Gal Oya National Park

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.

Why visit Gal Oya National Park?

  • Enjoy a boat safari on the Lake in search of the elusive Asian elephants
  • Explore the National Park on foot or in a 4×4 & stop for a picnic by the river
  • Do some birding around Gal Oya Lodge with one of the naturalists
  • Meet the Vedda village chief and walk through the jungle of his ancestors
  • Get involved with the Research Centre reviewing or setting up cameras in the park

The park  only receives a fraction of the visitors of Yala and offers pristine jungle which can be explored by having a jungle drive or walk with your guide from Gal Oya Lodge. Gal Oya National Park is a very special place and is one of Sri Lanka’s best kept secrets.




A Visa is required for UK passport holders.

Health Requirements

No mandatory vaccinations are required.

Time Difference

GMT + 5.5 Hours

Flight Time

10.5 hours Direct


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