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Gal Oya Lodge

A UNIQUE SAFARI LODGE, TOWARDS THE EAST OF THE ISLAND

Gal Oya Lodge is a stunning, quasi-African-style safari lodge set in Sri Lanka’s beautifully untouched Gal Oya National Park, towards the east of the island.

Away from the more trodden routes, the park is a hot-bed of the country’s eclectic wildlife and at certain times of year there can be herds of up to 40 elephants. Its bird-life is the envy of any other park on the island and leopard, though perhaps more easily spotted in the crowded parks, are sometimes seen.

Gal Oya Lodge really champions a responsible, more discreet kind of wildlife tourism – one you’ll enjoy in quiet and beautiful isolation.

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Call us : +94 (0)71 563 8069

The Rooms

The lodge is altogether 11 thatch-roofed bungalows, two of which make up a joined ‘villa’.

In minimalist, jungle chic style, the rooms are laid out as little suites with sitting areas leading into high-ceilinged bedrooms. Those in turn open to spacious open-air bathrooms.

Sri Lankan culture and tradition are the inspirational elements at the heart of Gal Oya Lodge. The bungalows draw their character from rural Sri Lankan villages, created using local techniques, tried and tested over time. Tables and chairs are handmade by the local village craftsmen using teak and mara wood, applying traditional skills passed down from generation to generation.

Each cottage is discreetly tucked away so none overlook each other.

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The ‘villa’ – two cottages joined by a communal sitting area – presents an ideal family option (though some other cottages are suitably located for parents and children). It probably boasts the best views, too, overlooking jungle canopy.

What’s to do

Gal Oya offers some of the most beautiful safari experience on the island. Boat safaris can be taken in the early morning or late afternoon with the possibility of seeing good numbers of elephant, crocodile and wonderful birdlife.

Jeep safaris through the jungle offer a different perspective. Though rare, leopard sightings aren’t unheard of.

The lodge sits in its own 20 acres but is surrounded by almost nothing but wild jungle. Well-trained naturalists lead guided walks, tailored as appropriate. The more energetic should climb Monkey Mountain – though making an early start to avoid the mid-day heat.

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Almost uniquely on the island, Gal Oya can arrange walks with the local Veddah tribespeople, Sri Lanka’s indigenous population.

Afternoon dips in the pool or sundowners by the lake (happily arranged) can provide more gentle distraction.

Location

The Lodge is on the eastern side of the island (about half-way up).

Driving from Colombo (or the airport) is possible, though lengthy; likely around 7 hours. Those stopping in Kandy will have a drive of 3-4 hours. Despite its remoteness, roads in the area are good – and relatively quiet.

International flights to Hambantota airport, much closer than Colombo, are almost non-existent, but may in time offer an alternative way in.

Helicopters can be chartered, though no scheduled flights currently run.

Out for the evening

The road from Bibile boasts a bar only the recklessly curious would consider. Much better to stay put at the Lodge and with guests often making early starts for safari it’s not uncommon for all to be horizontal by 9pm.

That said, the restaurant and bar will happily cater to those pushing on to the late evening.

Food & Drink

Locally sourced food is a special highlight of Lodge life. Lovingly prepared, the days’ menu will include a choice of Sri Lankan and Western items, featuring home grown herbs and vegetables, and produce from neighboring village farmers. Innovative, fresh and healthy meals are a natural part of Lodge life. Be sure to try the delicious national staples such as curries, sambol and roti. Joining the Lodge chef in the kitchen for a Sri Lankan cooking course is also an option.

Pool

Tucked away in the thick of the jungle and surrounded by the looming hills, the pool here is a little oasis.

Families

The secluded two-bedroom villa perched at the highest point of the site offers the best and most private and luxurious accommodation option for families.

The lodge offers enough activities to keep all members of the family happy but it is also the perfect place for relaxing by the pool, pottering around the 20-acre private forest, basking in the atmosphere and making memories to share with the loved ones.

To and From

Properties to head to before or after your stay
at Gal Oya Lodge…

Why Book with The Ceylon Guide?

We work here, live here and know Sri Lanka inside out. We only showcase properties we know and love
and we’re confident our prices are as low as anyone’s. We’d love to help you experience the very best of the island.