Rickshaw Run Sri Lanka

The Details: Rickshaw Run Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is rammed with off road tracks, mountain roads, jungles, elephants, beaches, remote national parks, amazing food and some of the nicest people on Earth.

Here’s the run down on how to squash yourself and a couple of mates in a glorified lawnmower and adventure your way across the island.



1. The un-route

START: Kumudu Valley (north of Negombo)

FINISH: Rekawa Beach, South Coast

DISTANCE: 650km (ish)

TIME: 2 days test driving, 7 days on the road

Jungles, off-road tracks in the middle of bloody nowhere, the crumbling remnants of past kingdoms, mountains, elephants and remote villages. All this goes towards making an adventure that will melt your face with awesomeness.

As this is an unsupported adventure the exact route you take, where you sleep and how lost you get is entirely up to you, just as it should be.
"In one sentence? Fan-fucking-tastic."
Carol B, Team Boring Rickshaw
"Probably the most fun you can have on three wheels whilst sweating off 20% of your body weight."
Walker R, Team Vandelay Industries

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2. The dates

August 2024

8th August: Pre-adventure evening beers
9th August: Test Driving & Launch Party
10th August: Test Driving & Team Briefing
11th August: Launch Day
17th August: Finish Line & Party

October 2024

3rd October: Pre-adventure evening beers
4th October: Test Driving & Launch Party
5th October: Test Driving & Team Briefing
6th October: Launch Day
12th October: Finish Line & Party

January 2025

30th December: Pre-adventure evening beers
31st December: Test Driving & Launch Party
1st January: Test Driving & Team Briefing
2nd January: Launch Day
8th January: Finish Line & Party

March 2025

13th March: Pre-adventure evening beers
14th March: Test Driving & Launch Party
15th March: Test Driving & Team Briefing
16th March: Launch Day
22nd March: Finish Line & Party

August 2025

7th August: Pre-adventure evening beers
8th August: Test Driving & Launch Party
9th August: Test Driving & Team Briefing
10th August: Launch Day
16th August: Finish Line & Party

October 2025

2nd October: Pre-adventure evening beers
3rd October: Test Driving & Launch Party
4th October: Test Driving & Team Briefing
5th October: Launch Day
11th October: Finish Line & Party

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3. Entry fee & what's included

£2,095 per rickshaw, up to three people in each engineering marvel on wheels.

That makes it a measly £698 each for a team of three.

You can pay in instalments too, chopping the fee up into monthly chunks.

What you get for your money

  • The Rickshaw

    A start of the art 3-wheeled, 4-stroke air-cooled rickshaw with insurance and all the other necessary paperwork.

  • Test Driving

    Two days of adventure prep and test driving including rickshaw driving lessons from the Rickshaw Run crew.

  • Rickshaw repair lessons

    Our expert mechanics will bestow their knowledge in sessions covering basic maintenance and repairs on the road.

  • Team Flag to Pimp your Ride

    A ruddy great big flag, designed by you to mount upon your steed.

  • Launch Party & Launch Day Ceremony

    A ruddy great big knees up including dinner, some free drinks and awesome local live music. Plus an official send off ceremony on launch day.

  • Finish Line & Finish Party

    We set the stage for your finish line photo and round things off with another bloody great big knees up to swap tales from the road. Much back slapping and a bit of falling over is likely.

  • The Adventure

    Offering the best and worst that Sri Lanka can throw at you and all the stories and glory that go with it.

  • The Knowledge

    Info from our team of experts to advise you how to get to the start line, the best outfits for the parties and the best biscuits to pair with Ceylon tea.
    Plus the team handbook with all the pre adventure knowledge you need so you can keep the bit between the start and finish focused on getting totally lost.

  • A community of likeminded idiots

    We'll introduce you to Sri Lanka Rickshaw Run veterans if you want a chat before the adventure. Most importantly you get the company of fellow Adventurists in Sri Lanka. You're joining a collective of genius-idiots drawn to the call of overland stupidity.

Refundable Vehicle Deposit

We take a refundable vehicle deposit of £1000 per team, due about a month before the launch.

The deposit is fully refundable and deductions will only be made if the rickshaw is seriously damaged or if there are bits missing. If you don't bring it to the finish line we'll need to use some of your deposit to recover it so it's best, and cheaper, to get it there yourself.

We understand the 'shaws will take a bit of a kicking because we've been running these adventures since 2006 so we don't deduct anything for normal Rickshaw Run grade wear and tear. We'd rather not have to take a deposit at all but it's a boring necessity so we do our best to make it as painless as possible.
"Absolutely loved it. More please. Truly memorable experience in a beautiful country."
Allison S, Team Essex Express
"Better than a kick in the dick"
Pat Smith, Team Tuk Yeah!

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4. The rickshaw

The engines on our Sri Lankan beasts are an impressively pathetic 10.5bhp. They have tiny wheels, shite ground clearance and bad suspension. They have no real protection from the elements, and they're incredibly unreliable.

All of this pretty much guarantees something will go wrong. Which is where you find out what you're really made of. Hopefully it's stern stuff.

Some of the off-road tracks in Sri Lanka are properly gnarly. Thankfully, with a mere 198cc at your command, this should mean you get utterly stuffed.
  • Engine

    4 stroke, air cooled

  • Engine Size


  • Transmission

    4 forward, 1 reverse

  • Fuel Capacity

    7 litres

  • Top Speed

    55kmph (ish)

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5. Pimp my rickshaw

Now we’re talking. Nothing screams sexiness more than your very own auto rickshaw proudly sporting your very own design of artistic genius. It’s pretty much the pinnacle of excellence.

It’s pretty easy too. We’ll supply you with a digital flag template. You can then use photoshop or some other graphics editing software to decorate said design. If you’re not too handy with a computer then you can print the template out and decorate it with crayons, marker pens or bodily fluids if needs be. Once you’re done then scan the printout or take a photo of it and send it back to us.

We’ll then get our graphic designer in Sri Lanka to make it into a ruddy great flag to mount upon your rickshaw and bam, one pimped rick. Very detailed designs can sometimes get a bit lost. Best to go big, and bold. Like Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson.

Bear in mind, they’ll make the flag exactly as per your design, which means if you make a mistake, it will also appear on your flag.

You can even take the flag home with you come the end of your adventure to adorn your living room wall for years to come.
"The Rickshaw Run Sri Lanka was filled with epic variety of terrain, culture, nature, people and mishaps - 100% recommend!"
Emily M, Team Alan"
"Unforgettable, will be signing up again."
Eugenie P, Team Tea Birds

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6. Driving license & insurance

Temporary Sri Lankan Driving License

You need a locally issued temporary driving license to drive a rickshaw legally in Sri Lanka. We take care of this before you arrive, you just need to have a standard car driving license from your home country. A motorcycle license on its own (not including cars) isn't enough to get you the local permit you need, it'll get knocked back by the issuing office in Sri Lanka.

The authorities in Sri Lanka will issue a three-wheeler temporary license and we'll have it ready for you when you arrive at Test Driving. You don't need to get an International Driving Permit anymore - the Police will always be looking for the locally issued permit.

Always make sure your travel insurance covers you for driving three-wheeled auto-rickshaws and nothing about your domestic license, or the locally issued Sri Lankan driving permit, invalidates your policy.

Vehicle Insurance

Your rickshaw comes with the legally required third party vehicle insurance so you're all covered. But bear in mind the cover is limited and it is possible if you cause damage to another vehicle or property you may be asked to cough up in cash.

Travel & Medical Insurance

You'll need appropriate travel insurance that covers you for exactly what you're doing and exactly where you're going. We wouldn't scrimp on this one, we might make light of the dangers in our writing, but they're very real.

So get travel insurance, otherwise you're one of these.

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7. On the road costs

If you're a Rickshaw Run veteran then Sri Lanka will envelope you in its familiarity like a cuddle from an overweight favourite aunt - just without the smell of lavender and piss. Prices are slightly higher than in India, but are still reasonable.

Expect to pay anything between £2 - £15 for a meal.

A room will likely cost you something around the £20 mark for something basic, and £50 for something with a pool, the smell of freshly laundered sheets and a minibar full of cold beer.

Petrol's cheap, around 50 English pence per litre.

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8. Saving the world

Not only is the Rickshaw Run an industrial dose of adventure, it’s also about Saving the World. We ask every team to raise a minimum of £500 for the official charity Cool Earth.

Anything above this can be raised for any other registered charity of your choice.

Cool Earth works alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction. All their partnerships are community-owned and led. Local people stand to lose the most from deforestation but the most to gain from its protection, that’s why they are the forest’s best possible custodians.


We need to save every rainforest in the world so future generations have somewhere to get stuck. Not because we’re tree hugging sandal weavers, but because the world would be shit without them. It’s not about the carbon off twatting, the point is rainforests are indescribably excellent.

How do we raise the cash?

The best way to raise these funds is through your friends and families, people you work with or anyone who's got a dirty little secret only you know about. We've found that the best way to collect these funds is to set up a fundraising page on the Cool Earth website. Your donors can chuck cash their way via your page and it saves on fees. You can also use other fundraising platforms such as Justgiving.

You've got until 2 weeks after the end of your adventure to raise the minimum amount of £500. Teams often raise the most cash while they're on the road and just after they get back, but it's wise to start your campaign early.

If you don't raise £500 by the deadline, unfortunately you will go to hell. Together with Cool Earth we give you tips and resources to help you fundraise. Then 2 weeks after the finish line party we will pester you for your final total. But don't panic, we won’t set any dogs on you, or force you to sell your children. We will be very, very disappointed though and do a sad face at you.

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9. The warning

These are genuinely dangerous things to do. The website is written in a light-hearted fashion but you cannot overestimate the risks involved in taking part in this adventure.

Your chances of being seriously injured or dying as a result of taking part are high. Individuals who have taken part in past Adventurists' adventures have been permanently disfigured, seriously disabled and even lost their life.

This is not a glorified holiday, it's an unsupported adventure and so by its very nature extremely risky. You really are on your own and you really are putting both your health and life at risk. This is what makes them adventures.

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10. I'm ready. Sign me up

Registration is open now. Press the button of adventuring destiny and set forth into the unknown in a glorified lawnmower.

Join Adventure


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11. Subscribe and follow

Follow the Rickshaw Run

Follow the The Adventurists

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12. Contact us

+44(0)117 422 3400

[email protected]

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