Minneriya National Park
Minneriya is a historical tank situated at the eastern side of Sri Lanka’s main watershed, thus belonging to the ancient Sinhalese irragation scheme of the Polonnaruwa area. There is a Hindu temple on the embankmant where King Mahasena who built this dam is venerated as a protection and fertility deity. Already in ancient times Sinhalese reservoirs served two purposes, irrigation for paddy cultivation below the embankments, of course, but offering water ressources for wild animals further upstream, too, since the Buddhist faith respected animals as fellow beings. Today this western side of the reservoir is the Minneriya National Park. It is famous for the annual event of the elephant gathering. During the local dry season, particularly in August or September, different family groups of animals join a single herd with up to 200 beasts, it's he largest herd of wild Asian elephants at all.
Sinharaja rain forest
Kanneliya small rain forest
Pinnawela elephant orphanage
Dry zone south
Yala NP camping-safari
Bundala NP bird watching
Kumana NP birds and wildlife
Okanda village life and beach
Rufus Kulam remote lake
Lahugala NP with heritage site
Gal Oya NP lakeside wildlife
Udawalawe NP wild elephants
Ussangoda serpentine rock
Dry zone north
Minneriya NP elephant gathering
Kaudulla NP elephant gathering
Habarana oxcart excursions
Nelumpure authentic village life
Mihintale ancient sanctuary
Namal Uyana ironwood sanctuary
Rasvehera monastery and wildlife
Tabbowe lake near Wilpattu NP
Horton Plains trekking hotspot
Bambarakanda 240 m waterfall
Adam's Peak pilgrim mountain
Hakgala Botanical Garden
Kitulgala white water and birds
Peradeniya Botanical Garden
Meemure village life and trekking
Knuckles Range trekking highlight
Randenigala NP alternative camp
You can find a similar linklist with images just below:
Minneriya National Park is of relatively small size, but it harbours an unusually wide range of habitat types, dry zone evergreen forest, wetlands, grasslands and former chena cultivation area. The main wildlife attraction are the elephants. Minneriya and Kaudulla National parks form Sri Lanka’s north-eastern elephant corridor between Trincomalee District and Wasgomuwa National Park and therefore is frequented by elephants on their annual migrations. They are most numerous at Minneriya tank from July to October when water elsewhere dries up.
Other mammal species harboured in the park are Sambar, and Spotted Seer, Macaque and Purple-faced Langur monkeys, even sloth bears and even leopards, but these can usually not be watched by visitors.
The best way to explore Minneriya National Park are half way safaris from nearby hotel or guesthouse area, such as Habarana, Sigiriya or Giritale, in the early morning or late afternoon hours. For enjoying the elephant gathering between July and October late afternoon or evening safaris are most recommendable.
Sightseeinglanka is a tour operator based in Sri Lanka and 100% owned by Sri Lankans, specialized on organizing eco-friendly and extraordinary safari and authentic Sri Lanka village-life experiences - truly no tourism industry fake! Kapila, founder and leader of Team Sightseeinglanka, is a biologist. Please read more...
Enjoy Sri Lanka's charming cultural and natural heritage with Team Sightseeinglanka!
... but why not, later on, travel to another lovely Theravada Buddhist country? The world-famous Cambodia jungle temples are astonishing...