We are adopting sensible hygiene and health precautions led by our guests’ needs. We will try to meet whatever requirements you have; please contact us in advance about this.
At present foreign guests who are fully vaccinated at least two weeks before arrival in Sri Lanka only need to take a PCR test on arrival and stay the first night in an approved ‘safe and secure’ hotel which must have been booked befoirehand. If the test result is negative they are then free to travel and stay anywhere they wish. This also applies to unvaccimnated children under 18 travelling with fully vaccimnated parents, but the children (if aged over 2 years) must takle a further PCR test.
Unvaccinated travellers must stay fore their first two weeks at one of the Tourism Development Authority’s registered ‘safe and secure’ accommodations. The full list can be found at www.srilanka.travel/helloagain/ and includes small guest houses as well as larger hotels. The accommodation must be booked before your travel and you must also obtain permission to travel from the Tourism Development Authority via the same website. During their stay guests may use the hotel’s facilities e.g.swimming pool, dining room, and may also take sighseeing trips accompanied by registered guides and booked through the hotel or guest house. After that, and subject to negative PCR tests, they can stay anywhere they wish.
We are registered with the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority but Jungle Tide has not applied for ‘safe and secure’ status as we feel the requirements are unacceptable to our relaxed, family ethos and undermine the dignity of our guests and our staff. The situation is changing all the time and we will keep this page updated.
Guests resident in Sri Lanka can of course stay at Jungle Tide at any time. subject to any local travel restrictions.
We give local, reliable advice – just ask us questions or send us your planned itinerary for comments.
If you want us to go further then, with enough notice, we can book accommodation and transport for you though we charge a fee of 10% onto the total cost for organising this. Please also be aware that we do not carry insurance as tour operators. This is a service for our own guests only.
We have always welcomed local guests as well as foreign visitors and, right now, with so many restrictions on international travel, people living in Sri Lanka are as likely as anyone else to want ‘staycations’. So if you want a break from the city, or from the heat of the coast, why not come to Jungle Tide and experience the cooler climate and calmer life of the hill country?
We realise that as a Sri Lankan resident you will be looking for something different and we think we can provide it, whether it’s simply a short break from everyday life or a serious trek in the mountains, perhaps with one of the naturalists we use, or the opportunity to see and support educational and development work with local tea estate families.
Jungle Tide is 12km (30 minutes) from the centre of Kandy and about 300 metres higher up near the very top of the huge Hanthana tea plantation.
The road from Kandy through Uduwela village to Galaha has now been completely upgraded and resurfaced, which has cut a lot off the journey time and made the trip more comfortable. The last 600 metres is still on an unsurfaced tea plantation road. Almost any vehicle can manage this but you have to drive slowly and it’s much easier if you can arrive before dark. The views are spectacular and if you have your own driver he will find the last short rough stretch much easier in the daylight.
We strongly recommend staying at least two nights at Jungle Tide to get the best value from all that we offer. Many guests tell us they wish they could have stayed for longer. But if you can only manage one night then you should check in no later than 5pm so you can use the pool, or watch the birds and the sunset, and relax before it gets dark. If you have a driver please make sure he is aware of this.
If you plan to come with your own driver or self-drive, please read the relevant sections below.
We are able to arrange pickups from Katanaiyake airport, central Kandy or anywhere else in the island and this is how we recommend you come to Jungle Tide as we use reliable drivers who can be trusted not to take you on detours to places where they receive commission.
From Kandy Bus or Train Station
RS1,800/– for up to 6 people. Less if you can get into a tuk-tuk!
From Colombo (Katanaiyake) Airport
RS10,500/- for up to 6 people inclusive of airport charges and highway tolls
Journey Time approx 3.5 hours.
From anywhere else in Sri Lanka we can arrange pickups. Please enquire for prices.
We will provide you with directions to pass on to your driver. Please ensure he follows them and in particular if using Google Maps or similar make sure that he puts in a route ‘Via Mount Royal Road’. Otherwise he may be sent on a shorter route but one which most vehicles find impassable! Google has difficulty ‘reading’ the road layouts in the Kandy area. Please make sure hyour driver is OK with driving 600 metres on an unsurfaced road.
Drivers will often suggest places to visit on your way. This is part of their job. But don’t take too many stops en route! You will certainly get the most from Jungle Tide if you arrive well before dark. And your driver will find the last short unsurfaced section much easier.
A few of our guests (who are braver than us) self-drive. We have even had guests who have hired and driven their own three-wheelers and motorcycles. Self-drive in Sri Lanka is not for the faint-hearted but if you feel confident and have driven in similar countries before then do it.
If you self-drive please make sure that if you follow Google maps or similar you specify the route ‘Via Mount Royal Road’ to reach Jungle Tide. Otherwise it may show you a shorter route but will not explain that this route is impassable for most vehicles! Please get directions from us before you set off. Google has difficulty ‘reading’ the road layout in the Kandy area.
You can also take the local bus (#655 to Uduwela from the main bus stand in Kandy by the Clock Tower) and walk the last kilometre or so. This is very cheap! But it does mean a walk with your luggage and the bus tends to be very overcrowded. Although it has a timetable in theory, in practice you may have a very long wait for a bus. Also the last bus leaves Kandy around 4pm – usually! We do not recommend this unless you are young and fit and travelling light – though using the bus to go into Kandy while you’re at Jungle Tide can be fun.
We can arrange transport for you from Jungle Tide to wherever you have next booked to stay, or a drop-off to the airport. We maintain an ever-growing document of suggestions from past guests about places to visit, places to stay, restaurants etc. around the island which we can send you if you want. And we are always happy to give free advice and comment on your planned itineraries if you want to send them to us in advance of your stay. If you want us to arrange all your holiday transport with trusted drivers and companies, and/or book accommodation for you we will also do this for a 10% arrangement fee provided we have enough notice. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements.
The Hanthana Mountain Range is great for hiking – whether it’s just a stroll around the village or a day-long trek into the mountains. We have several self-guided walks mapped out for guests and we can arrange guided treks with a trekking and birding expert if booked in advance.
We can arrange all your transport needs while you are at Jungle Tide, hiring three-wheelers or larger vans depending on what you need. For local trips we make no additional charge for doing this.
We do suggest that you spend some of your time just relaxing at Jungle Tide. The longer people stay here the more pleasure they have. But we also offer some special days out to lovely places away from the tourist crowds (and usually cheaper) as well as the places you may already have read about.
You don’t have to be mad about railways to appreciate the delights of train travel in Sri Lanka. Although it’s slow and very bumpy, can be a bit dirty and crowded, and routes and services are very limited, we think no-one should visit the island without at least once experiencing a train ride. The last part of the trip from Colombo to Kandy is pretty spectacular, but pales by comparison with the real hill country train from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, Ella and Badulla. And of course it’s cheap.
But there are drawbacks. Unless you’re prepared to stand in a crowded carriage for many hours you’ll need to book seats online in advance. And on the famous hill country line these sell out as soon as they go on sale, especially at the most popular times of the year – mid-December to April and July/August. You can still travel without a reserved seat but being crushed into a carriage rather spoils the view, which after all is the main point of the journey. Especially if you’re a child or not very tall. If you want any advice about train travel contact us.
And if you are a true railway enthusiast, the national railway museum is an hour away from Jungle Tide.