used in all light fittings.
‘Set in a 20-acre private forest, discover Sri Lanka’s rural wilderness with a magical safari. Witness the local elephants or cool down in the dazzling pool.’
Scroll down to see top tips for Gal Oya Lodge and to meet your host! Click on the leaf-rating tab to reveal sustainable & regenerative efforts across waste, energy, biodiversity, and more.
From $204 USD per night
20 acres of private, untouched jungle
Boat safari & jungle cooking courses
Wild elephant sightings close by
Proactively fight illegal poaching
Meet the Vedda, indigenous people
‘Experience the memorable jungle cooking course, with forest ingredients’
Embark on the ‘Walk of Discovery with the Chief Veddha’. One of the last remaining communities of the Veddha, the forest-dwelling, indigenous people. Learn about nature as the chief brings the forest alive.
Join Gal Oya’s team of naturalists as they embark on their evening walk. An opportunity to learn more about the resident species and their animal monitoring project
Enjoy an early morning trek to the top of ‘Monkey Mountain’. Witness dramatic 180 degree views over the large forested valley and experience the sun rise over the hill
The thatched wooden bungalows set in the forest, are large and comfortable. The outside bathrooms are a real highlight.
The bungalows are connected by sandy pathways. Each bungalow has a terrace area with front seats for a spectacular mountain view.
Large open-air layout bathrooms
Built with locally sourced materials
Night time security guards
Large private verandas
Meet Your Host
Meet Tim, the founder of Gal Oya Lodge. He grew up in Nepal in a safari lodge run by his parents.
Tim loves nothing more than exploring the jungle, and his favourite animals are wild elephants.
“We get to witness and enjoy at the lodge herds of wild elephants just passing through at dusk. There are no fences here so the natural migrations can still happen.”
Discover more with ‘Behind the Green’ here.
Need to Know
As part of the digital detox experience at Gal Oya there is no Wifi here.
It can get humid, it’s a jungle after all. Don’t expect to see a button for the air conditioning at this eco-friendly lodge
Gal Oya Lodge is a unique chance to reconnect with nature, it’s not a safari, boutique hotel with all the frills.
Gal Oya Lodge is located on the edge of the National Park in the Uva Province in Sri Lanka. The national park is a mixed landscape, with mountains, a large reservoir and an area of Savannah grassland.
How To Get There
The nearest airport is Ampara Airport, also known Gal-Oya Airport, is a domestic airport in southeastern Sri Lanka. This is a 1h 15min drive from Gal Oya Lodge. The lodge has its own helipad for guests.
As the lodge is secluded and there is no signage guests will need to call the lodge to arrange transfers. Gal Oya will send a complimentary jeep to escort you on the last leg of your journey to ensure you get there safe and sound.
As part of what we do here at Kiwano we advise hotels that don’t meet the criteria on how they can reach the renowned Kiwano seal of approval, sharing knowledge; working tirelessly to get more hotels inspired to join the green movement.
EnergyTo reduce energy consumption, Gal Oya Lodge have Solar Panels fitted that provides hot water to the Bungalows and the kitchen instead of using boilers. Also, energy saving lightbulbs are...
WaterWater used in the hotel is provided by the deep bore well that was drilled on the lodge’s land itself. This water is filtered and purified so it can be used as drinking water for guests. No water is ...Read More >>
used from the municipal water supply (mains) making Gal Oya Lodge 100% self-sufficient in regards to water consumption.
WasteAll waste at Gal Oya Lodge is separated properly with all recyclable materials being driven (by the lodge) to the local government recycling plant over 40km away, and the organic waste is given...Read More >>
to local community pig and fish farms. Gal Oya aims to have a zero-plastic policy at the lodge, starting with no plastic bottles being used on-site, instead recycled glass water bottles are used.
BiodiversityGal Oya Lodge has a research centre on-site which was set up for both their in-house naturalists and guest scientists to use, where they can undertake a wide variety of conservation orientated...Read More >>
studies in and around the local area. They have partnered up with several organisations such as the Fishing Cat Conservancy and Wilderness & Wildlife Conservation Trust, who have recently been given permission to undertake a long-term leopard monitoring program inside of the National Park (first time this has been done in this Park). In addition, they undertake research in and around the lodge and buffer zone, which guests can have a "hands on role" including the discovery of fishing cats (by the use of camera traps). Other animals that have been recorded within the lodge grounds are mouse, deer, jungle cats, jackals, wild boars, elephants, otters, pangolin and more. The research centre aims to identify all species living in this remote area of Sri Lanka to ensure their survival. They are also undertaking awareness programs in the local community, particularly with children, on the importance of conserving native flora and fauna and how to safely avoid dangerous encounters with animals such as elephants and snakes.
FoodThey own an organic farm on-site and the menus are designed in a way that makes all ingredients available from either this organic farm or sourced from local villagers and local markets.
Engage GuestsTo engage guests in the local environment and community, the lodge provides several educational activities including a trip to the research centre. You can also meet the Chief of the Veddha...Read More >>
tribe: Gal Oya Lodge neighbours one of the last remaining communities of the Veddha – the forest-dwelling, indigenous people of Sri Lanka. The lodge can invite the village Chief to take you on a walk through the jungles of his ancestors, discovering and learning about local nature as he brings the forest alive, explaining his tribe’s use of medicinal plants, ancient hunting grounds and cave dwellings. It’s a fascinating insight into how the hunter-gatherers lived in the jungles of Gal Oya.
ArchitectureGal Oya Lodge was built using primarily 3 materials: iluk (thatch), wood, and granite stone which are all locally sourced. The buildings were constructed by hand by local contractors, with no...Read More >>
heavy machinery being used on site. Only 1 tree in total was cut down during the construction and building areas were levelled by hand avoiding any mature trees. Also, all furniture was made (primarily of wood) on-site by local carpenters.
HousekeepingAll the laundry at Gal Oya Lodge is washed in house using water from the lodge’s own bore well and linen is washed every other day (unless guests ask for them to be washed sooner) to save water...Read More >>
All the toiletries provided at the lodge are refilled into ceramic containers to reduce the use of plastic.
CommunityOne of the lodge’s aims was to have the lodge run by the local community, and currently 75% of the staff live within 10km of the lodge. Gal Oya Lodge had also identified the local poachers that were...Read More >>
poaching game meat to sell illegally in the area and offered them full time employment on-site if they agreed to stop their illegal activity. To date 3 ex poachers work full time with the lodge. Gal Oya was given the Platinum Award in 2016 (highest level, and the only lodge that year to be given it) by the Sri Lanka Green Building Council for their work in sustainability and conservation.
"Idyllic faraway place for relaxation and wildlife spotting"
It is designed to enable people to relax and safari without the crowds and pressure to see wild animals. Indeed great care is taken not to disturb the wild life and their habitat is respected.
"Hope we get the chance to return someday!"
Most amazing peaceful place I have ever been, swimming in the lovely pool was perfect way to wind down! Our lodge was beautiful, food delicious and all staff happy and helpful!
"a wonderful place and a very relaxing couple of days"
An incredibly beautiful and isolated lodge. The food is delicious and the staff are all so friendly and helpful. Even if you didn't do any activities, you could sit in the communal area and absorb the beauty of Monkey Mountain.
William, Google Reviews
The setting is picturesque and absolute tranquility to recharge. While the surrounds and sensitive eco friendly design of the facility was a credit to the owners we found it was the staff that made the difference.
"Perfect relaxation spot"
Such a remote peaceful location, but with ample opportunity to experience Sri Lanka’s flora and fauna right outside your door! Food was perfect and the lodges are just WOW! The whole experience was just brilliant!!
"Perfect place to unplug from the city and unwind"
The room was beautiful and spacious. It was comfortable and luxurious but still integrated well enough with its environment to maintain the feel of jungle living. The details were really cool and unique – from the lighting to the taps.
"A dreamlike trip"
We came here specifically to go on the boat safari and we were not disappointed. Our guide from the lodge was very knowledgable and knew lots about all the different birds. I would definitely recommend staying at Gal Oya Lodge it’s a very tranquil place and all the staff are so lovely.
"I can't wait to go back there!"
Gal Oya is the place to go in Sri Lanka if you want to experience real off-the-grid holidays! It is both extremely relaxing and at the same time offer several nature activities.
Morgan, Google Reviews
Australia, OceaniaStay in the heart of the rainforest, in a pristine environment with stunning beaches.2-leaf status
Switzerland, EuropeSurrounded by beautiful panoramic views of mountains and lakes, this is a hiker's paradise.3-leaf status
Nepal, AsiaThe go-to destination for those seeking serenity and calm in an enchanting mountain setting.Gold leaf status