Minneriya National Park Sri Lanka is located in the north Central Province of Sri Lanka. Minneriya National Park is declared as a wild life sanctuary in 1938. There are 2 reasons for declaring the area as a Wild Life National Park, one is protecting the huge Minneriya Tank built by Great King Mahasen , second is protecting the wild life of the area. The park stands as a dry season feeding ground to wild animals mainly for the huge elephant herds dwelling in forests of Matale, Polonnaruwa, and Trincomalee districts.
Minneriya National Park – Elephant Gathering
More spectacular than possibly any other wildlife event in Sri Lanka is what is known as the ‘Elephant Gathering’. During the dry season (July to September) when water supplies start to diminish, more and more animals congregate around the Minneriya reservoir where the grasses are rich and fertile. For several months of this drought season different herds of wild elephants gather at the reservoir. They come from areas beyond Minneriya, and at any one time it is possible to witness up to 300 to 400 elephants. They are not migrating, they are simply ‘gathering’, to socialize, bathe, drink, feed and possibly mate. Elephant gathering is rated to 6th place of greatest Wild Life Spectacles by prestigious Lonely Planet tourist publication. Elephant Gathering is a must see experience in holidays in Sri Lanka.
Minneriya National Park – Birds
Minneriya National Park consists of 70 Imortant Bird areas of Sri Lanka. Large water birds such as lesser adjutant, painted stork, and spot-billed pelican. Minneriya is a home for many resident as well as migrant bird species. Flocks of 2000 little cormorants have been reported. Great white pelican, ruddy turnstone, and grey heron are the other water birds can be spotted in the National park. Among the endemic birds are Sri Lanka junglefowl, Sri Lanka hanging parrot, brown-capped babbler, Sri Lanka grey hornbill, black-crested bulbul and crimson-fronted barbet. The number of threatened birds recorded from this national park is 11.
Minneriya National Park is the home to many animals as Sri Lankan sambar deer and Sri Lankan axis deer and epidemic monkeys, purple-faced langur and toque macaque. Even gray slender loris can be found in Minneriya National Park.
Some of the other small wonders Minneriya has are lizards and frogs with their tongues hanging out. Frogs are very common in the Minneriya National Park and you will experience frogs jumping over your feet or across your eyes between the long grass.
The national park includes 24 species of mammals, 160 species of birds, 9 species of amphibians, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of fish, and 75 species of butterflies.
Minneriya National Park – Jeep safari
Jeep safari in Minneriya National park will give you an enjoyable experience and unforgettable moments. A ride in true wild life where animals live in their natural habitat , herds of deer in green pastures, various kinds of beautiful flocks of birds, butterflies and herds of elephants will give one of the greatest Wild Life Spectacles.