minneriya national park
Thrilling Jeep Safari Adventure

Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park, located in Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle, is a captivating wildlife sanctuary renowned for its rich biodiversity and the incredible gathering of elephants known as “The Gathering.” Embarking on a jeep safari in this park offers an unforgettable experience, allowing visitors to witness the majesty of nature and encounter an array of fascinating wildlife.

Exploring Minneriya National Park

Covering an area of 8,890 hectares, Minneriya National Park is a treasure trove of natural wonders. The park’s diverse ecosystems include evergreen forests, wetlands, and the breathtaking Minneriya Tank, an ancient reservoir dating back to the third century AD. This harmonious blend of habitats provides a sanctuary for a wide range of animal and plant species.

The Great Elephant Gathering

One of the park’s most remarkable phenomena is “The Gathering,” a massive congregation of elephants that occurs during the dry season. This awe-inspiring spectacle takes place around the Minneriya Tank as herds of elephants, sometimes reaching up to 300 in number, gather to feed, bathe, and socialize. It is a sight that showcases the remarkable social dynamics and natural instincts of these gentle giants.

The Thrills of a Jeep Safari

Embarking on a jeep safari in Minneriya National Park is the best way to witness its wildlife up close and personal. The park offers several designated routes, carefully designed to maximize the chances of encountering diverse species. Knowledgeable guides accompany visitors, sharing their expertise about the park’s flora and fauna, making the experience educational and enjoyable.

As your jeep navigates through the park’s picturesque landscapes, you can expect to encounter a wide array of wildlife. Alongside the impressive elephant herds, you may come across sambar deer, Sri Lankan leopard, sloth bears, langur monkeys, and a variety of bird species. The jeep’s open design allows for unobstructed views, providing ample opportunities for breathtaking wildlife photography.

Apart from the charismatic megafauna, Minneriya National Park boasts a rich avian population. It is a haven for birdwatchers, with over 160 species recorded, including migratory birds such as painted storks, spot-billed pelicans, and rare species like the Sri Lankan junglefowl.


Minneriya National Park, with its mesmerizing landscapes, abundant wildlife, and the captivating elephant gathering, offers an exhilarating adventure for nature enthusiasts. A jeep safari in this sanctuary allows you to immerse yourself in the wonders of Sri Lanka’s wildlife, creating memories that will last a lifetime.


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Useful Tips

  • Entrance fees: The entrance fee for foreigners is around LKR 12000 per person.
  • Best time: The best time to visit Minneriya National Park is during the dry season, which is from June to September. (Recommend asking from a tour operator.)
  • Opening time: The park is open from 6 am to 6 pm, and the safari timings are from 6.30 am to 9.30 am and from 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm.
  • Park rules: Make sure to follow the park rules and maintain a safe distance from the animals. Avoid making loud noises or any sudden movements that might startle them.
  • Scenery: The national park offers stunning scenery and wildlife sightings, so make sure to bring a camera or a pair of binoculars to capture the moments.


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