Gal Oya National Park and boat safari

Gal Oya National Park is situated in the South East of Sri Lanka and to the west of Ampara district. It was established in 1954 under the Gal Oya Development Board mainly to protect the catchments area of the Senanayake Samudra Reservoir.

The national park is rich in flora and fauna and about 45% covered by ever green forest and a further 33% is taken up by the Savanna Forest. The land extent of 25,900 hectares and it has 32 species of mammals including types of monkeys, leopard, sloth bear, elephant, wild boar, water buffalo and three species of deer etc.

Approximately 430 out of 150 species of birds could be seen Gal Oya reservoir. The boundary and small islands covered with forest patches which are haven to elephants and birds both.

The Kurulu Dupatha or the Bird Island and some of other islands with many types of birds. You could do boat safari to Bird Island and walk through the forest up to the outcrop. From here, you can see many bird nests. Some of the nests with eggs and some even with fledglings who are unable to fly away even when they spot you.

The Crossing is the elephants swimming from one island to the other in search of food. It will be a once in a lifetime experience where you get to witness swimming elephants mere several feet away from your boat. The best time to witness the Crossing would be during the months of June, July and August when the water level is down.

There are two wildlife department boats being operated in the Senanayaka Samudraya reservoir which needs to be pre booked half day or full day before you arrive there.

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