Sri Lanka in August: The Last of the Yala Monsoon


Monsoon has largely subsided in Sri Lanka by August. Rains lose their ferocity and sunny days multiply in the country's south and west. With a consistent temperature throughout the island, Sri Lanka in August offers a rare treat of uninhibited access anywhere in the country. And with cultural events like Esala Perahera Festival in Kandy and gorgeous wildlife phenomena like the Minneriya Elephant gathering, traveling to Sri Lanka offers plenty of excursion opportunities in August.

Sri Lanka Weather in August

Couple enjoying the scene in Sri Lanka in August
A couple watches the clouds roll over the Sri Lankan hills in August.

Though seasonal variation stays unchanged in Sri Lanka due to its location near the equator, visitors will experience the change in mercury depending on the region they are visiting. Colombo, on the country's west coast, sees the temperatures climb to a maximum of 29°C. With an overall rainfall of 109 mm, August allows plenty of opportunities to explore Colombo. For some cool weather, head to the cooler climes of the Hill Country. Nuwara Eliya is pretty wet in August, with 161 mm of rain. Here, the mercury maxes at 19°C during the daytime, and nights are cozy at 12°C. If you want to beat the Yala monsoon, head to the east coast for a rain-free beach experience. Coastal cities like Trincomalee have a maximum high of 33°C and a minimum low of 25°C.

For a seasonal overview, check out our guide on the best time to visit Sri Lanka.

Weather in Sri Lanka in August - Rainfall and Temperatures

Avg Daily (°C)313132323130303030303030
Avg Nightly (°C)222324252626252525242323
Avg Daily (°F)87.887.889.689.687.886868686868686
Avg Nightly (°F)71.673.475.27778.878.877777775.273.473.4
Avg Rainfall (mm)6269130253382186125114236369310168

Why Visit Sri Lanka in August

Elephant outside the Tooth Temple, Kandy
The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic or Sri Dalada Maligawa, in Kandy, is a major draw for Buddhist pilgrims and tourists.
Herd of elephants at the river in Sri Lanka in September
Head to Minneriya National Park to witness the elephant herds gather in the rain-fed reservoir.

Due to its monsoon status, mainstream tourists steer clear of Sri Lanka in August. What they miss are the perfect seasonal benefits this month offers. Here are some reasons why you should take a trip to Sri Lanka in August:

  • Low Season Perks: Travelers looking for a peaceful and serene holiday without the rush of other tourists can travel to Sri Lanka in August. Travel slowly and save up your travel budget, as discounts will be available at most places. The weather in Sri Lanka in August might not be the best, but it still offers enough good bits to make traveling here worth your while.
  • Festival: For a cultural dose go to Kandy to attend the grand festival of Esala Perahera or The Festival of the Tooth. This annual procession, which pays homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha, consists of traditionally costumed musicians, dancers, singers, and other performing artists. The sights and sounds are gorgeous, with decked-up elephants participating in the parade.
  • Wildlife Spectacle: Around 300 Asian elephants congregate in Minneriya National Park every year between July and October. Due to its location on the plains, visitors will get a sweeping view of this great gathering of giants.

Where to go and what to do

The aerial view of the city of Colombo
Be mesmerized by the the grand city skyline of Colombo.

August is a perfect month to temper your travels with a variety of experiences. Explore the urban expanse of Colombo, along with its colonial history and its cultural melange. Pristine wilderness awaits in Yala National Park, as August is one of the best times to track the elusive leopards.

Sunlit beaches of Bentota and Mirissa, Tangalle, and Trincomalee are tempting to spread your beach towels or take a leisurely dip in the warm waters.
For an off-the-radar experience, travel to Delft Island, off the coast of Jaffna, in the northernmost tip of Sri Lanka. Check out its Dutch history and its curious connection to an Indian epic—the giant footprint of Lord Hanuman from Ramayana.

Food fanatics can take a trip to Galle, where they can learn how to cook local cuisine. Here, they can also check out this erstwhile Portuguese colony and the famed Unawatuna Beach.

Syncing your trip with Sri Lanka's tricky weather in August might seem difficult. However, planning your travel can open doors for abundant experiences. Remember, August is still monsoon in Sri Lanka, so prepare for the Yala showers. Keep your attire light and breezy, as non-rainy days can get hot and humid.

If you want better insights, you can contact our local travel experts for a customized trip to Sri Lanka, or you can check our guide on how many days to spend in Sri Lanka for an in-depth itinerary. For instant inspiration, check out our Sri Lanka tours in August.

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