The Gal Oya area is resplendent with forest and lush with vegetation. Totally off-the-beaten-track and off-limits during the war, the area has avoided much development and the landscape is mostly unspoiled. Living within the deep forests surrounding the national park are the Veddas – Sri Lanka’s dwindling indigenous community, a mostly unheard of tribe who claim that this particular area has an unusually high density of medicinal plants that can cure any disease. This sense of mystery and mystique seems to be intrinsically linked with the landscape. From above one can’t see a thing through the thick bowers of the forest, cloaking the area in secrecy. But it is not only a rich range of plant life that you will find in these forests. Thirty-two types of mammals have been recorded in this area, as well as a notably wide variety of birds and reptiles. You are unlikely to see the larger mammals, but you will definitely come across some interesting birds, butterflies and reptiles. Climb to the top of Monkey Mountain for panoramic views of the surrounding forest.