Gal Oya National Park
Gal Oya (not to be confused with the village of the same name near Kaudulla NP) is a river in the Badulla and Ampara Districts in eastern Sri Lanka. Gal Oya National Park is exceptional among Sri Lanka’s sanctuaries in so far it is consisting of a lake in the first place. It is man-made, the tank belongs to one of the first major irrigation projects of Sri Lanka (those days called Ceylon) after gaining independence. The reservoir from 1950 is named after Ceylon’s first Prime Minister: Senanayake Wewa or Senanayake Samudra. The lake is spotted with islands and has many arms and small bays, an ideal habitat for birds. More than 150 bird species have been recorded in Gal Oya. Chances to observe birds of prey, among them Sri Lanka’s most impressive eagles, White-bellied Sea Eagle, and Grey-headed Fish Eagle, are quite good. 32 mammal species occur in the park. One of Gal Oya's butterflies is the endemic Lesser Albatross.
Sinharaja rain forest
Kanneliya small rain forest
Pinnawela elephant orphanage
Dry zone south
Yala NP camping-safari
Bundala NP bird watching
Kumana NP birds and wildlife
Okanda village life and beach
Rufus Kulam remote lake
Lahugala NP with heritage site
Gal Oya NP lakeside wildlife
Udawalawe NP wild elephants
Ussangoda serpentine rock
Dry zone north
Minneriya NP elephant gathering
Kaudulla NP elephant gathering
Habarana oxcart excursions
Nelumpure authentic village life
Mihintale ancient sanctuary
Namal Uyana ironwood sanctuary
Rasvehera monastery and wildlife
Tabbowe lake near Wilpattu NP
Horton Plains trekking hotspot
Bambarakanda 240 m waterfall
Adam's Peak pilgrim mountain
Hakgala Botanical Garden
Kitulgala white water and birds
Peradeniya Botanical Garden
Meemure village life and trekking
Knuckles Range trekking highlight
Randenigala NP alternative camp
You can find a similar linklist with images just below:
destination: Gal Oya
The head office of the Gal Oya National Park administration is just below the Indinigala dam. This is the area of the circuit bungalow and simple guest houses, too. Boats should be hired one day in advance to be sure they are available. So Gal Oya, besides Randenigala, offers the rare opportunity of a boat safari. Watching elephants sometimes swimming to small islands is amazing. And the lake will be tranquil. There are not many tourists visiting this remote area. Don’t miss to climb to a panorama platform at Indinigala rock close to the docking for the boats.
Jeep safaris surrounding the lake off-road are possible, too, and a very exceptional safari route in Sri Lanka, but need careful preparation. It will cross traditional Vedda hunting area, but hunting is prohibited inside National Parks, fishing is permitted for locals in restricted areas.
Chances to spot one of the few leopards are low. A herd of wild elephants is present in this National Park throughout the year, during dry season there can be even more elephants than usual, the best time to observe them at the banks of the lake is the late afternoon, then you can expect to see whole groups of them coming for a bath. The morning is better for bird watching, but then you will only see few single elephants.
Amongst the reptile species of the park are the Mugger Crocodile and Star Tortoise.
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