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  • Minneriya National Park

Minneriya

Located between Habarana and Polonnaruwa, the 8,890 hectares of Minneriya National Park features the ancient Minneriya Tank. Constructed in an evergreen forest where sambar deer, leopards, and elephants roam, this tank was built in 3rd century AD by King Mahasena. During the dry season (June to September), this is an incredible place to observe the elephants and flocks of birds, such as cormorants and painted storks.

 

Climate and vegetation in Minneriya National Park

The park belongs to the dry zone of the country from May to September considered as the dry season. The wet season lasts during the north eastern monsoon from October to January. The main habitats of Minneriya are of several types, including low-canopy montane forests, intermediate high-canopy secondary forests, scrublands, abandoned chena lands, grasslands, rocky outcrops, and wetlands.

 

Wildlife in Minneriya

Among the 24 species of mammals resident in the park are Elephants, Leopards, Sloth Bear, Spotted Deer, Sambar Deer, Wild Buffalo, Wild Pig, Grey Langers, Purple-faced Leaf Monkey, three species of Mongoose, Porcupine and Indian Pangolin.

Minneriya National Park has recorded over 170 species of birds. From Migrating waders like Woodsand Piper, Common Sandpiper & Kentish Plovers to forest birds like Malabar-pied Hornbills, Rufus Woodpecker the globally endangered Lesser Adjutant and the endemics Sri Lanka Grey Horn-bill, Sri Lanka Green Pigeon, Brown-capped Babbler and Sri Lanka Jungle Fowl are some of the highlights.

Among the nine species of Amphibians at Minneriya National Park are the endemic and endangered Slender Wood Frog and the Common Tree Frog. Of the 25 species of reptiles recorded in the park 8 are endemic including the Red-lipped Lizard. Water and Land Monitors are also seen here. The Mugger Crocodile can be seen near the tank. Many species of fresh water fish are found in the Minneriya reservoir.

 

Safari at Minneriya

There are 3 safari options available for the guest.

1.       Morning Safari (6.00am)

2.       Afternoon Safari (2.30pm)

3.       Full day Safari

The safari would take place with an experienced guide in specially modified comfortable jeeps for unique safari experience. The tour could be more customized for guests for their preferences (Family safari, honeymoon safari, photography safari etc.).

 

Tour in brief

Initial meeting with the Ecoteam crew and the safari guide, a brief of the tour will take place in the entrance to the Minneriya Safari. For the morning half-day tour, the starting time will be at 6 a.m. while the afternoon tour begins at 2.30 p.m.

After entering the national park with your guide in a jeep, you will be able to spot several species of birds and other animals that have made their homes in this sanctuary. The guide will explain about the various interesting attributes as you will learn and enjoy about the flora and fauna of Minneriya.

You will be taken through most of the Minneriya National Park, covering the wetlands, grasslands, forest patches, etc. We will make longer stops at certain watering holes for unique photography opportunities.

Finishing the safari, either round 11 a.m. or around 6 p.m. you will be dropped at the park entrance.

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Office Address : 20/63, Fairfield Garden, Colombo 08, Sri Lanka

 

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