Gal Oya National Park is situated in the south-east of Sri Lanka (Ampara district).
Initially established as the catchment area for the Senanayake Samudraya, a reservoir created by damming the Gal Oya River at Inginimitiya. Gal Oya National Park has grown from its original 9324 hectares to nearly 63,000 hectares today giving sanctuary to many a wildlife and winning a name as a big game sanctuary in the region.
The park with its rich wetland is a heaven for nearly 150 species of birds and migratory birds like Painted Storks, Pelicans, Cormorants and Teals gather in flocks to the Senanayake Samudraya for feeding and nesting while local bird species like Grey Dove, Malabar Horn Bill and Grey Horn Bill, Red faced malkoha, The White-bellied Sea Eagle, and Grey-headed Fish Eagle too are found in abundance.
However the park is renowned for the herds of elephants, who roam the park in hundreds while Sri Lankan Axis Deer, Muntjac, Water Buffalo, Sri Lankan Sambar Deer, Leopard, Toque Monkey and Wild Boar too call Gal Oya home.
Among its other attractions is the Makara Kata or Makaraya, Dragon mouth in Sinhala. A whirlpool created by water flowing into a natural tunnel,Where Gal Oya falls to the reservoir. Makaraya can be best viewed crossing the Senanayake Samudraya by boat from Inginiyagala as an alternative method of entering the National Park. On this route is the Bird’s Island,an island amidst the reservoir used by birds for nesting, especially the eagle species.