Gal Oya National Park Tourism

Gal Oya National Park

Gal Oya National Park 

Established in 1954 to protect the catchment area of the Senanayake Samudraya reservoir, Gal Oya National Park is considered to be among the most scenically beautiful landscapes in Sri Lanka. It is the only national park in Sri Lanka where a safari by boat is possible: from which swimming elephants are occasionally spotted!

The Senanayake Samudraya reservoir, which is not a part of the national park, is the largest in Sri Lanka. It was developed as part of a scheme to open up around 162,000 hectares of forest for agricultural and industrial purposes. The reservoir supports an important fishery and is a valuable source of water for irrigation.

Gal Oya is located just east of Sri Lanka’s central hills, lying primarily in the Badulla District. Two general zones can be distinguished within the park, with low peneplain, broken by bare rocks known as ‘turtlebacks’ to the east, and with a higher peneplain to the west. There are several cultural sites within the park, with the Digha Vapi Dagoba, built in the 2nd Century to mark the spot where the Lord Buddha is supposed to have sat during his last visit to Sri Lanka. Just to the east of the park, you’ll find the Henebedde cave near Wadinagala, containing a Brahmi inscription.


Gal Oya National Park 

Around 45% of Gal Oya National Park is forested, 33% is savannah, 9% grassland and 2% chena (forest disturbed by shifting agriculture). Around 10% of the park consists of water bodies. The forested areas are generally evergreen and of medium stature with a densely closed-canopy layer. The savannah, found mostly towards the west of the park, houses beautiful tree species and the dominant ground vegetation consists of tall grasses. The grassland zone occurs mostly around the water bodies and is entirely secondary vegetation.

Thirty-two mammalian species have been recorded in the Gal Oya region, with the most prominent being the grey langur, the endemic toque macaque, leopard, sloth bear, elephant, wild boar, water buffalo and three species of deer. More than 150 bird species have been observed in the region including endemic species such as the red-faced malkoha and the spurfowl, and the park is also unique in providing the last breeding refuge for the painted partridge. Reptiles, including crocodiles, snakes and lizards, all can be spotted, too.


Safari at Gal Oya National Park Sri Lanka

Gal Oya National Park allows visitors to enjoy its beauty and wildlife by Boat safari as well as by Jeep safari. Boat safari affords the opportunity to land on an island within the reservoir called “Bird Island” swarming with birds.

Gal Oya National ParkThe Jeep safaris that consist of two tracks of 5km and 13 km is ideal to catch the sights of elephants and leopards.The best time to visit Gal Oya National Park is from March to July. During this period, the boat safaris bring the spectacle of herds of elephants swimming from one island to another island in the great Senanayaka Samudra reservoir.

Other Top Ranking Places In Trincomalee
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was launched to provide...

Read More
Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka

Hikkaduwa Tourism Hikkaduwa finds itself nuzzled in the Galle district...

Read More
Mannar Sri Lanka

Mannar Island Tourism The island features an area of about...

Read More
Kitulgala water rafting Sri Lanka

Kitulgala Tourism Nestled among forested hills, Kitulgala is a small...

Read More

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *