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Minneriya National Park Safari Excursion, Sri Lanka

Region: ancient-cities | Location: Polonnaruwa
Sri Lanka Minneriya National Park Safari
 Other regions: capital-colombo | east-coast | hill-country | south-coast | west-coast
Dominated by the ancient Minneriya Tank, Minneriya National Park has plenty of scrub and light forest in its 8890 hectares to provide shelter for its toque macaques, sambar deer, leopards and elephants – to name a few. The dry season, from July to October, is the best time to visit. By then, water in the tank has dried up, exposing grasses and shoots to grazing animals; elephants, which number up to 150, come to feed and bathe; and flocks of birds, such as little cormorants and painted storks, fish in the shallow waters.

Minneriya National Park based largely around the huge tank Minneriya Tank (reservoir) which serves as an important gathering place for Sri Lanka’s large population of elephants.

Minneriya National Park is a great place for elephant spotting all year round – though as the dry season makes water scarce between July and October, more and more elephants gather on the shores of Minneriya Tank. Indeed by late August and September, the awe inspiring site of up to 300 elephants can often be seen, in a phenomenon known as ‘The Gathering’. It is the largest concentration and gathering of Asian elephants that can be seen anywhere in the world. Watching baby elephants playing with each other, bull elephants tussling for dominance and the great matriarchs surveying the scene is not a sight you are likely to forget in a hurry.

Aside from the elephant, Minneriya National Park is also home to some 24 other species of mammals: some, like the Deer and Sambur you will see, some like the Leopard and the Sloth Bear will probably prove elusive. The arid dry zone is a paradise for many species of Lizard and you will see them here in all their technical colour brilliance if you look carefully enough, as well as snakes like the Indian Python and the Mugger Crocodile.

Minneriya National Park is positioned in the centre of the ‘cultural triangle' at a place called Habarana.

TravelSrilanka.co.uk use the “Gathering” – as it is known- to organize safaris to the Minneriya National Park during all year around but mainly during the "The Gathering” season to give visitors the chance to observe the elephants feasting and frolicking on the water's edge.

There are budget to luxury eco style accommodation can be found in Sigiriya, Dumbulla, Habarana and Giritale.

You can even float over Minneriya and the beautiful surrounding countryside in a Hot Air Balloon. There is no better way to see the magnificent Sigiriya Rock and the surrounding wildlife.

Major Cities of Interest

Travel Sri Lanka Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura

 
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Travel Sri Lanka Dambulla

Dambulla

 
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Travel Sri Lanka Giritale

Giritale

 
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Travel Sri Lanka Habarana

Habarana

 
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Travel Sri Lanka Kala Wewa

Kala Wewa

 
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Travel Sri Lanka Mihintale

Mihintale

 
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Travel Sri Lanka Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa

 
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Travel Sri Lanka Ratnapura

Ratnapura

 
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Travel Sri Lanka Sigiriya

Sigiriya

 
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