Minneriya National Park
Visiting the Minneriya National Park in the North Central province of Sri Lanka is a highlight of many of our tour travellers who get to witness the spectacular sight of “The Gathering” of hundreds of elephants during the summer months!
Originally a wildlife sanctuary, Minneriya was designated a national park in 1997 to help protect the area of the Minneriya tank – the large reservoir in the park created by King Mahasena during the third century and therefore having historic importance and now home to many birds. It is a birdwatchers paradise with painted storks, grey herons, grey white pelicans, lesser adjutants, Sri Lanka jungle fowl, brown-capped babblers being the highlights.
The two endemic monkeys of Sri Lanka; the tufted grey langur and toque macaque, both call Minneriya home and can be sighted during safaris around the park.
See "The Gathering" of elephants during the dry season
The main draw for most visitors and wildlife enthusiasts to Minneriya National Park is the seasonal influx (now popularly known as “The Gathering”) of Sri Lankan elephants that converge on the grassy plains surrounding the reservoir during the dry season. The best time to see the elephants is therefore between June and September.
The elephants usually travel from the nearby Wasgamuwa National Park, attracted by the food, water and shelter provided by the park.
Typically up to three hundred elephants gather together and makes for a spectacular sight, but large numbers of elephants can still be seen at other times of the year.
Include a Minneriya National Park safari during your tour
We visit Minneriya National Park during our Honeymoon Tour of Sri Lanka and it can also be easily incorporated into a Sri Lanka Tailor Made Tour which has a customised itinerary especially for your needs. If you’re a wildlife lover we can put together a unique itinerary which takes in all the stunning wildlife Sri Lanka has to offer!