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Gal Oya National Park

Buried deep in the middle-eastern wilderness of Sri Lanka, Gal Oya National Park has some of the most striking landscapes in the country. But thanks to its secluded location, it lies blissfully under the tourist radar and has remained almost entirely undeveloped to this day.

Wildlife thrives in this unspoiled idyll as it is home to a vast reservoir - the biggest on the island - evergreen forest and open savannas. We highly recommend taking a boat safari across the large lake to experience the environment in all its glory and keeping an eye out for Asian elephants swimming between the little islands - which really are incredible!

Nature lovers will also appreciate watching flocks of birds flitting around overhead and calling to one another, before dipping and diving down to perch on crooked trees among their nests, on 'Bird Island' (known locally as 'Kurulu Dupatha'). There are said to be more than 150 species of birds here and, if luck is on your side, you may be able to spot deer, wild boar, water buffaloes, crocodiles, leopards and even sloth bears wandering around this rugged terrain. 

Sunrises and sunsets can be spectacular here as they reflect off the mighty body of water and set the sky ablaze, while also emphasising the intricate and unusual shapes of the silhouetted trees. Soak in these views when enjoying a delicious picnic on the shore or atmospheric boulders and savour the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere, a million miles away from busy life back home - just heaven.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Gal Oya Lodge is Ampersand’s top choice of hotel in this region. We guarantee that you will have a memorable stay here, for this luxurious property is one of our Top 10 Eco Retreats and offers an array of immersive experiences that mean you will see the national park at its finest.

Gal Oya National Park is roughly a three-hour drive east of Kandy and a three-hour drive north of Arugam Bay. Alternatively, two new airports have opened nearby making it much easier to fly there.

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There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Client Testimonials

We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had dealings with. Everything – from the individual care and attention in helping to plan the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round.
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka

From our Instagram

Today marks #InternationalTigerDay & we couldn’t be happier that #India’s wild tiger population now touches almost 3,000! 🐅🐅🐅
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Also known as the Pink City because of its trademark colour throughout, its hard to miss a picture perfect moment in front of one of Jaipur's landmark doorways.
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For more inspiration and to follow the teams journey through the Golden Triangle, keep an eye over on our Instagram stories and get in touch if you want to begin your trip!
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🇮🇳Reminiscent of a French village, with its bright Mediterranean architecture and flower-laden balconies, it’s no surprise that #Pondicherry (or #Pondi) is nicknamed the ‘Indian Côte d’Azur’ 🇫🇷
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