Gal Oya National Park is near the town of Ampara, at the Senanayake Samudra reservoir. Founded in 1954, the less visited but wonderfully unique national park shelters numerous fauna, including an impressive diversity of birdlife. The highlight of a visit to Gal Oya National Park is unquestionably the boat safari across the reservoir; soak in the scenery amidst the waters and spot plenty of wildlife.
Spanning an area of 25,900 hectares, the fauna at Gal Oya National Park comprises 32 species of mammals such as Sri Lankan elephants, leopards and deer, and reptiles like star tortoises and mugger crocodiles. The elephant sightings are undoubtedly the best feature of the park.
The birdlife at Gal Oya includes ibises, cormorants, egrets, eagles and more. The folk of the indigenous Veddha tribe also reside at Gal Oya; you might even be offered an opportunity to interact with them and obtain insights into their way of life and the park. The park has a few campsites for anyone looking to stay for a night amongst the wilderness.
An unhurried exploration of Sri Lankan wildlife, coupled with beautiful vistas of the reservoir, make Gal Oya National Park a hidden gem among all of the wildlife hubs of the country.
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