Is it safe to travel to Sri Lanka? Our trip in April 2022

We started to get worried at the beginning of April when we read all those articles about violent protests in Sri Lanka. Our beloved “western” media reported disorder, violence, lines in front of gas stations, and power outages.

A train on 9 Arches Bridge in Sri Lanka

We almost thought of canceling our trip but we decided to ask friends and friends of friends who are living in Sri Lanka and they reassured us that protests are happening only at certain places (mostly in the capital Colombo) and are peaceful. So we decided to give it a try and here’s what we experienced in the country at the very end of April 2022. We’re not going to take on sides or discuss politics, we’re just sharing what we experienced in the country.

There were barely any foreign tourists as news from Sri Lanka was getting scarier and scarier. Almost every local we met thanked us for visiting and was grateful for the opportunity to have some work and get some money. Most of the highlights and attractions on the island we had mostly for ourselves.

Power outages were happening in areas like Hikkaduwa, Debarawewa, and Kandy. In some more “touristy” areas like Ella and Nuwara Eliya, there were no power cuts.

Locals reported prices for food and basic supplies going up. In two places, they had run out of soap in the stores. We couldn’t be happier to have brought our own soap and used it so they didn’t have to ration the soap.

Many gas stations were out of fuel so our driver had to check different stations before we found fuel. Long lines of people with gas bottles, waiting until they say there is gas, was a common sight.

Ella Waterfall, Sri Lanka

So the situation in Sri Lanka was definitely not great and even more, people were suffering outages that no human being would suffer. Prices of fuel, gas, and food were going higher and higher so I guess it only made sense that people would protest against the government policies.

People would get together and go protest. They were doing it around the presidential residence in Colombo, sometimes around houses and palaces of government officials in many towns. We could see large groups of people getting together and walking to a place or arranging their transport to go protest in the capital. They were shouting slogans, carrying signs “Gota go home” (Gota is the name of the president), walking, dancing, and playing music. We passed near several groups and it was every time 100% peaceful protesting.

There were days when different labor unions would go on strikes. For example, one day no taxi company would take passengers from the airport, and another day the whole staff of a tea plantation would go on a strike. Including the business in pressuring the government to do something.

Tea picking at Damro Tea Factory, Sri Lanka

Did we feel safe as visitors? Yes!
Do we think the media is overexaggerating what is happening? Yes!
Do the protests have the potential to turn so massive that together with the government response to escalate the situation out of control? Probably.

But as we visited this beautiful country, we were reassured that nothing will ever happen to us. Thankfully, we were in the hands of some of the most warm-hearted people! And spending time (and money) in Sri Lanka is one way to help local people survive. We hope that by the time we visit the country again, this crisis will be just history.

Here’s our 7-day Sri Lanka itinerary with plenty of details and tons of photos.

Do you like this post?

Travel with us and share our journey on Instagram! Do you want to support us – learn how here!

Keep up with our latest travel adventures and projects!
Subscribe for our Traveletter!