Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka in January

January weather & where to go

This is a great time to travel, and not just to start your new year off with a bang. Expect temperatures of around 30 °C along the southern and western coast, alongside lots of sunshine. Rainfall at this time is pretty minimal, so plenty of beach relaxation is in order. Top spots for city and beach in the south west for January include Galle, Colombo, Tangalle, Bentota and Weligama. These are great places to start or end your wildlife safari, and the wildlife parks are also excellent at this time.

Yala National Park and Wilpattu National Park drying up post monsoon and will be fairly hot. We’d recommend avoiding the first week or so of January, just to ensure you miss the tail end of the north-eastern monsoon and can focus on tracking leopards, elephants and other amazing wildlife. 

Uda Walawe is excellent at this time for bird watching as they follow their migratory routes, and Horton Plains is amazing, a stunning area of undulating plains, and home to lots of fauna, as well as the spectacularly dramatic, plunging World’s End.

You can expect a little bit of rainfall in central Sri Lanka in January, around the hills of Tea Country, the cultural triangle and the city of Kandy, but not much. Temperatures are comfortable and warm, although will be cooler (around 20 °C) around Nuwara Eliya and the tea estates due to altitude.

It is not a great time to travel to northern Sri Lanka.

Overall, January is one of the best months for visiting Sri Lanka, warm climate in the south west means excellent beach options, and the wildlife parks are quite dry, which makes them good for sightings as the animals gather around water holes. 

The main cities such as Galle, Colombo and Kandy are also a nice climate for travelling around, as well as the tea plantations, and Horton Plains area, although you can expect a bit of a morning frost in the latter two – good for crisp morning walks to wake you up!

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