Minneriya National Park, Sigiriya
Sri Lanka, Cultural Triangle

Info : Minneriya National Park

Dominated by the ancient Minneriya Tank (reservoir), Minneriya National Park is home to one of the largest gatherings of Asian Elephants in the world.

From your base in the Cultural Triangle, your driver will take you to the park entrance where you will be met by your own private jeep and tracker, providing you with the ultimate private safari experience.

Although a great place for elephant spotting all year round, the scarcity of water during the dry season between June and September forces more and more elephants to gather on the shores of Minneriya Tank. By late August, the awe-inspiring site of up to 300 elephants can be seen during a phenomenon known as The Gathering. It is the largest gathering of Asian elephants that can be seen anywhere in the world. Observe baby elephants playing, bull elephants tussling for dominance and the great matriarchs surveying the scene. It is not a sight you will forget in a hurry.

In addition to the elephant, you can expect to see up to 23 other species of mammal, such as Sambar or Axis Deer or two of Sri Lankas endemic primates, the Purple-faced Langur and the Toque Macaque. You may even be lucky enough to catch sight of some of Minneriyas most elusive inhabitants, the Sri Lankan Leopard and the Sloth Bear. The park is also home to a vast array of reptiles and birds including the beautiful Painted Stork, the Pelican and the Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot.

Tie in an afternoon safari at Minneriya with an early morning Hot Air Balloon ride, taking in the awe-inspiring view as you float over the National Park.

The park is best visited as a half day trip, as the animals tend to hide out of the lunchtime sun. We generally suggest an afternoon trip, arriving at the park around 3 pm and returning as the sun sets.

Guest Comments for Minneriya National Park

Minneriya Safari - loved the elephants gathering but felt uncomfortable with the vehicles racing for pole positions but knew what to expect and our jeep guide was a lovely trainee volunteer park guide with great knowledge of other wildlife and trees.

Minneriya, an ideal starting reserve. Plenty of elephants (being watched by a large number of vans) to start but having left the hordes we saw plenty of birds, and then monkeys, dear - and not forgetting the rattle snake. We had a guide from the reserve whose knowledge was excellent.

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