Gal Oya National Park is situated about 50 kms from the East coast and boasts one of the largest lakes in Sri Lanka. One of the key highlights of a visit here is undoubtedly to watch the Asian elephants socialise and swim between islands in the dry season. However the lake and the surrounding area is home to a huge variety of birdlife with many local and migratory species.
The Vedda are the forest-dwelling, indigenous people of central Sri Lanka and they have inhabited the island for hundreds of years, living off the land and being at one with nature. There is one of the last remaining communities of the Vedda people around Gal Oya and it is also possible for the village chief to take visitors on a walk through the jungles of his ancestors. The forest comes alive as he talks about his tribe’s use of medicinal plants, their ancient hunting grounds and cave dwellings, as well as how hunter-gatherers sustained themselves in the surrounding forests.