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Embrace the unexpected in Sri Lanka | Events

Sri Lanka may be a relatively small country, but it certainly packs a punch when it comes to top-drawer highlights for travellers. From its jungles teaming with monkeys, charismatic Asian elephants and reefs brimming with fishes to its crumbling colonial architecture, beautiful beaches, delicious cuisine and fascinating history there’s no doubt the island has something for everyone.

To experience all the island has to offer in a week, therefore, seems like an impossible mission, but The Adventurists beg to differ. The Adventurists are renowned for organising some of the world’s most incredible adventures, including the globe’s longest and toughest horse race across Mongolia, a vintage motorbike ride across a frozen lake in Russia and a paramotoring race across southern Africa. They hope their latest addition, Rickshaw Run Sri Lanka, will offer those who have an appetite for adventure, but only a week in which to experience it, something to get equally excited about.

The Rickshaw Run, as its name suggests, allows you to cross Sri Lanka in a rickshaw, ‘pimped out and decorated’ to your own specific design, in a team of up to three people. Whilst there will be various teams setting off from the same starting point, this isn’t a race and there’s no set route. In fact, getting lost and finding your own way through Sri Lanka is thoroughly encouraged, safe in the knowledge if you do find yourself facing a real emergency there’s a team on the ground relatively close by to give you some advice.

Riding in rickshaws is about more than just giving you an authentic mode of Sri Lankan transport. Whilst they might be easy to break, rickshaws are also easy to fix, which means they’re ideal for heading into Sri Lanka’s heartland. Riddled with back roads and dirt tracks the challenging terrain can wreck a standard car in minutes, but in a rickshaw, you can safely negotiate potholes and sleeping dogs, but if you don’t quite manage there’s always a friendly local close by to help try and get you running again. Rickshaws allow you to get to parts of the country that few tourists visit and go at a windowless pace that allows you to see, breathe and hear the country at its best.

“We’ve been running the Rickshaw Run in India for 11 years now, and felt it was time for it to begin its global migration. Sri Lanka is the obvious starting point for this. There are few places on Earth that cram so much excitement into one country and certainly not that is accessible in one week. The idea of the Rickshaw Run is to give people a true adventure that allows them to get under the skin of the country in a way that a normal holiday wouldn’t. You could just rock up, enjoy the launch party, team up with another group and ride in tandem the length of the country to the festivities at the finish line and I’m sure you’d have an amazing time, but there’s nothing like a little mishap in the back end of nowhere to experience something truly memorable and force you to embrace your surroundings and the people in it. These are the moments that modern life is missing and a rickshaw, for all its downsides, is perfect for this. It’s bound to break down at some point, but the world certainly won’t be going past in a tourist bus blur as you head to the next guidebook tick.

The event will also be raising funds for worthy causes across the globe. The official charity partner for this event being Cool Earth who work with local communities around to the world to help save the most endangered rainforests on the planet. The Adventurists have raised more than £7 Million for scores of charities over the years.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, Ceylon of course, then the Pioneer’s Edition of the Rickshaw Run Sri Lanka, where you can be one of the inaugural people to take part, runs in May 2018, with the first official Run taking place in August 2018.

Head over to for further details.

Cost: £1795 for a team of up to three, which includes:

  • A rickshaw, pimped to your own design
  • A fancy tracking map so folks back home can follow you live
  • All the necessary paperwork to drive the vehicle
  • Test driving and training, launch party and finish party
  • A jerry can and a few key spare parts plus the tools to change them
  • A week of some of the most underpant-stirring adventuring possible in a rickshaw