Recommended guide/driver in Sri Lanka?

Twitter follower @thebrockboys is travelling to Sri Lanka for two weeks next summer and want to explore with a guide or driver. They’re in a group of four people – two Canadian couples – and want to know if you can recommend a good tour guide or driver for their trip?

Please share as much of your Sri Lanka knowledge as you can and pass on the good travel karma :D


Lottie Gross 16/09/13    Getting aroundSri Lanka Link Report

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9 Replies Date Popularity

Hi @thebrockboys. Gavin Thomas, author of Rough Guide to Sri Lanka here. Try Nimal de Silva ( He took me around during my last two visits to the island and is absolutely brilliant driver, guide, and travel companion.

Gavin Thomas 17/09/13    Link Report

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  • We hired a driver for four days to take us from Colombo – Kandy – Nuwara Eliya (by train) – Ella – Tissamahara. I’m really glad we did for this portion of our trip and, as well as being understanding re us not wanting to stop at everywhere he suggested, he also took us to some great spots we never would have found on our own.

    We used the Rough Guide for our trip and as recommended in it, Blue Haven Tours based in Kandy: Our driver was Manjula, nice guy, good driver and it was relatively cheap.

    Have a great time!

    Kirsten 18/09/13    Link Report

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  • Hi

    I have been travelling to Sri lanka for the last 15 years and would thoroughly recommend KD Travels and tours. They were absolutely fantastic value for money. ask for Ranjith as he knows the island like the back of his hand.
    They are reliable and safe drivers which is sooo important when driving in Sri Lanka.
    You can check them out of Facebook or alternatively contact them on [email protected]

    Ruvini 18/09/13    Link Report

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  • Justinefox 25/09/13    Link Report

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  • Hi there,

    I totally agree with the comment from JF above.
    The best possible way to find a guide is by checking his background using google.

    Yes I once travelled with Menaka and he had a wide knowledge about Sri Lanka.



    Alex_Rb 26/09/13    Link Report

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  • Thank you for the advice about Nimal de Silva of Destination Sri Lanka. We have just returned from a two week holiday which we organised with him. He was excellent in every respect. Very reliable, very attentive to detail, thoroughly professional and charming. We would thoroughly recommend him.

    billph 20/04/14    Link Report

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    my husband I used Karnal de Silva last June when we toured Yala and the south east coast and our journey from and to the airport. I can’t praise Karnal highly enough, he’s thoroughly honest, trustworthy, exceptionally knowledgeable about everything in Sri Lanka and won’t allow you to be ripped off by over zealous salesmen or be taken to counsisn’s tailors, jewellery shops, etc. I recommended him to someone else who traveled to Sri Lanka after we did and they were thrilled with him. He’ll certainly ensure that you have a good trip and that you will come back with lovely memories of his country. So enjoy your holiday.

    email – [email protected]
    web –


    Henri 03/09/14    Link Report

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  • Hi, I took your advice to hire Nimal de Silva ( and I am really pleased to say that this was great advice. We toured Sri Lanka by van and driver provided by Nimal for 16 days in August 2014. Nimal runs an excellent service and we couldn’t have been happier. Our group of seven, two families travelling together, couldn’t have been in safer hands. Nimal has a number of drivers and vans and we were very lucky to have Sugarth driving us. Sugarth was very caring and was always considerate of our needs. I had booked a number of day trips, Pera Hera tickets and tours online from Australia but having met Nimal in person and been so impressed with his service during our visit I would have left these often tricky arrangements in Nimals care. It is always difficult when arranging things online to know who is genuine and what you will end up with but I am pleased to say that Nimal was completely reliable and true to his word. We would have saved money and often have had better arrangements had we used Nimal to make the arrangements for us. Sugarth reflects these values ad well and would always make sure that things went smoothly going above and beyond to assure our comfort. When you see the chaotic driving in Sri Lanka we were very relieved to have Sugarth at the wheel – always calm and alert. I would recommend Nimal and Sugarth to any traveller to Sri Lanka looking for great service and genuine care

    robyn-stewart 05/09/14    Link Report

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  • Hi everyone, I just returned from an amazing trip around Sri Lanka. I wasn’t expecting much as I’ve traveled extensively throughout Asia, but Sri Lanka has found a very special place in my heart. The country surprised me with its natural beauty, varied landscape, fantastic weather, and warm people. Most important of all, our driver Deesa really made our trip special. I reviewed over 10 drivers/tour operators before deciding on Deesa. His price was extremely reasonable, possibly the lowest quoted. In addition, he was very accommodating and flexible as we made several changes to our trip. What made Deesa special is his cheerful and positive “can do” personality and his great warmth and kindness. He always has a ready and genuine smile which brightened our day before the start of each drive. He was an enthusiastic guide, a careful and safe driver, and a wonderful travel companion (and someone I now consider a friend). He can be reached at: [email protected]. Deesa truly touched our hearts and made for a most enjoyable and memorable trip. Thank you Deesa, we hope to see you again to explore other parts of your beautiful country.

    Kim 15/09/14    Link Report

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  • 02.11.2011 – 07.11 .2011

    We are two Russain expatriate families from Dubai, planned to visit Sri Lanka this year. We communicated with few companies for a budget offer including “Touradvizor Sri Lanka” Tour operators on the web. First to get in touch with and immediate response and coordinated the tour.

    We met Shamal the owner of the tour company, who received and greeted us at the Airport. Tour started with our guide Shamal and driver Ifham with a 15 seater comfortable van. It was a six day tour, transferred to Habarana from Airport. Drive was bit long, kids were tired. Hotel was good, with swimming pool. We spend two days in the UNESCO Cultural Triangle.

    Kandy stay was exciting too, the hotel was located on top of a mountain with a panoramic view. We did got into the pool at 10.00 pm. Royal Botanical Garden was the place we spend most of our time, and we feel we should have spent more time. Horton Plain was the next attraction, Shamal was behind us to visit early in the morning, to enjoy the most of the nature before mist. White water rafting was so exciting, children enjoyed the most. Those instructors are very friendly and with the highest safety measures. We recommend this enjoyable activity.

    We have spent wonderful and unforgettable 6 days , travelling around Sri Lanka , and would like to thank Shamal our guide , who knows the country and has helped us to get most of our trip . Shamal and his friend driver Ifham were always very helpful, respectful and friendly, and arranged the whole journey in a way that we didn’t face any uncomfortable situation or single issue during our trip, starting from the meeting at the airport to the very last day .

    We enjoyed the service of Touradvizor Sri Lanka ( TASL) and team Shamal, he was always very professional , accurate and on time even when it was early as 4: 30 in the morning!!! Shamal was making every effort to fulfill each of our daily planning, and furthermore to meet our any extra demand.
    And of course we really appreciated Shamal’s personality and friendly attitude which helped to enjoy our trip.

    Once again, we are very grateful to Touradvizor to offer Shamal as our guide and will recommend TASL to our other friends with great pleasure.
    Thank you Touradvizor and THE TEAM, we had a great HOLIDAY!.

    (If any reader needs our verification, please request the company at


    hannah.Gonzale 23/09/14    Link Report

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