Unplugged and untamed

Gal Oya Lodge in Sri Lanka redefines the idea of a holiday resort with eco bungalows and a national park next door.

By YK Lam       20 March 2019

We also saw the Gal Oya river. Gal means boulder and Oya is river, and, of course, huge boulders line the river bed. However, the drought over the last three years has left boulders that were once submerged painfully exposed. Still, on the river banks, large endemic butterflies continued to flutter delicately. One of them was the blue mormon, the second largest species of butterfly in Sri Lanka after the ceylon birdwing. Equally interesting were the elephant tracks spotted along the water’s edge. One of them appeared to have passed by two or three days before.

It climbed up the river bank and entered the forest. And judging by the half-bitten clump of tall grass he left behind, he was a rather sloppy eater or had one too many snacks to choose from. It was a rather fitting reminder for us that in Gal Oya, with its abundant wildlife and natural beauty, there is much to savour. Nothing like a day out in an open jeep to get closer to the local fauna!


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