per team.
Unfortunately, no. Only because each leg will start from the hotel / over-night stop and the idea is to share our challenging travel experience together. Most importantly you wouldn’t want to miss out on each night’s social gatherings…
Yes, you’ve got to be at least 18 years old in order to compete. We don’t have a maximum age, but if you’re over 65 we definitely recommend checking with your insurer to make sure you qualify for the medical insurance you’ll need to take part. The Challenge is pretty physically tough – we won’t sugar-coat it. You should really only take part if you’re in good physical shape and your health is A-Okay.
Probably not your ski jacket. Or that set of golf clubs. Sri Lanka is a tropical island, so pack accordingly. The nights can get a little chilly, depending on the time of year, so a windbreaker jacket and a few light layers wouldn’t go amiss. Other than that, bring all your travel essentials, some good quality suncream and anything you think will make the long driving days more fun (we recommend honing you I-Spy skills beforehand).
Don’t worry, you don’t have to strap suitcases to the roof of your tuk tuk. We’ve got a luggage truck that will follow us around. Each morning you’ll load it up with your heavy bags, and each night we’ll hand it back at our hotel. For the camping nights, we recommend bringing a smaller bag to act as a day pack.
Don’t stress, they’re very friendly. If you can ride a bicycle that has a clutch and an engine, you can ride a tuk tuk. Besides, on the first day everyone gets mandatory tuk tuk driving instruction and safety training. You’ll have plenty of practice before hitting the open road.
To put it bluntly – yes. There will be an element of danger, if only because you’re sitting behind the handlebars of a three-wheeled tuk tuk, on top of 200CC of raw power, and tackling unfamiliar roads in a foreign country. That in itself is a bit risky. But don’t worry too much – if you’re sensible and cautious, you should be fine, and we have a fully trained crew to swing in if anything goes wrong. That includes an ambulance and paramedics on standby.
Warning: Tuk Tuks can easily roll and flip if not handled correctly. We take safety really seriously on these challenges, and you should know there are inherent risks involved, including potentially life-threatening situations.
Your humble steed will be handed over in road worthy conditions and from then onwards it is your responsibility to take care of any repair costs. Our team of mechanics will be at your disposal throughout the event and will assist you with this at a cost. Otherwise you can turn to the locals to help you out. But don’t worry spare parts are not that expensive!
The cost of repairs depends on how each teams looks after their vehicle. Naturally there is a small amount of wear and tear on these type of events, but you will only be charged for parts that are damaged or need to be replaced. There will be a full vehicle inspection prior to handing over your tuk tuk. On average, the cost of repairs ranges from £40-120 per team.
These wonderful machines are surprisingly fuel efficient, so unless you drive like a madman your wheels will do at least 30 km to the litre so you won’t really be spending more than £100 bucks for the whole Challenge.
Whoa there, speed racer. These bad boys can’t really get over 50kph. The average speed should be around 35kph. Fast enough to get the blood racing, but not so fast you hit a cow. That’s the sweet spot.
If possible, try not to do this. One of our registration requirements is to pay (or better block the amount off your credit card) a refundable deposit of £ 1,500 per team. This will (ideally) cover you for most touch ups and accidents, although if the tuk tuk is a complete write-off the bill might increase. At the end of the Challenge we’ll inspect the vehicle, come to an agreement, and return any balance to you before you leave Sri Lanka. A pretty standard car-hire type system, really.
Travel insurance is a must-have on all our Adventures; in fact it’s a condition of entry.
Please ensure that you have appropriate travel insurance which covers Emergency & Medical insurance for the duration of the trip as well as ensuring that you have cover to drive the Tuk-Tuk. It is also advisable to have cover for things such as luggage loss and flight cancellation etc.
We can suggest you take a look at Campbell Irvine or SafetyWing.
Everyone who competes has to provide us with a valid International Driving Permit (IDP) with a Category B stamp. Sorry to be old bossy boots, but if you show up and can’t produce the license, we can’t let you compete (we also reserve the right to without a refund). NEW: We require you to send us a copy of your IDP and a digital copy of your passport photo so we can apply for a Sri Lankan recognition permit on your behalf.
Third party insurance is included under the hire of the tuk tuk. Scratch as many Ferraris as you want (please don’t actually do this).
Definitely! We love to see teams going the extra mile to raise money for charity. Just be aware that the tuk tuks we use have limited branding space (we take up some for our own branding purposes). If you need more info on this, just let us know.
Easy peasy. Here’s how:
Once you’ve done all that successfully, we’ll send you an email with lots of exclamation marks confirming your team’s availability.
As soon as your registration is locked and loaded, we’ll email you and ask you to provide us with:
We’ll double check all these docs on the ground in Sri Lanka, so please bring copies with you.
No. If you have any concerns regarding this we do offer post payment options so please contact us directly for more information regarding this.
30 days before the Challenge.
Nope. We’ll provide the sleeping bags and the marshmallows as necessary. However it might be good to bring a torch.
Ah visas, our old nemesis. You can find out the full list, and how to apply, here.
We try to stick to the original route and accommodation as much as possible, but they can be subject to change from time to time.
Not really. Some luxuries can be a little pricey (hence the ‘luxury’ bit), but for the most part it’s super reasonable. Lunch might be a few dollars and beers are generally under a buck. It’s like travelling back in time to the 50s when the world was a much simpler place and children respected their elders.
All our hotels will have internet connection, but the campsites not so much (it’s really hard to train monkeys to operate the WiFi). If you’ve booked your own accommodation, you’ll have to check with them.
Buddhism – 70 per cent; Hinduism – 16 per cent; Christianity – 7 per cent; Islam – 7 per cent. If in doubt, just smile and be friendly.
Sinhala, Tamil and English are spoken throughout Sri Lanka, although in remote villages the English-speakers might be few and far between. You’ve brushed up on your Sinhala, right?
If you like your weather warm, you’ll love Sri Lanka. Warmth is kind of its thing. Even when it’s pouring with rain. There are plenty of more in-depth weather guides online, but generally the south-west monsoon brings rain to the western, southern and central regions from May to July, while the north-eastern monsoon is from December to January. Expect anything from 23 to 30 degrees Celsius.
This is completely up to you (and your doc), but generally it’s a good idea to be up-to-date with standard vaccinations like Tetanus, Hap A and Polio. Other jabs to consider are Tuberculosis, Meningitis and Typhoid. Anti-malaria meds might also be a good idea. If in doubt, check with your GP.
For more info, click here.
Sri Lanka has a good road network linking all the major cities, towns and interesting places. But don’t go expecting pristine tarmac everywhere you ride. Some of the rural roads in particular can get pretty wild and bumpy.
Short answer: come and find out for yourself. Long answer: it’s sort of like India, without the madness and crowds. It’s still mad, and there are still crowds, but not quite on the same scale. It’s also got a great cultural legacy from trade and immigration: Indian, Tamil, English, Portuguese, Dutch. Pretty much every seafaring culture has touched the island at some point, which means the food is seriously good. Like don’t even get us started.
For more information please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions.
Check out what others have said about our Sri Lanka Tuk-Tuk Adventure.
“THE best way to see a country! Adventure, excitement, laughter, education, and tons of fun. Lanka and Cambodia were some of the best trips I've ever been on. Highly recommend these guys!”
“The Lanka Challenge is in my top 5 trips of a lifetime, without a doubt. If you're considering traveling with Large Minority, do yourself a favor and book right away! The ingenious and very well thought-out challenges, stunning destinations, wonderful locals and brilliant fellow travelers made this a trip to remember - and to repeat. I went on the Lanka Challenge in August 2016 with two girlfriends and I'm hoping to book the Philippines Challenge soon with my fiancé.”
The guys have this trip down to a fine art. During our travel we were far enough off the beaten track to feel this was a proper adventure but also supported just the right amount to know that if we really needed something we would be supported.
Nicholas Tyral, Team TNT-oi