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Review: Gal Oya Lodge, Bordering Gal Oya National Park, Eastern Sri Lanka


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Gal Oya Lodge lies on the border of Gal Oya National Park and is unquestionably one of Sri Lanka’s most remote and least explored wilderness areas, remaining peacefully untouched by the human hand. This luxury eco-lodge is a true haven of serenity where you can immerse yourself in nature, soak up local culture and relax in magnificent surroundings.

Why We Love This Hotel

This unique lodge spreads across 20 acres of private jungle, home to expert rangers, white-bellied sea eagles, and the occasional bathing elephant. Enjoy this natural paradise through the many experiences on offer, which include walking with their Vedda neighbors (one of the last remaining communities of the forest-dwelling, indigenous people of Sri Lanka), and after a day of exploring cooling down in the dazzling pool, set in the long grasses and backdropped by the mountains.


Located in Madulla, the family-friendly Gal Oya lodge is 2.7 mi (4.4 km) from Gal Oya National Park and is situated between Kandy, Ella, and the east coast. This area boasts some of the most unique ecosystems surrounding Sri Lanka’s largest body of water, Lake ‘Sennanayaka Samudra’, along with over 25,000 hectares of lush evergreen forest and open savannahs. The lake’s surface is peppered with islands, and its diverse wildlife is without doubt best seen on a boat safari, especially the iconic swimming elephants!

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Gal Oya Lodge is from March to July. During this period, the famous boat safaris treat you to a spectacle of herds of elephants swimming from one island to another island in the great Senanayaka Samaudra reservoir.

How To Get There

You can fly from the UK with most major airlines, but Sri Lankan Airlines fly directly from Heathrow Airport to Colombo in around 11 hours. Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport is seven hours away from the Gal Oya Lodge by car.

Style & Character

A warm welcome greets you at the Gal Oya Lodge, and it’s clear to see that Sri Lankan culture and tradition are the inspirational elements at the heart of it. The bungalows draw their character from rural Sri Lankan villages, created using local techniques handed down by generations. The decor is authentic, with tables and chairs handmade by the local village craftsmen using teak and mara wood, applying traditional skills passed down over the years.

Service & Facilities

Facilities at Gal Oya Lodge include a lovely restaurant, bar, and swimming pool, all seamlessly integrated into the scenic landscape. The numerous activities found here include jungle rides and bird walks, but what makes this lodge so special are the qualified guides who bring their expert knowledge to the trips. Joining one of the resident naturalists for a jungle night walk in the forests surrounding the lodge is an experience not to be missed!


Accommodation comprises 10 spacious bungalows set within 20 acres of private jungle and grasslands, each and every guest space experiencing the magnificent views on offer. The bungalows are large, spacious, and comfortable, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a terrace overlooking the mountains and jungle. All the rooms are spread around and very quiet.

Best Rooms

The lovely two-bedroom, two-bathroom villa perched at the highest point of the Gal Oya Lodge site is the perfect spot for those in search of a luxury escape. It is peaceful, remote, and with absolutely breathtaking stunning views. The outside bathroom is a truly wonderful experience with its bamboo shower and homemade shampoo and soap!

Food & Drink

The cuisine and locally sourced and grown food is a special highlight at Gal Oya Lodge. The restaurant, perched on the lodge’s mezzanine level, serves delicious food, and the menu includes a choice of Sri Lankan and Western items. Sample a mix of flavorsome local curries, roti, and international dishes, or for breakfast, why not try buffalo curd and homemade granola or Sri Lankan hoppers: rice-flour pancakes packed with spicy fillings!

If you would like to book a stay at this luxury lodge or a business class flight, contact our luxury travel concierge to get a quote before booking. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, deals, and special benefits.

Note: Benefits & upgrades subject to availability. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing. Terms & conditions apply. Enquire for more information. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.