Gal Oya Lodge

Secluded Gal Oya Lodge offers access to one of Sri Lanka’s least visited wildernesses, where swimming elephants are sometimes seen on boat safaris.

Situated in one of Sri Lanka’s least visited wilderness areas, secluded Gal Oya Lodge offers visitors access to the country’s largest inland body of water – the Senanayake Samudraya Lake – and over 25,000 hectares of evergreen forest. The highlight of your stay here would be spotting Gal Oya National Park’s famous swimming elephants on a boat safari.

Gal Oya Lodge’s 9 spacious guest bungalows and family villa take inspiration from their environment, featuring high thatched roofs and walls made of locally sourced organic materials. Floor to ceiling windows let the outside in, whilst luxe bathrooms are open air. Private verandas offer a quiet place to relax. Alternatively, you can head to the airy, central dining pavilion for a cool drink and unwind beside the outdoor swimming pool.

Whilst boat safaris are a must at Gal Oya Lodge, other things to do include gentle walks in search of the abundant birdlife, cycling to a scenic reservoir or more active hikes such as to the top of Monkey Mountain. You can also ride a Jeep into the remote Nilgala sector of the reserve, where mugger crocodile, jackal, sloth bear and other rare species reside. A not-to-be-missed experience is an excursion led by a Veddha village chief. The Veddha are the last forest-dwelling indigenous people of Sri Lanka, who still lead hunter-gatherer lifestyles.


How to get to Gal Oya Lodge

Gal Oya Lodge is located at the edge of Gal Oya National Park, towards Sri Lanka’s east coast. The property is approximately 260km (around 6 hours’ drive) east of Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport.

Gal Oya Lodge Activities

  • Boat safaris on Sri Lanka’s largest lake
  • Birding walks and Monkey Mountain sunrise trek
  • Cycling tour to a lake or to the Namal Oya Reservoir
  • Discovery walk with Veddha village chief
  • Jeep safari through Nilgala sector

*Some activities are available at extra cost.

Gal Oya Lodge Highlights

  • Explore one of Sri Lanka’s least visited wilderness areas
  • Boat safaris in search of Gal Oya’s famous swimming elephants
  • Jeep, bicycle and walking excursions available
  • Discovery walks with an indigenous village chief
  • Chic, sustainable accommodation with access to a swimming pool

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Below are a selection of our preferred hotels in Sri Lanka. Please contact us to tailor accommodation options to suit the style of your trip and your budget.

98 Acres

98 Acres is a romantic retreat set amid working tea plantations in the misty highlands of Ella, a small, laid-back town in central Sri Lanka.


Charming Amangalla is set inside a grand old building built in 1684, with the ramparts of the famous Galle Fort just beyond.


Amanwella is a secluded seaside retreat set beside a fine, sandy beach flanked by swaying coconut palms.

Cape Weligama

The Relais & Chateaux Cape Weligama sets the standard for luxury accommodation on Sri Lanka’s captivating south coast.

Ceylon Tea Trails

The Relais & Chateaux Ceylon Tea Trails sets the gold standard for colonial-style luxury in the cool, misty Sri Lankan highlands.

Chena Huts

Between sand dunes and jungle by the ocean’s edge, Chena Huts is a perfect base from which to explore Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park.

Gal Oya Lodge

Secluded Gal Oya Lodge offers access to one of Sri Lanka’s least visited wildernesses, where swimming elephants are sometimes seen on boat safaris.

Jetwing Vil Uyana

Guests at the exclusive Jetwing Vil Uyana may be treated to views of iconic rock fortress of Sigiriya on a clear day.

Jungle Beach

Jungle Beach is a secluded beach resort in Trincomalee on Sri Lanka’s unspoilt northeastern coast with the feel of a luxurious tree house.

Kahanda Kanda

Idyllic Kahanda Kanda is an ideal base for exploring Sri Lanka’s southern beaches and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Galle Fort.

Mandira Bungalow

The Mandira Bungalows in Hatton offer incredible luxury and time-worn traditions amid the temperate central highlands of Sri Lanka.



The following tours are private, independent and can be easily customised to suit your personal travelling requirements. Please contact us to begin designing your personalised Sri Lanka experience.

Sri Lanka Overview

Why Sri Lanka: This remarkable island off the south eastern coast of India might be small but it is jam packed with spectacular landscapes, a rich cultural heritage and ancient historical sites including 7 World Heritage Sites! Sri Lanka is also still relatively unspoilt by tourism, although there are many unique and wonderful hotels throughout the country.

When to Go: Dec – Mar is considered the best time to visit, being the driest season on the west and south coasts, in the ‘Cultural Triangle’ and up in hill country. The east coast is best from May – Sep when many of the beaches along the west and south coasts are experiencing the monsoon. During the monsoon, it is possible to travel as the rain is not constant – you’ll also enjoy lower prices and less crowds. The temperatures are high throughout the year, averaging around 27°C.

Combine With: Neighbouring India, Bhutan or Nepal.

Getting There: Fly into the international airport north of Colombo, the capital.

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