Minneriya Travel Guide
Minneriya National Park is located 182 km away from Colombo in the North Central Plains of Sri Lanka. The major city closest to Minneriya National Park is Polonnaruwa.
The renovated vast ancient Minneriya Rainwater Reservoir that irrigates the considerable area of the district of Polonnaruwa is the focal point of the Minneriya National Park.
Being part of the elephant corridor which joins up with Kaudulla and Wasgomuwa parks, Minneriya National Park gives the opportunity to see herds of Elephants throughout the year.May to October is the best period to visit Minneriya National Park in view of the famous Gathering of the wild elephants.
The Climate at Minneriya
Minneriya National Park that covers an area of 8,889 hectares is of tropical monsoon climate: annual rainfall is about 1146mm and mean annual temperature is 27.5 centigrade. The altitude ranges from100m to 885m at the top of Nilgala peak.
Accommodation At Minneriya
Minneriya National Park has no accommodation facilities within its boundaries. But the cities close to Minneriya National Park- Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Habrana and Giritale- are clustered with luxury hotels and lodges.
Among the 24 species of mammals resident in the park are Elephants, Leopards, Sloth Bear, Spotted Deer, Sambar Deer, Wild Buffalo, Wild Pig, Grey Langers, Purple-faced Leaf Monkey, three species of Mongoose, Porcupine and Indian Pangolin. Pre-booked Minneriya Safari is the best way to see them all.
Minneriya National Park has recorded over 170 species of birds. From Migrating waders like Woodsand Piper, Common Sandpiper & Kentish Plovers to forest birds like Malabar-pied Hornbills, Rufus Woodpecker the globally endangered Lesser Adjutant and the endemics Sri Lanka Grey Horn-bill, Sri Lanka Green Pigeon, Brown-capped Babbler and Sri Lanka Jungle Fowl are some of the highlights.
Important Information about minneriya
Elephant Migration between Minneriya, Kaudulla and Hurulu Eco Park.
There are three national parks in the close proximity within that region. They are the Minneriya National Park, the Kaudulla National Park, and the Hurulu Eco Park,. All of the three parks are immensely popular among locals and foreigners the world over for their large herds of elephants.
Generally, each year during the months of July to September large groups of elephants are found in the Minneriya National Park and then they migrate to Kaudulla National Park during the months October to November due to high rains and lakes getting filled up.
Then the elephants move on to Hurulu Eco Park for the final leg of their migration during the month of December to January.