Challenge level: 3 out of 5
|17 September - 27 September 2020||On Sale|
Trek on the serendipity island of Sri Lanka and raise funds for the cancer charity or hospice of your choice on our next Britain V Cancer trek.
Wandering through rolling rice fields and tropical farms, climbing the ancient Sigiriya rock, meditating with a monk and ending at the very special Elephant Transit Home, initiated by the Born Free Foundation, this challenge gives you incredible insight into the friendly Sri Lankan culture and the lifestyle of its locals.
It may sound peaceful, but your legs won’t be sleeping by day, as we trek for five days straight, from Dambulla in the heart of the vegetable farming region in the dryer side of the country to the Bandarawela Buddhist temple, nestled in the misty South.
We spend the last day of our adventure relaxing at one of southern Sri Lanka’s paradise beaches in the exquisite, small town of Hikkaduwa.
Places for this once in a life time Britain V Cancer challenge are likely to go ridiculously fast so please register soon to secure your place.
Worried about fundraising? Don’t be…
Britain V Cancer is an Open Challenge, which means you choose how you fund your adventure.
You can self-fund and pay the challenge costs yourself without the pressure of a minimum sponsorship target; or you can choose sponsorship and commit to raising a minimum amount for a cancer charity or hospice of your choice. It's your chance to do something amazing for the cause closest to your heart; whether you choose to support your local hospice or a national charity. It's completely up to you.
Our challenge begins when we meet at the airport for our overnight flight to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Once we touch down on Day 2, we enjoy a scenic coach transfer through rolling rice fields, tropical coconut and rubber plantations and charming, little villages, until we reach our hotel in Dambulla in the heart of the island. Here, we can relax for the evening with our first group dinner and an exciting briefing from our challenge guides, a fab opportunity to gain more insight into our trek ahead. As we can expect from the capital of vegetable distribution in Sri Lanka, Dambulla is simply stunning and bright with lush, green vegetation, a perfect place to spend our first night in the country.
Today we commence our trek through beautiful, local farmland and forests and alongside dry-land lakes until we reach the spectacular Sigirya Rock Fortress. This is an awesome, ancient archaeological wonder, formed from the magma of an extinct volcano. It reaches 370m above sea level, overshadowing its surrounding jungles by a whopping 200m – and guess what? We trek up it! After a short break at the foot of the fortress, we make our way to the top of the rock and take in the incredible panoramas across an expanse of tropical jungles and farmland. Here at the summit, we can also explore the ruins of King Kasyapa’s Palace, which dates back to 477-495 CE, when the ancient king made the site his capital. Then it’s back down we go and we finish our day’s hike when we reach our hotel in Dambulla.
After breakfast at the hotel, we transfer to today’s starting point of a small town called Naula in the low-country dry plains of the Matale province. We then spend our day making our way from the dry plains all the way to the wet-zone of Sri Lanka, admiring the rather dramatic changes in scenery as we enter the island’s more humid side. Our trek takes us to Matale, the largest town in the district, which lies on the Northern ridge of the central hills. This town enjoys the beautiful surroundings of the Knuckles Mountain Range, which the British called “Wiltshire”. This is where we catch our transfer to our hotel in the biscuit-tin perfect city of Kandy, which is centred around the wonderful Bogambara Lake and is made up of a mix of the lush vegetation we have come to expect from the country and architecture, both historic and modern. In the evening, we make the most of the city’s fantastic culture and visit the much-revered Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Lord Buddha.
Rising early, we have breakfast at the hotel and then transfer to a delightful tea factory in Pupuressa. Here, we enjoy a cup of the local Pure Ceylon Tea, before we start our trek along jeep tracks with fabulous views of the rolling tea country. As the day draws on, our route becomes more challenging, as we trek uphill through some very tall grass! Depending on the weather, we may need to use ropes for support – an awesome adventure. We at last reach Pussellawa, where we meet our coach and transfer to the “City of Light” aka. Nuwara Eliya and find our hotel.
Our day begins with an exciting train journey from Nanu Oya Railway Station to our starting point at Ohiya Station. On the ride, we’ll get some gorgeous views of the Horton Plains National Park and the forest that surrounds the train tracks. It’s also a great chance to give our legs a bit of a rest, before we get back on our feet again at Ohiya and make our way through mountain forests, eucalyptus plantations and small villages. This will give us some wonderful insight into the friendly culture of Sri Lanka and yet more idyllic panoramas. Our route leads us to the absolutely charming St Benedict’s Monastery, Adisham, which looks like something out of a story book, a pretty, stone bungalow tucked in the hills and mist of South Eastern Sri Lanka. The monastery dates back to the late nineteenth century and is now a home to young, Benedictine monks. We stay the night in a hotel in the nearby town of Haputale, enjoying our gorgeous surroundings of misty rice fields and the wide range of flora.
Day 7 is spectacular and a true highlight of our challenge. Beginning our trek at the Kahagala Estate, we wander through even more tea plantations and local villages, before descending to a quaint temple, where we stay for the night. This evening, we sit quietly with one of the friendly Buddhist monks for an hour of meditation. Surrounded by Sri Lanka’s natural beauty and lush, green forest, this is the perfect place to meditate and absorb the area’s tranquillity. A little later on, the monk joins us again for a discussion about Buddhism, meditation and the secrets of a simple life. Tonight, we have the fabulous opportunity to sleep in the halls of the temple. The dormitory-style halls we sleep in are comfortable, but modest – so please note that the facilities are absolutely suffice for our group of challengers, but they are limited.
Our day today even surpasses yesterday’s, as not only do we get a rest from the walking, but we visit the incredibly special Elephant Transit Home, initiated by the Born Free Foundation. Here, baby elephants who are orphaned or injured in the wild are brought in to receive care and rehabilitation. Once the elephants are healthy and old enough, they are radio collared and released in to the park where their progress is tracked. The first elephants to be rehabilitated at the Elephant Transit Home have already started reproducing successfully in the wild, a truly sustainable initiative. After an awesome morning, we enjoy a jeep safari of the Udawalawe National Park. This is probably the best National Park for elephants on the island and acts as a sanctuary for the many beautiful, wild animals displaced by the construction of the reservoir, while protecting the land from cultivation. Later, we transfer to the small town of Hikkaduwa on the south-west coast of the island, where we find our accommodation for the night, a resort on a paradise beach.
Today, you have a choice of awesome activities. You can either spend the day relaxing at the beach and hotel or you can do an optional trek on flat terrain through the area’s beautiful rice fields and coconut and cinnamon plantations. Along the way, we can enjoy a ride on a local fisherman’s catamaran through the lagoon and explore a small temple, which is over three hundred years old and home to some charming paintings. Our optional trek ends at a small, local restaurant for lunch. Another option you have today is to visit the Dutch Fort in the nearby Galle and get a glimpse of Sri Lanka’s rich, colonial history. The quaint, narrow, cobblestoned streets, which crisscross the fort, lined by tiny guest houses and restaurants, make it easy to imagine what life must have been like here during the Dutch colonisation. We rest tonight in the same beach resort we enjoyed last night.
Day ten sees us ending our adventure in Sri Lanka, with a transfer from our hotel to the airport in Colombo. From here, we fly back home, enlightened with a huge sense of achievement, having accomplished an amazing challenge for the cause closest to your heart.
Pay the challenge costs yourself and choose to fundraise or donate as much as you can for a cancer charity or hospice of your choice.
Pay the balance yourself
Pay a non-refundable registration fee and then commit to fundraising the minimum sponsorship target for a cancer charity or hospice of your choice.
Minimum sponsorship target
This challenge is not designed for Olympic athletes – it is designed for people looking for an amazing goal to train and get fit for. A number of the people who will take part in this challenge will have little or no fitness level when they sign up. This challenge is the perfect motivation to get fit, while exploring one of the world's most beautiful countries, immersing yourself in a wonderful culture and have an experience of a lifetime.
Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and life long friendships made as our groups take on these incredible feats together.
Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for the Britain V Cancer Trek Sri Lanka 2020. Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow trekkers on your training and fundraising. You may also want to reach out to the fellow participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and fundraise with.
Absolutely not! One of the amazing things about the challenge is that people of all ages will come together to do something very special. Everyone who is at least 18 years old by the challenge date is more than welcome to join this awesome Britain V Cancer challenge.
You will of course need a pair of walking boots. We will supply you with a comprehensive list of everything you will need to take on the event well before your departure date.
We stay in comfortable, three-star class hotels throughout this challenge, except for one night spent in a wonderful Buddhist temple.
The temple we sleep in is comfortable, but modest – so please note that the facilities are absolutely suffice for our group of challengers, but they are limited with shared showers and a handful of private showers.
Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay, you will need to come out of our group flights (and of course, we would deduct the cost from your balance). Please let us know as soon as possible if you decide to arrange your own flights by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to paying your registration fee and either fundraising or self funding your challenge costs, you will need to budget for your airport taxes and the fuel surcharge (approximately £370 but subject to change), personal travel insurance, gratuities, optional tours and personal expenses.
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation. Dream Challenges has a recommended policy that provides appropriate cover for this type of activity. We will send you the details once you have registered. You can, however, take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a charity trek in Sri Lanka. You will be required to obtain a tourist visa for entry into Sri Lanka, we will send you all the relevant information and forms to do this before the challenge.
The Dream Challenges team are here to help you achieve your challenge and will support you all the way. We are on hand from the minute you sign up to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the challenge itself. Once you have registered, we will send you a realistic training programme to help you get fit for the challenge. The programme builds up gradually as the event gets closer.
During the trek, we'll have two qualified doctors accompanying the group from the get go and at all times throughout the challenge, along with a team of experienced challenge guides and porters.
Porters will carry your luggage, food and water, so you will only need to carry a small day pack, containing essential accessories and equipment.
We’ll have an event leader, plus two qualified event doctors, who will be with you the whole time.