Gal Oya National Park Holidays

Avoid the crowds and experience some of the best Sri Lankan wildlife at Gal Oya National Park, the most untouched of all the country's national parks. It encompasses Sri Lanka's largest inland body of water, the Semannayaka Samudraya Lake, with lush evergreen forest and open savannahs thriving around the calm waters.

The lake's surface is peppered with islands and Gal Oya is the only place in Sri Lanka where safaris are available by boat as well as by jeep. This unique vantage point allows you to watch animals as they come to drink at the water's edge, forage along the shore and perhaps the real highlight is seeing wild elephants swimming from island to island in search of greener pastures.

Along with elephants, the park's unique ecosystem is home to wild boar, deer, jackals, sloth bears and crocodiles. Birdlife is also abundant and you should keep your eyes peeled for white-bellied sea eagles, grey and purple herons and several species of cormorant too.

The forest-dwelling indigenous Vedda people are neighbours of Gal Oya Lodge, and guests have the opportunity to join the village chief for a walk through the jungles of his ancestors. The forest comes alive as he explains his tribe's use of medicinal plants, the location of their ancient hunting grounds and cave dwellings, as well as how hunter-gatherers sustained themselves in the ancient jungles of Gal Oya.

Why visit Gal Oya National Park?
  • Teeming with elephants and birds
  • Boat and jeep safaris
  • Serene surroundings
  • Nature trails
  • Indigenous Vedda people
Essential facts about Gal Oya National Park
Local Time

GMT + 5.5 hours


Sri Lankan rupee. Travellers cheques are not accepted.

Travel information

The driving time to Gal Oya is approx 4 hours from Nuwara Eliya. Also easily accessible from Kandy, Passikudah and Yala National Park.

Best time to go

Gal Oya is available year round, however June to December is the best time for elephants and January to March for bird watching.

Visa information

A visa may be required. Please ask for details.

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