Gal Oya National Park
Established in 1954, the Gal Oya National Park serves as the main catchment area for the Senanayake Samudraya Reservoir and was largely isolated for over three decades due to the Island’s civil conflict. The Park is a natural habitat for large herds of elephants, and its protected status also ensures plenty of savannah grassland, forest and scrubland making it a popular feeding and bathing ground. Dawn or dusk boat safaris along the Senanayake Samudraya Reservoir reveal plenty of bird life and sightings of elephants that gather around the banks and chance sightings of elephants crossing banks. Gal Oya is also known for endless paddy fields, historic Buddhist monasteries, hermitages, shrines and temples. The nearby Buddangala Monastery features impressive carved statues adorning a long and iconic rock face. It is also the home of the remaining population of indigenous Sri Lankans, the Vedda tribes, whose way of life is increasingly under threat of extinction due to the influences and incursions of the modern world.