Minneriya National Park

Declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1938 and then upgraded to a Wildlife Park in 1997, Minneriya National Park houses the historic Minneriya reservoir that dates from the 3rd century CE. During the area’s dry season, the park is a very special place as elephant herds from Matale, Trincomalee and Polonnaruwa districts come to enjoy grazing and quenching their thirst here. Together with two other reservoirs close to the park, Minneriya forms one of Important Bird Areas in Sri Lanka.

While the park’s diverse range of large and small mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish and butterflies is undoubtedly interesting to all nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts, the most iconic attraction is the large number of elephants that congregate here, which is known as the ‘ elephant gathering’ and this is globally celebrated as one of the largest gatherings of mammals, specifically Asian Elephants, in the wild. The magnet that sets off this seasonal movement of elephants is the succulent grasses on the dry parts of the reservoir bed and the easy access to water. The ‘gathering’ takes place from mid-July and lasts until end-October, but peaks in August and September. The best time to view the elephants is in the evening when they emerge from the surrounding jungle in little groups that slowly forms a large herd that is sometimes said to number 300. Not only can visitors have a rare sighting of elephants in family groups, but they are also seen at their natural best, gamboling and cavorting in the water.

For wildlife enthusiasts, the park’s other attractions, endemic species such as the purple-faced langur and toque macaque, the Sri Lankan leopard, the Sri Lankan sloth bear, the gray slender loris and many other endangered and endemic species that are the park’s other inhabitants are of interest as well. For fervent birders, the host of large water birds as well as migrants and many residents that are found in and around the Minneriya reservoir makes a visit here truly worthwhile. Flocks of cormorants, pelicans, grey herons and other water birds are busy foraging for food around the water while jungle fowl, parrots, babblers, bulbuls and other endemic varieties favour the forest and scrub areas around the reservoir. Crocodiles, pythons and water monitors are among the reptiles that prey on the animals coming to the reservoir for water. Combined with the natural beauty of the surroundings, viewing the wildlife in the park is truly an exceptional experience.

To discover these and more natural treasures on the island, take advantage of some well-tailored holiday packages Sri Lanka has to offer its visitors for a stimulating and pleasurable travel experience. Shanti Travel Sri Lanka is a renowned travel company, which offers some competitive Sri Lanka tour packages that enable visitors to explore the country’s culture, heritage and the beauty of its landscapes.

Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday.

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Hot Air Ballooning in Sri Lanka

While a sightseeing tour of Sri Lanka on land offers plenty of adventures, there is nothing quite like seeing this enchanting island from a bird’s eye perspective! Hot air ballooning in Sri Lanka is fast becoming a popular recreational pursuit and one that takes place in the country’s Cultural Triangle. Travellers wanting to explore this part of the island on specially planned Sri Lanka tours can enlist the services of Jetwing Travels. Helping to organise your Sri Lanka travel adventure, this trusted tour operator provides plenty of opportunity for you to go on thrilling excursions.

When in the Cultural Triangle make sure to sign up for a hot air balloon adventure that takes place in destinations such as Dambulla, Uda Walawe and Sigiriya. A typical tour begins just after dawn which gives you a chance to witness the majestic beauty of the sunrise, as the first rays of the morning sun gently bathe the landscapes below. It is easy to feel humbled by the sheer natural beauty that surrounds as you drift over lush greenery, cultural sites, villages and wildlife, with the striking Sigiriya Rock Fortress in the backdrop. This intimate setting is also perfect for those in search of a romantic getaway with that special someone as you share memories that will last a lifetime.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry. Google+

Polonnaruwa archaeological sites

Polonnaruwa is widely known among the travellers as the second most ancient kingdom of Sri Lanka as it is the centre of many archeological sites, religious places and a vast number of ancient tanks. A traveller who is interested in exploring this ancient city could reside at a Sri Lanka spa resort such as Maalu Maalu Resort & Spa which gives easy access to Polonnaruwa ancient city and many other top attractions in the island. Travellers who are in search of a comfortable and convenient Sri Lanka resort would be glad to reside at a rustic boutique resort like Maaalu Maalu. The city has been declared as a World Heritage Site as it houses many top archeological sites such as Lankathilake Temple, Gal viharaya, Nissankalatha Mandapaya, Polonnaruwa Vatadageya, Polonnaruwa moonstone and many more. Parakrama Samudraya and the statue of King Parakramabahu in Polonnaruwa are two must visit ancient sites a travellers should explore during a tour to this ancient city.

Umanga Kahandawaarachchi is a passionate travel writer who writes under the pen name, Maggie Tulliver. Her field of writing covers a wide array of content and articles related to travel and hospitality industry. Google+

Yala Safari

The expansive Yala National Park has the distinction of being the second-largest of the national parks of Sri Lanka and it attracts the highest number of visitors. This renowned wildlife sanctuary covers an area of 979 sq km and was designated as a national park in 1938. It is well known for its beauty and the sheer diversity of the wild animals the park features. Yala has been portrayed in many documentaries including those of the Discovery Channel and the BBC. The terrain of the park consists mainly of shrub jungle dotted with rocky outcrops that are found scattered throughout the area. A number of freshwater and saltwater lagoons form part of the park. As you might expect in a tropical wildlife sanctuary, Yala offers a breathtaking variety of wild animals including elephants, leopards, sambhur, sloth bear, spotted deer, mongoose, jackals, wild buffalos and monkeys such as the macaque and langur.

The park is also a birdwatcher’s dream with as many as 130 varieties of bird life having been recorded in the locale. Well-known avian species which are often spotted at Yala include sandpipers, black-necked storks, egrets, pelicans, parakeets, bulbuls and more. A local highlight is the proud peacock, readily seen in the park in all its glory. Additionally, you will see marine turtles nesting the along the coastline areas.

To obtain a genuine glimpse into this vast wildlife sanctuary and view its luxuriant flora and fauna, there is no better choice than to take a safari. Rugged off-road vehicles will take you deep into the parkland, and the experienced drivers will make sure you visit the areas where wildlife is abundant. There are several safari options available; an interesting choice would be a daybreak safari early in the morning or one at dusk, as these are the times when creatures like sloth bears and leopards come out of their lairs and roam about. Other options are half day or full day safari excursions where you will see many different kinds of animals and birds.

Knowledgeable travellers desiring an investment in Sri Lanka car rental or reliable airport transfers Sri Lanka will find an outstanding choice in Malkey Rent A Car, a trustworthy and well-reputed travel specialist.

Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday.

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Pidurangala Rock

It is doubtful whether any other dry zone in the world possesses this many memories, temples and popular tourist sites; the area of Sigirya in Sri Lanka, where the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, which is often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world, is a well patronized tourist destination. The rock fortress claimed global recognition through its murals, inscriptions, gardens, irrigation system and the lion formations at the entrance.

The historical narrations reveal that the Sigiriya rampart and the adjoining rock, Pidurangala, were both inhabited by Buddhist monks who engaged in meditation during the era that King Kashyapa wished to make Sigiriya his royal house. The chronicles further divulge that King Kashyapa completed the Pidurangala Monastery Complex according to the ‘Panchavansa’ concept, where a bo tree, a chapter house, an image house, a meditation chamber and a dagoba are included within the temple premises. The monks who resided on the Sigiriya Rock were given lodging at the Pidurangala Rock and the monastery was the king’s royal temple.

The mound with a slightly stubby surface is visible from the road that takes you to Sigiriya, but after the glamour and wonders that the latter affords, the environment itself seems to dull into oblivion. The monastery which is spread over an area of 13 acres would have been an ideal abode for meditating monks as it offers ample solitude and silence. This remains true to date and since there is no influx of tourists, the incumbent monks are able to engage in religious activities with ease. It is easy to get lost in thought at this site and imagine life lived in another day and age, in the silence and sacredness of this site.
Only those who are well informed visit the Pidurangala Rock, even while they holiday ever so close to it at a hotel in Sigiriya. Inform your tour guide that you are well aware of the overshadowed treasure that sits a whisker away from hotels Sigiriya has to offer and insist on a tour of it. With the daunting view of the world renowned rock garrison, Hotel Sigiriya, is one of the top favourites among those visiting the area.

Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+

Yala Safari

The Yala National Park is a major national park in Sri Lanka. Spanning an area of almost one thousand square kilometres, it is the second biggest national park in the country and is the most widely visited. No trip to the tropical island can be considered complete without a visit to Yala; after all, the park is home to some of the country’s best loved and most elusive animals. It was established in 1900 as a wildlife sanctuary and was only designated as a national park in 1938. Although the park is made up of five blocks, only two of them are open to the public.

Yala boasts a rich biodiversity and is home to numerous animals. This includes elephants and leopards, the two icons of Sri Lankan wildlife. The park’s leopard population is huge and although the animal is notoriously shy, leopard sightings are a common occurrence. In total, it is home to about forty four mammalian species including sloth bears, wild water buffalos, civets and macaques. Reptilian species are numbered at forty five although the number could be much higher. Of these five species, the Sri Lankan krait and the Wiegmann’s Agama, are endemic.

However, it is the avian populace that makes this a truly memorable place. Yala is home to over two hundred types of birds of which six are endemic. Tourists who want to experience the island’s natural bounty will definitely have to take a trip down to Yala. The exotic and lively inhabitants are sure to make any visit here one to remember.

Although small in size, the tropical island contains many attractions and the best way to visit them all is by using Sri Lanka tour packages. Taking such tours will eliminate all the hassles of planning and travel so that tourists can have a fun, stress free vacation. Shanti Travel Sri Lanka offer holiday packages Sri Lanka that covers all the major attractions. They show a side of the island that only locals get to enjoy and is the ideal option for foreigners who want a taste of the real Sri Lanka and its enchanting cultural, historical and natural heritage.

Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+

Enjoying Dolphin Watching in Sri Lanka

One of the pleasures of visiting the enchanting tropical island of Sri Lanka is the fact that there are so many adventures that can be enjoyed here; one of which is dolphin along the east coast. Those planning a trip to the region and looking for a Sri Lanka resort in the east coast can consider staying at Maalu Maalu Resort & Spa. Looking out across Passekudah bay, it is one of the best Sri Lanka honeymoon hotels in the east and makes an ideal base from which to set off on your excursions.

Make sure to make your way to Trincomalee from where you can set off on a dolphin watching tour. Such tours are conducted by the Sri Lankan navy and provide you with a fun filled morning. Home to such species as Bottlenose and Spinner dolphins, the waters around the island provide plenty of opportunities to spot these playful ocean mammals that can be seen frolicking in the sea. As an added bonus one may also get the chance of seeing such whale species as the Blue whale during the whale watching season which usually runs from May to October.

Water Sports in Pasikuda- A must try out when in Pasikuda

Sri Lanka is an island with many miraculous attractions, exciting sites and enthralling tropical beaches. When you travel to the Northern part of the island, Pasikuda is a must visit beach as it offers endless water activities to engage in. During your holiday, if you are looking for a Sri Lanka spa resort, do not worry as there are many new beach hotels coming up in the area. Maalu Maalu Resort & Spa is one such Sri Lanka resort that one should head down to enjoy a perfect beach getaway. The place will let you engage in many water sports such as snorkelling, diving, wind surfing and skiing. Whether you are a seasoned water sportsman or an amateur, there will be guides to assist you in your water activities and provide you with necessary equipments.

Umanga Kahandawaarachchi is a passionate travel writer who writes under the pen name, Maggie Tulliver. Her field of writing covers a wide array of content and articles related to travel and hospitality industry. Google+

Water sports in Bentota

The beautiful tropical island of Sri Lanka has become a global hub for tourism, with visitors from all across the world vacationing in the breathtaking country. Those who visit enjoy the country’s warm and comfortable climate, friendly locals and scenic settings. There is much to experience in the country, but many prefer to spend time along the splendid coastal belt, where they will find some of the most magnificent beaches in the world. When vacationing on the beach, there are many options of how to spend time, with some choosing to laze in the sun, their feet buried in the soft sand as they listen to the gentle sound of the waves, while others prefer adrenaline-pumping water sports. Bentota beach offers ideal options for vacationers of all kinds. Bentota is located along the south-western coast of the country, and is not very far from the capital city of Colombo. It is one of the most popular coastal towns in the area as there is much for tourists to experience. One of its greatest attractions is the wide variety of water sports available, and with so many options, guests will always be entertained. For those who want to witness the magic of the world beneath the ocean, there is diving and snorkelling available, and visitors who try this will see some magnificent underwater sights. Those who dare can try out activities such as wind surfing and surfing, as well as waterskiing and body boarding. Bentota is an exciting paradise for the adventurous. A popular water sport that visitors choose to engage in when in Bentota is jet skiing, and there are tube rides and banana rides for all ages. Visitors who want to engage in slightly more tranquil water sports will enjoy deep-sea fishing and river fishing in the nearby river. There are also river cruises available, as well as boat rides in the sea. These are just some of the many water sports available for visitors to Bentota, and there are instructors ready to guide those who want to try these activities out for the first time. Visitors looking for seaside fun in Sri Lanka should definitely head over to Bentota. When looking for Sri Lanka Boutique Hotels to spend a relaxing vacation on the island, visitors will enjoy the fine setting and warm service of Saman Villas Bentota. This Luxury Hotel Sri Lanka is located just outside Bentota, and is a tranquil and lush seaside paradise. Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+

Explore Horton Plains where nature is at its best!

Located in the lush green hills of the beautiful Nuwara Elita city is the Jetwing St.Andrew’s; one of the best Nuwara Eliya hotels that one would come across. This hotel in Nuwara Eliya would transport you back to hundreds of years; where you would still experience the old world charm and tradition in the service provided by them.

The Horton Plains is a magical place where you could visit during your stay at this beautiful city. This is a place where nature is at its best; as soon as you enter you would be able to see the land covered by montane grassland and cloud forest. Apart from the rich wild life in the area the main thing that captures the interest of this plain is the Worlds End. This is a steep cliff with a 870 m drop. Both locals and visitors flock in this area to witness this amazing piece created by nature. Make sure you come early morning when the fog is very less otherwise you would not be able to see anything through it. After this don’t miss the beautiful Baakers Fall. The silvery water falling down would be very soothing to watch. Take some time off from your busy life style and enjoy a few hours with nature!