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Minneriya National Park
The Minneriya National Park which was originally a Wildlife Sanctuary was later designated as a National Park in 1997 with the intent of protecting the catchment of the Minneriya Tank and the wildlife in the nearby areas. The Park gets its annual rainfall during the North-East monsoons from October to January, the rest of the months being considered the dry season. The Park with its low-canopy forests, secondary forests, scrubland, grasslands, and swamps along with its proud heritage – The overwhelming Minneriya Tank that never goes dry, is considered a dry season feeding ground for Elephant populations living in the vicinity of Matale, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee and helps sustain large herds of Elephants at most times.
Best time to Visit Minneriya National Park
June to end of September is the ideal time to visit Minneriya National Park. The best time to start your Minneriya Jeep Safari is from 5:30 am to 8:30 am. The other perfect time slot to witness the elephants is from 3:00pm to 6:00pm in the evening.
What to except during a Minneriya National Park Safari
Minneriya National Park consists of lush green forest and scrub area. The Minneriya National Park is famous for its large number of elephants. Other than the elephants there are deer’s and few leopards and leopards sightings are extremely rare. The most interesting park about Minneriya National Park is Minneriya Tank. In the dry season that runs from June to September elephant heard gather to drink and bath. This is the best time to witness elephants.There are two time slots where you can go Jeep safari in Minneriya National Park. It’s from 5:30 am to 8:30 am and afternoon safari from 3:00pm to 6:00 pm and the safari usually takes around 4 hours. It is recommended that you go Minneriya Jeep Safari in afternoon from 3:00pm to 6:00 pm because lots of elephants gather to drink and bath at this time.
Minneriya National Park Entrance fees
The park entrance fee is around 15 USD Entry fees for Minneriya National Park or equivalent in Sri Lankan rupees. if you are to indulge on a safari you have to book a jeep at the entrance of Minneriya National Park or book a tour including a pickup. Most people are staying in a city called Habarana, just a ten-minute drive from Minneriya. Many local travel agencies are offering the tour: usually, it includes a pickup and drop off at your hotel in Habarana and then 3-4 hours of a jeep safari. The price varies; you can expect a rate of around 75 USD per person.
Animals to see during a safari in Minneriya National Park
There are around 24 different types of mammals live in Minneriya National Park including Elephants, Leoaprds, Sloth bear, deer and wild pig and two monkey species Purple faced langur monkey and toque macaque monkeys. Other than that there are leopards that are rarely seen. Other than that there are around 160 species of birds that lives within the national park. There are 25 species of reptiles in Minneriya National Park that includes painted lip lizard, crocodiles, Indian Python and Asian water monitor. Apart from this Minneriya national park is home for around 25 species of Butterflies.
What to prepare and bring during your safari in Minneriya National Park
- Mosquito repellent
- Good Zooming Lence
- Memory Cards to store pictures
- Watera & Light Snack