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This Is the Best Safari Destination Outside of Africa - Forbes (2019)

Gal Oya Lake Safari

AVAILABILITY: Throughout the Year

TOUR OPTIONS: Morning and Evening Boat Safaris

Gal Oya National Park is located in the south-east part of Sri Lanka and has about 32 species of mammals including the Common Langur, endemic Toque Macaque, Leopards, Sloth Bear, Elephants, Wild Boar, Water Buffalo and 3 species of deer. The park serves as the main catchment area for Senanayake Samudraya, the largest reservoir in Sri Lanka. The various small islands make Gal Oya a haven to elephants and birds, and an ideal location for a boat safari. Elephants are great swimmers and can often be seen waddling from one island to another in search of greener pastures. During the safari, you may have a chance to spot them swimming!

Gal Oya National Park is rich in flora and fauna. About 45% of the park is covered by evergreen forest and a further 33% is taken up by savanna areas. Approximately 150 out of Sri Lanka's 430 bird species have been observed in this region, with migratory birds visiting the park from December to April.


  • Lightly coloured clothing
  • Sunglasses & a hat to protect against the sun
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun protection lotions & Lip balm
  • Good camera, spare batteries, extra memory cards, cables and chargers