Boat and elephant safaris, eco-friendly luxury and a whole different side of Sri Lanka to be discovered in the centre of the island nation at Gal Oya Lodge. We found paradise, peeps!
What do you do when you’ve lounged the beaches, hit up the capital and relaxed at the tea gardens? You make your way to the hidden jungle canopy in the heart of Sri Lanka, to the quiet and almost forgotten Gal Oya National Park.
The Gal Oya Lodge, a high-end resort, is located right inside the park and is also eco-friendly.
Nine cottages dot the space, and the eco-warrior in us was pleased to know that all the materials are natural and sourced locally. So now you don’t need to feel guilty lapping up the luxury of the dreamy bungalows decked out in blue and white.
If you’re feeling the love, then you’ll be thrilled to learn that each cottage has floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors which open onto a private veranda. Throw in a bathroom with indoor and outdoor showers and you’ve got yourself a cosy set up for a honeymoon.
Our recommendation: The two-bedroom villa, set atop the highest point of the resort. Ah, the delight of reading a book on a fluffy sofa which overlooks the park! Or sitting with a steaming cuppa on your bed, watching the sun rise and set.
Apart from lounging around, do speak with Tim Edwards, the owner, who’s always up and about planning excursions for guests. Think nature walks and proper hikes to see birds and animals in their natural habitat, with the highlight of course, being watching elephants swim from island to island in the mighty Nigala River.
Or opt for a boat safari—apparently the only one of its kind in the country. If you really like to go local, then they’ll even arrange for a meeting with Veddas, the aboriginal people of Sri Lanka. Then, head home to learn the ropes of farming on an organic patch before you hit the cool waters of the swimming pool, because we all know that it’s always sunny in Sri Lanka!
If you’re looking for luxury in a rustic atmosphere where adventure meets swimming pool shenanigans, this place is your ideal spot.
Where: 31 km post Bibile, Ampara Road, Ampara, 51375 Galgamuwa, Sri Lanka
Contact: +94(0) 768424612
Price: INR 10,000 per bungalow upwards