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Bad Road Conditions to Expect in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a tourist destination. Some tourists coming to Sri Lanka rent a motorbike or vehicle in Sri Lanka during their stay to travel around Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is a tourist-friendly nation with road signs and boards displayed in local languages and English. Most roads leading to major tourist destinations are in good condition. Most of the roads have been tarmacked in the recent past. However, due to weather and human activities, you may face temporary conditions affecting your traveling. We hope you can easily avoid these possibilities if you are aware of them.



Flooding of the road may occur during heavy rains. This happens mainly in the low country areas like Colombo, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, and Rathnapura during the monsoon rain season. Most of the time, the water covering the main roads may disappear when the rain ceases. However, some of the roads may remain underwater due to the overflowing of the rivers. Most of these districts have a major river, and rain in the catchment areas may also lead to floods.


Land Slides

As opposed to floods, landslides can occur in the hill country areas like Badulla and Nuwaraeliya districts. The roads in these areas are woven through hills. If it rains heavily, there is a possibility that small landslides will occur on the roads, making them unpassable. This might, at times, happen on railway tracks as well. The road workers and the locals will get together soon to clear the affected roads, but the time it takes depends on many factors.


Fallen Trees

Sri Lankan roads are most of the time boarded by big trees. In bad weather conditions, such as heavy rain or storms, some trees may fall across the roads, making them not passable. Road workers and locals will unite to clear the roads by clearing landslides. If other weather conditions are favorable, you might be able to use the roads within a few hours.



Protests from political parties, university students, and citizens fighting for their rights are common in Sri Lanka. Usually, these protests are peaceful, but they can have a huge crowd walking on the main roads. This can block the roads for a few hours, leading to slow traffic. The protestors usually respect the tourists and do not disrupt their movability.



Mist is not an issue most of the time. However, you may encounter thick mist when traveling in the upcountry during the rainy season. This may impair the visibility on the roads.


What not to expect

You will not encounter road difficulties due to snowfall in Sri Lanka. Further, pot halls and slippery roads are not common occurrences. Similarly, the road network connecting major tourist destinations does not involve any dangerous roads due to geographical location. Since the war in the north and east is no more there, there is no threat of terrorists and their activities. In the past, some roads in the North and East of Sri Lanka were not usable. However, it is a thing of the past, and most roads have been cleared and developed.



In general, Sri Lankan road conditions are better than those in other countries of the region. However, temporary circumstances can make it challenging to use the roads. We believe knowing these before hand would help you not to get overly anxious.


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