Minneriya National Park

The Best Place in Sri Lanka to See Wild Elephants

Sri Lanka is home to a large population of wild elephants, and one of the best places to see them is this National Park. The park is located in the north-central part of the country and is known for its elephant gathering, where hundreds of elephants can be seen during the dry season.


Minneriya National Park was established in 1997 and covers an area of 8,889 hectares. It is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including elephants, leopards, sambar deer, and a variety of bird species. The park is also home to the ancient Minneriya Tank, a man-made reservoir built in the 3rd century AD by King Mahasen.


The park is best known for its elephant gathering, which occurs during the dry season (August to September) when elephants come to the Minneriya Tank to drink and bathe. Visitors can also spot leopards, sambar deer, and a variety of bird species, including the rare Sri Lanka junglefowl.

Must-See Attractions

Minneriya National Park
Image via Wikimedia Commons – shankar s. , Minneriya National Park (7568181700), CC BY 2.0

The Minneriya Tank is the main attraction of the park and is a must-see for visitors. This is where “The Gathering” takes place each year. Visitors can also take a safari tour of the park to spot other wildlife and explore the park’s diverse ecosystem. For a unique experience of viewing what the park has to offer, see it from the top, with the help of domestic airlines such as Cinnamon Air.

Where to Stay

There are several accommodations options in and around this National Park, including luxury lodges, eco-friendly resorts, and budget-friendly guesthouses. Visitors can also choose to stay in nearby towns such as Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, and Dambulla.