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Visiting Gal Oya - exploring the eastern part of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Pt. 5 | Enjoying some quiet days at the lake and heading to a boat safari


Gal Oya National Park is the undoubtedly the least-visited of Sri Lanka’s national parks. Most of the crowds head to Yala or Wilpattu in search of leopards when travellers include a wildflife safari during a tour of Sri Lanka. What makes Gal Oya so unique is the large manmade tank, or reservoir, which is Sri Lanka’s largest water body – in the national park. It is here that you can take a boat safari, an experience not offered at other national parks. A visit to Gal Oya will also mean you will avoid the crowds that head to other parks.


On our ride to Gal Oya we saw many police posts along the way and our driver told us, this was due to the increasing drug crisis the country was facing. We remembered that German newspapers had been reporting about huge raids and mass arrests about 6 months ago. The rest of the day: tanning session pt. 1, right by the pool with views of the lake - 💕 ☀️

For sunset we took a kayak out on the lake and enjoyed the last moments of the day before the mosquitoes started attacking 🌅

Boat Safari in the national Park

Today: boat safari time in Gal Oya National Park, on the largest (man-made) lake in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately we weren’t going to see swimming elephants as we had hoped due to the high water level, but we enjoyed the cruise with our knowledgeable guide. We encountered wild buffalo (who can swim up to 3-4 km!), large numbers of breeding birds, a baby sea eagle 🦅 in it’s nest up close and the mama eagle catching a fish right in front of us.

FollOwing the music to find a bakery Car

Around 2pm, when the sun hit the most, we decided to head out and get some lunch at a small shop we had found on GoogleMaps. After an exhausting 20 minutes walk, we found the shop closed 🥵 so, back to the hotel it is - but wait! What do we hear? It’s the baker on wheels, recognizable by “Für Elise“ blaring through the speakers, as everywhere in the island. Awesome snack, almost worth the sweat 😅

Afterwards - pool session (Katharinas tanning schedule is meticulously planned and has to be observed). 👙 📖 💤



  • Visiting the Gal Oya National Park. If you come at the right time, you will see swimming elephants.

  • Chill and hang-out (if you have a pool nearby - it's a plus)

  • Kayaking Tour at sunset

  • Explore the area for shops, food and more



Dates travelled: 29. - 31.03.2024


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