Covering an area of 540-sq km, the picturesque dry-zone reserve of Gal Oya National Park is situated in a part of Sri Lanka little visited by tourists. At the centre of the park is the Senanayake Samudra, a vast reservoir that was created in 1948. The park itself was established in 1954 to protect the catchment area around this body of water. Dotted with many small islands, the reservoir is one of the largest lakes in Sri Lanka.
A number of water birds can be spotted around the reservoir, including the white-bellied fish eagles, the rare painted francolin, Layard’s parakeet and Indian nightjars, and it is also possible to catch sight of elephants on the islands. In addition, grey langurs, wild boar, water buffaloes and deer can also be seen in the park. It is possible to tour the park in the jeep but travelers are recommended to take a boat trip to see the islands on the reservoir. Among the highlights is the appropriately site where the dense forest cover and rocky outcrops are home to a huge diversity of birds. more