Minneriya National Park


Dominated by the ancient Minneriya Tank, this park has plenty of scrub and light forest in its 88.9 sq km to provide shelter for its toque macaques, sambar deer, leopards and elephants, to name a few. The dry season, from May to September, is the best time to visit. By then water in the tank has dried up, exposing grasses and shoots to grazing animals; elephants, which number 200 or more, come to feed and bathe during what is known as ‘the Gathering’; and fl ocks of birds, such as little cormorants and painted storks, fi sh in the shallow waters. The park entrance is on the Habarana Polonnaruwa road. A visitor centre near the entrance sells tickets and has a few exhibits about the park’s natural history.

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