Gal Oya Lodge

Sri Lanka

Gal Oya Lodge

Sri Lanka

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‘Gal Oya Lodge brings the magic of Sri Lanka’s rural wilderness to life! With boat and jeep safari’s where guests can experience the elephant herds and birdlife that the National Park is famous for.’

Overview

  • Highlights

    • 20 acres of private jungle
    • Boat safari & jungle cooking courses
    • Elephant herd sightings
    • Organic farm on-site
    • Partner with conservation ORG
    • Proactively fight illegal poaching
    • Meet the Vedda, indigenous people
    • Clean, renewable Solar energy
    • 9 spacious bungalows & family villa
    • Children are welcome here
    • Check-in: 2:00pm
    • Find out more with behind the green
  • Local Knowledge

    Gal Oya Lodge is within the idyllic Gal Oya National Park where there are a wealth of nature-related activities to immerse yourself in. The lodge provides experiences such as:

    • Hikes with the Vedda tribe
    • Bird walks & mountain treks
    • Jeep & boat safaris
    • Research & conservation activities
    • Jungle cooking course (with the lodge)

    If you would like to explore further afield, other cities/places of interest to visit include:

    • Kandy, 3.5hr drive (138km)
    • Passikudah, 3hr drive (95km)
    • Arugam Bay, 2hr drive (130km)
    • Ella, 2hr 50 min drive (123km)
  • Location

    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.

    • Distance from airport: Ampara Airport, 1h 15min drive (62.8km) – Gal Oya Lodge also have their own helipad
    • Distance to key attraction: Senanayaka Samudra Lake – the largest reservoir in Sri Lanka
    • Nearest restaurant: Nilgala Restaurant, 2 min walk (0.21km)

Gallery

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3-leaf status

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.

  • Energy
    To 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...
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    used in all light fittings.

  • Water
    Water 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 ...
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    used from the municipal water supply (mains) making Gal Oya Lodge 100% self-sufficient in regards to water consumption.

  • Waste
    All 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...
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    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.

  • Conservation
    Gal 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...
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    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.

  • Food
    They 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 Guests
    To 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...
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    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.

  • Architecture
    Gal 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...
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    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.

  • Housekeeping
    All 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...
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    All the toiletries provided at the lodge are refilled into ceramic containers to reduce the use of plastic.

  • Kiwano Bonus
    One 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...
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    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.

Reviews

  • Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
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    Kiwano Hotels
    "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.

    Grahame, TripAdvisor

  • Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    "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!

    Janet, Facebook

  • Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    "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

  • Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    "Beyond brilliant"

    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.

    MelbourneSeeTheWorld, TripAdvisor

  • Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    "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!!

    Fatsage, TripAdvisor

  • Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    "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.

    Ramesh, Facebook

  • Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    "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.

    Sarah, TripAdvisor

  • Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
    "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

Video

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