Gal Oya boat safari followed by an evening tea & snack in an Island
The Gal Oya National park is situated in district of Ampara in the eastern province of the country.The park was established in 1954 as the main cathment of the area of the Senanyaka Samudra.The reservoir itself was commissioned to be built by its namesake DS Senanyake, Sri Lanka’s first prime minister following independence.
The Senanayaka Samudra was built by damming the Galoya and Inginiyagala as the part of the Galoya Development program.The Gal oya boat safari at Senanayaka Samudraya starts around 2:30pm - 3:00pm in the evening. It’s the time that harsh rays of sun slowly disappear and the climate becomes bit cooler.
In the cooler hours before the sun goes down is when the gentle giants of Asia the elephants slowly comes out from their day hiding places to munch the green grass at the banks of the reserviour.While you slowly glide on the boat through the massive water body of Senanayaka Samudaraya in the Galoya boat safari you will see these herds of elephants with their babies on the banks of the lake. Sometimes if you are lucky you will see these herds of elephants swim across from one island to another in order to find new grasslands. Sometimes you will find a whole island with a single elephant. This is mostly spectated during the months of Mrach and July. While you are in Gal oya boat safari you will time to time come across huge crocodiles which are sunbathing along the banks of the river.
The vegetation of the Galoya National Park consitis of mainly shrubs, grassland and forest which is belived to be rich in valuble medicinal herbs used in Ayurveda. 32 species of mammals have been recorded in the park which includes Elephants, Leopard, Langur, and endemic Toque macaque, Sloth bear, Wild boar, Sri Lankan Sambar deer, Axis deer and Water Buffalo. Amongst the reptile species visitors can witness the Mugger crocodile and Star tortoise with close to 150 species of bird species, both migratory and endemic. Amongst the endemic species are the Lesser adjutant, Spot billed pelican and Red faced malkoha. Some of the water birds that frequent the tank includes the Lesser whistling duck, the Indian cormorant, Orient darter and the Grey heron and a diversity of butterflies, amphibians and raptors.
Galoya boat safari will last for around 3-4 hours and in the return ride you will cath the amazing view of sunset over the Senanayaka reserviour. You will see different varties of water birds fly in flocks towards their nesting places and this makes a very beautiful scenery amongst the sunset.you will come across rocky islands filled with these waterbirds and their loud sounds of arguing with each other. Your naturalist will provide an in-depth and nuanced running commentary on the history of the area and the wildlife you’ll encounter. And to top it all off, you’ll stop half way through on a deserted island to enjoy a hot cup of masala tea served with delicious homemade shortbread – a tea break offering simply unbeatable surrounding views.