Hotels in National Parks:
where to go?
Itineraries in Sri Lanka:
Gal Oya Lodge, Gal Oya National Park, Home to the Sri Lankan ElephantWith the largest reservoir in Sri Lanka within the park, created by damming the Gal Oya river over 70years ago, Gal Oya National Park is home to a rich variety of wildlife and a herd of Sri Lankan elephants. While Minneriya National Park is famed for the incredible natural wonder of the gathering of 100s of wild elephants between August and October every year, a spectacle that naturalists still do not fully understand, the Gal Oya elephants are visible within Gal Oya National Park all year round. Secret Retreats have selected the Gal Oya Lodge Sri Lanka as the perfect place to base your Gal Oya safaris from. Set across 20acres of forest Gal Oya Lodge is 9 bungalows, all constructed using sustainable and locally obtained natural materials. Each bungalow is positioned to give the best views from their floor to ceiling picture windows and garden verandahs. And with a king size bed and en-suite outdoor bathroom, the bungalows provide all the guest comforts that would be expected when glamping in an ecolodge Sri Lanka style.
Preservation of the environment is important to the owners and team of Gal Oya Lodge, and so care is taken to manage waste from the property in order to prevent pollution of their forest home. Only natural eco-friendly cleaning products are used and solar power is employed at the lodge. They also source all the produce for the restaurant from local farmers and growers. Gal Oya Lodge also works closely with the local Vedda people, possibly Sri Lanka’s first race, an indigenous group of people that may have made Sri Lanka their home before the Sinhalese. The lodge’s Vedda neighbours are a forest dwelling people and act as guides for guests on forest walks. Safaris from Gal Oya Lodge can be both within the forest and on the reservoir, spotting elephants, wild boar, sambar deer and perhaps a leopard. Or on the reservoir, the mugger crocodile and some wonderful birdlife including the white-bellied fish eagle, grey-headed fish eagle and the lesser albatross.
A Wilpattu Safari with Secret RetreatsThe largest national park in Sri Lanka, Wilpattu National Park is located in the central western coast of the island, within the lowland dry zone. One of the first national parks of Sri Lanka it is famed for the 100s of ‘Willus’ or small lakes, which are mostly rainwater filled depressions in the landscape. There are over 30 species of large mammal calling Wilpattu home, including the Sri Lankan sloth bear, Sri Lankan elephant, the leopard and sambar deer. The park is also home to stunning birdlife including the Malabar pied hornbill, varieties of bee eaters, the crested serpent eagle, the painted stork and the crested hawk eagle to name but a few.
Secret Retreats Wilpattu safari camp is provided by Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris. Working with the Noel’s team, the Secret Retreats concierges can assist you with planning your Wilpattu safari to make the most of your visit to this icon of Sri Lanka’s National Parks. Set within the park, Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safari camp at Wilpattu provides double, triple and family sized mobile tents with full camp services from dining to expert naturalists and professional guides. Contact the Secret Retreats concierge to start planning your Sri Lanka National Park Safari and rest assured you are supporting champions of Sri Lanka’s wildlife conservation and hoteliers that take sustainable and responsible tourism very seriously.
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