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Wildlife safaris at the Minneriya National Park Sri Lanka 

PioneerLogoMinneriya National Park is mostly famed for the large numbers of Sri Lankan elephants that gather here in the dry season- there have even been herds as large 400 reported. The gathering of Elephants in Minneriya National Park is the largest seasonally recurring concentration of wild elephants found in the world.

 

Elephant Gathering at Minneriya National Park

More spectacular than possibly any other wildlife event in Sri Lanka is what is known as the ‘The Gathering’. During the dry season (July to Spetember) when water supplies start to diminish, more and more animals congregate around the Minneriya reservoir where grasses are rich and fertile. For several months of this drought season different herds of wild elephants gather at the reservoir. They come from the areas beyond  Minneriya, and at any one time it is possible to witness up to 300-400 elephants. They are not migrating, they simply ‘gather’, to socialize, bathe, feed and possibly mate. 

To be an observer of the largest gathering of wild elephants in the world is truly a memorable sight, and an unforgettable opportunity to watch the social dynamics of these great creatures. It is a unique phenomenon and only seen in Minneriya National Park. Recently, this amazing Gathering was listed as Number 6 in the Lonely Planet’s Guide to Natural Wildlife Spectacles of the World.

Wildlife at Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park is also home to Sri Lankan leopards and Sri Lankan Sloth Bears. It is listed as one of the important bird areas in Sri Lanka. The wildlife here comprises of 26 species of mammals, 160 species of bird, 9 species of amphibians, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of fish and 75 species of butterfly.
The park is an important habitat for the two endemic monkeys of Sri Lanka- the Purple-faced Langur and Toque Macaque. It is also home to large herbivorous mammals such as Sri Lankan Sambar Deer and Sri Lankan Axis Deer. Rare and endangered species such as Sri Lankan Leopard and Sri Lankan Sloth Bear also inhabit in Minneriya and the Gray Slender Loris has been reported here as well.

Elephant Culture in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s elephants have long played a role in the country’s heritage and traditions. Hardly a ceremony or celebration goes by without elephants being showcased, generally decorated with luscious colours, reminiscent of the heady days of Sri Lanka’s vibrant and exuberant past. To this day, most Buddhist Temples own an elephant.

The Sri Lankan Elephant is a recognized subspecies of the Asian elephant and is recognized as a threatened species. In a recent census of the elephant population in August 2011, it was estimated that there are approximately 5,800 of these majestic animals living mainly in the low-lying areas of Sri Lanka. During the country’s British Colonial era, and before the highlands were stripped bare of vegetation for the coffee and tea plantations, elephants could be found roaming freely in great numbers. The decline in numbers of elephants in Sri Lanka in the past has been due to loss of habitation, and the possibility that the best specimens were being taken from the breeding stocks and used for hunting or domestication.

 

 

Mahoora Accommodation Options

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YalaYala National Park Sri Lanka 
Highest leopard population of the world

UdawalaweUdawalawe National Park Sri Lanka
An elephant sighting guranteed

WilpattuWilpattu National Park Sri Lanka
Leopards and diverse wildlife

WasgamuwaWasgamuwa National Park Sri Lanka
Sloth bears and elephants

BundalaBundala National Park Sri Lanka
Birdslife at its best

GalOyaGal Oya National Park Sri Lanka
Boat safaris and swimming elephants

 

 MAHOORA LOCATIONS

Sinharaja Rain ForesrtSinharaja Rain Forest Sri Lanka
Incredible endemic birds, plants, animals

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Walking safaris for wildlie and scenery

MinneriyaMinneriya National Park Sri Lanka
Elephant gathering in large herds

Kumana National ParkKumana National Park Sri Lanka
Beautiful aquatic birdlife

Horton Plains ntional parkHorton Plains National Park Sri Lanka
Endemic wildlife and scenic trails

 

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Excellent photographer's package

"Amazing experience. We'd been on safaris before so was immensely happy that the photographer's package included our own jeep and a naturalist guide who's also a photographer!"
James - Sydney - Australia
January 2017

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