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Gal Oya Lodge, Ampara, Sri Lanka

Based in the Gal Oya National Park, this lodge is based within 20 acres of private forest bordering the country’s largest lake, Senanayake Samudraya, which is the perfect place to spot the nearby wildlife such as elephants and crocodiles. The lodge is constructed using natural materials and specialises in high-end, environmentally responsible tourism. Housing seven bungalows, all with en-suite bathrooms and floor to ceiling glass windows, and one two bedroom villa, looking out over the surrounding landscape from the highest point of Gal Oya Lodge with amazing views of the sunrise and sunset from the wraparound balcony.

The lodge has a restaurant and bar, both located by the open freshwater swimming pool with views of the mountains lying on the horizon. All of the furnishings in the restaurant have been crafted by local residents from teak and mara.

There is a wealth of activities available for guests to explore the surrounding area and discover the residents living within. Guests can ride in a jeep through the jungle to the Nigala River or meander around the lake on a boat and look for one of the many animals that reside nearby such as elephants, chital deer and wild boars. For a more relaxing excursion, guests can take a walk through the Sri Lankan countryside with one of the lodge’s nature guides or pick chillies on the organic farm.