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Encounters with Elephants in Sri Lanka

The country’s largest land mammal, ‘Elephas maximus maximus’ or the Sri Lankan elephant is an endemic and iconic animal that is worth seeing in its natural habitat. Here are some insights into this majestic creature.

Image credit-Pixabay,gregmontani,CC0


Ideal for Safaris

Featuring one of the world’s highest Asian elephant densities, the island offers plenty of opportunities to see these gentle giants up close. Most herds can be found in the dry zone national parks which are ideal for those looking to embark on an elephant safari in Sri Lanka.

The Gathering

No mention of elephants in Sri Lanka is complete without highlighting The Gathering; taking place at the Minneriya National Park, this wildlife spectacle sees 200 to 300 elephants gather in and around the Minneriya Reservoir! This generally takes place between August to mid-October and can be experienced on safaris organised by Cinnamon Nature Trails and other specialised tour operators.

Other National Parks

Of course, Minneriya is not the only national park for an elephant safari. The Udawalawe, Wasgamuwa, Yala and Kaudulla national parks, as well as the Hurulu Eco Park, also let you see these creatures in the wild.

Some Interesting Facts

• Elephants are strictly herbivorous
• They spend 16 to 18 hours per day eating
• A matriarch leads the herd
• The Sri Lankan elephant is between 7 to 10 feet in height
• From the male elephants in Sri Lanka, only around 5% have tusks
• Elephants have very good memories and can recognise humans or other elephants years or decades later; hence the phrase, “an elephant never forgets!”

Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+