Boat Safari in Gal Oya National Park
by Mie Ali Didi
I’ve spent my whole life travelling around Sri Lanka, and I thought I had seen it all. How wrong was I. Gal Oya Lodge and Gal Oya National Park truly blew me away, it is nothing like I have ever seen
before. It is a beautiful drive up to Gal Oya, we stopped a few times to take in the views. The roads are well paved and maintained and if you are in one of our SUV’s there is nothing that is not enjoyable about drive. It took us two and half hours to drive to this hidden Eco resort from Yala and from there you can get to Ella or the East Coast quite easily making it an excellent stop on any round-trip itinerary.
Once you get to Gal Oya Lodge you realise that you are in for one experience. Everything is made from sustainable and local material and their philosophy of bringing their guests closer to nature and
to protect the local environment lies at the heat of their design. The bungalows were beautiful. The wood panel walls, the high ceilings, the thatch roofs, the alfresco bathrooms, the handmade furniture and the sound of the crickets at nights completed this unique experience. The reception, the pool side with the view of the monkey rock and the restaurant are so thoughtfully designed to bring nature in and make you feel as one. The food was incredible, after having a lot of local food, I opted for the sweet potato gnocchi and it was delicious.
The highlight of the stay was the boat safari in Gal Oya National Park reservoir. Unlike any other safari in Sri Lanka, we were the only people there and the only sound you could hear was the sound
of the nature. The reservoir had small islands dotted along, where the famous swimming elephants go in-between. We went on the sunset cruise and there was an abundance of birds everywhere you
looked. I never thought I would get into birding, but the enthusiasm of the safari guide quickly caught on with all of us. We were very lucky to see three swimming elephants as we stopped on an
island for a spot of team.
Tim and the team has put together a great product and some incredible experiences and I would wholeheartedly recommend Gal Oya Lodge to any of our clients.