Minneriya National Park is located in Sri Lanka’s North Central Province, 182 kilometers from Colombo. The major cities closest to Minneriya National Park are Habarana and Polonnaruwa.
The renovated, vast ancient Minneriya Rainwater Reservoir that irrigates a considerable area of the district of Polonnaruwa is the focal point of the Minneriya National Park.
Minneriya National Park, which is part of the elephant corridor that connects Kaudulla and Wasgamuwa National Parks, provides visitors with the opportunity to see elephant herds all year. May to October is the best period to visit Minneriya National Park in view of the world-famous Great Elephant Gathering of the Asian wild elephants.
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Minneriya National Park is home to the world’s largest known gathering of Asian elephants. During this period, herds of up to 350 elephants are seen at the 8,890-hectare park within a few square kilometers of the Minneriya Tank. According to some reports, there are as many as 700 elephants. In August and September each year, during the dry season, wild elephants migrate from Wasgamuwa National Park to Minneriya National Park in search of food and shelter. Tourists visit Minneriya National Park largely because of elephants, especially in the dry season.
The park is an important habitat for Sri Lanka’s two endemic monkeys, the purple-faced langur and the toque macaque. Large herbivorous mammals such as Sri Lankan sambar deer and Sri Lankan axis deer frequent the park. Rare and endangered species such as the Sri Lankan leopard and Sri Lankan sloth bear inhabit Minneriya. Minneriya is one of the areas where the gray slender loris is reportedly found in Sri Lanka.
The Minneriya reservoir is an important habitat for large water birds such as the lesser adjutant, painted stork, and spot-billed pelican. Minneriya is a dormitory for many resident as well as migrant bird species. Flocks of 2000 little cormorants have been reported. The great white pelican, ruddy turnstone, and grey heron are the other water birds here. Among the endemic birds are Sri Lanka jungle fowl, Sri Lanka hanging parrot, brown-capped babbler, Sri Lanka grey hornbill, black-crested bulbul, and crimson-fronted barbet. The number of threatened birds recorded in this national park is 11.
Among the nine species of amphibians at Minneriya National Park are the endemic and endangered Slender Wood Frog and the Common Tree Frog. Of the 25 species of reptiles recorded in the park, eight are endemic, including the red-lipped lizard. Water and land monitors are also seen here. The Mugger Crocodile can be seen near the tank. Many species of freshwater fish are found in the Minneriya reservoir.
The vegetation of the park consists of tropical dry mixed evergreen forests, abandoned chaparral lands, grasslands, and wetlands. The open grasslands and old chena lands are dominated by the many species of small shrubs.
From Colombo – Take a bus to going Polonnaruwa / Batticaloa / Medirigiriya & Dehiaththakandiya, then take off at Minneriya National Park. Journey takes around 5 hours.
From Kandy – Take a bus to going Polonnaruwa / Batticaloa / Medirigiriya & Dehiaththakandiya, then take off at Minneriya National Park. Journey takes around 3.5 hours.
From Trincomalee – Take a bus to going Polonnaruwa / Batticaloa / Medirigiriya & Dehiaththakandiya, then take off at Minneriya National Park. Journey takes around 2 hours.
From Anuradhapura – Take a bus to going Polonnaruwa / Batticaloa / Medirigiriya & Dehiaththakandiya, then take off at Minneriya National Park. Journey takes around 5 hours.
By Taxi / Self Drive:
You can come to Minneriya National Park by Taxi or self drive by using below google map location
You have to take off at ‘Habarana or Minneriya Train Station’. Then take a taxi to Minneriya National Park.
Minneriya National Park has no accommodation facilities within nearby. But the cities close to Minneriya National Park- Habarana, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa and Giritale- are full with luxury hotels and lodges.
Nearest Cities to stay is ‘Habarana or Minneriya’. Its around 15-20 minute drive to Minneriya National Park. Also we have hotel pickup service from Sigiriya, Dambulla & Polonnaruwa, it takes around 30-50 minute drive to Minneriya National Park.
Minneriya City: Deer Park Hotel, Giritale Hotel, Elephant Pass Hotel
Habarana City:Cinnamon Village, Cinnamon Lodge, Aliya Resort, Cassandra Culture resort, Sungreen Resort & spa, Homely guest, Sundari Eco Village
Sigiriya City: Hotel Sigiriya, EKHO Sigiriya, Sigiriya Village, Jetwin Vil uyana
Dambulla City: Sundarass Resort & Spa, Jetwin Lake
Polonnaruwa City:Hotel Sudu Araliya, Thidas Arana, The Lake, Ekho Lake house, Pharo Lake, Ruins chaya