SRI LANKA DAY TRIP, Colombo one day Trip, Sri Lanka 7-day tour itinerary with Sri Lanka beach tour, Minneriya National Park Safari, GUIDE TO YALA NATIONAL PARK

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Discover the wild elephants of Minneriya National Park Safari amid the crumbling old ruins.

Many other baby elephants go to the park to be in the pool of water as the giant grazes in the park. The frolicking baby elephants play with mud and sand under the supervision of their moms. A common occurrence that can be encountered, as described in the above narration, on a safari in Minneriya National Park. One of the best programs available for booking from Sigiriya and Dambulla. the Minneriya National Park Tour, which gives guests the chance to see enormous herds of wild elephants.

Sri Lankan safari

Most visitors to Sri Lanka now take safaris as a given, and wildlife tours are increasingly well-liked, particularly by foreign visitors. There are twenty-two wildlife parks in Sri Lanka that also offer a number of tours. Thus, a select few national parks—Wilpattu, Yala National Park, Udawalawe, and Minneriya—have become well-liked destinations for safari vacations in Sri Lanka.

Safari in Minneriya National Park

Every day, a sizable crowd of eager tourists gather at the Minneriya National Park gate to complete the necessary formalities before beginning their safari. The majority of them travel to Sri Lanka on vacations such as the five-day cultural triangle tour, having visited the triangle. Given that Minneriya National Park is situated inside the Cultural Triangle, most tourists who visit the area make sure to take a tour of the park while they are there.

Why go on a safari in the Minneriya National Park?

Minneriya National Park is the best wildlife reserve on the island if you want to see wild elephants. During the safari, visitors can see hundreds of wild jumbo elephants in Minneriya because to the high population of these animals. When visiting Sri Lanka’s ancient monuments as part of a cultural triangle vacation, a safari is the perfect option. Given that Minneriya National Park is located in the middle of the Sri Lanka culture triangle, visiting the park on the cultural triangle tour is highly commendable

Minneriya National Park’s vegetation

The evergreen dry-zone forest’s trees, plants, and veins make up the majority of the national park. The forest has some of the most valuable and robust woods, like palu and weera. Bamboo that has been thrown is widely scattered around Minneriya National environment, which is seen to be somewhat detrimental to the environment because it prevents the grass and vegetation beneath the bamboo from growing. Thorn bamboo covers about 12% of the forest’s surface. Because of the forest’s rapid growth, the park staff removes these plants on a frequent basis throughout the year.

Viewing wild elephants at the national park of Minneriya

The large open grassland that is surrounded by Minneriya Lake, Minneriya National Park is a great place to see elephants. Your jeep driver will take you to Minneriya Lake and the open area since you have the best chances of viewing elephants in Minneriya National Park. Every day, a great number of wild elephants congregate on the grassland to get food and drink. Hundreds of elephants congregate here and there; in certain instances, almost 300 wild elephants are counted. The number of wild elephants in Sri Lanka’s forests is enormous. Previously, it was revealed that there were about 5000 of them, but fresh data released in 2022 by the Wildlife Department indicates that there are over 7000 of them.

What time of year is ideal for a safari in Minneriya National Park?

It is the dry season if you’re wondering when is the best time of year to visit a national park. The vast herd of wild elephants, estimated to number in the hundreds, congregates on the Minneriya Lake shore to feed on grass. The lake’s water level drops significantly during the dry season, creating more space for grass to grow. Numerous wild elephants and other grass-fed creatures congregate to consume the new, tender grass as the lake’s grass surface expands.

What will happen during the wet season? During the rainy season, there are fewer elephants in the national park. Rain causes the lake to encroach on more area surrounding its surface, significantly reducing the amount of grass there and making it harder for wild animals—including elephants—to find pasture. As a result, elephants typically relocate to neighboring national parks, such Kaudulla, an eco-park, where they may more easily obtain grass and other vegetation to consume.

Thus , from April to November (during the southwest monsoon period), this is the best time to go on a safari in Minneriya National Park. From October to January, the Northeast monsoon floods the park. It is not common to observe wild elephants at this time of year, and the muddy terrain makes it challenging to navigate the forest.

What is the price of a safari in Minneriya National Park?

The starting location of your safari excursion determines how much a safari in Minneriya National Park costs. This is because the cost of hiring a Jeep varies. The cost of the safari is 9000 LKR if it begins in Minneriya and approximately 15000 LKR if it begins in a hotel in Sigiriya. On the other hand, Minneriya National Park’s entrance prices are approximately the same as those of other places, such Yala and Udawalawe.

The entrance costs to Minnesota’s National Park vary based on the number of individuals in the group.

  • 95 USD for one Adults
  • 150 USD for two adults
  • 210 USD for 3 Adults
  • 280 USD for four adults
  • 530 USD for 5 Adults
  • 420 USD for six Adults

Take a safari in Minneriya National Park to see twin baby calves.

Minneriya National Park in Sri Lanka gained attention once more as a result of an extremely uncommon occurrence involving elephants in May 2020. One of the relatively few instances involving elephants is the birth of twin elephant babies, which was witnessed in Minneriya National Park. This is the island’s second recorded incidence of this kind at the same period. In 2018, the first twin newborn elephant was observed in the national park of Maduru Oya. Another set of wildlife conservationists saw the birth of twin elephants in 2020 in Africa.

Following the COVID-19 shutdown, Minneriya National Park reopened to tourists, allowing them to see the two identical baby caves and spend time with their mother. Two calves who are nursing from the same mother spend all of their time together. Smith Pilapitiya, an elephant researcher who collaborates with the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) to conduct studies on Asian elephants (Elephas maximus Maximus), first noticed the twins.

According to Tharaka Prasad, the chief veterinary surgeon of the DWC, the Sri Lankan wildlife department has scheduled a DNA test of the two infants and the mother using the elephant to confirm the two newborns are twins.

Wild elephants and dilapidated historical monuments in Minneriya

For many visitors to Sri Lanka, visiting historical monuments is a top priority. The cultural triangle is the ideal location to learn about Sri Lanka’s rich historical heritage, which I believe makes a trip there incomplete.

The majority of tourists are surprised to learn about the Minneriya jeep safari because they don’t typically anticipate having the chance to see wild animals while

visiting the cultural triangle.

Most tourists that visit the historical sites in Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle end up with a jeep safari as a byproduct because of its close proximity to the country’s most significant cultural monuments, including Dambulla, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, and Minneriya National Park. You may visit Minneriya National Park without wasting any valuable time because it is situated inside the boundaries of the cultural triangle.

A highly popular and fascinating activity close to Sigiriya is the Minneriya National Park Safari, also referred to as the Habarana Jeep Safari. Due to the fact that the Jeep Safari begins at the little village of Habarana Junction, Minneriya Safari is also known as Habarana Safari.

Most tourists, especially those from abroad, are quite surprised to learn that they can go on a safari in Minneriya National Park, and most of them are even unaware that they can do so in the Cultural Triangle. You may explore the island’s rich historical history while taking in the nature of Sri Lanka by incorporating a visit to Minneriya National Park into your schedule.

A safari in Minneriya National Park offers the chance to see many wild creatures, mostly elephants. Minneriya, in the central province of Sri Lanka, is one of the best spots to watch wild elephants. The chances of viewing leopards during the Minneriya national park safari are less than in Yala and Wilpattu national parks.

The Minneriya National Park Safari is offered as part of roundtrip packages that also include a cultural triangle, rather than being offered as a stand-alone excursion from remote vacation spots and beach resorts on the west coast like Negombo and Bentota. For tourists staying in hotels along the west and south coasts, the two most popular destinations for wildlife exploration are Yala National Park and Udawalawe National Park.

Minneriya National Park safari from the eastern shore

Nonetheless, seaside vacation spots like Nilaweli, Kalkudah, Pasikudah, and Batticaloa make it easy to visit Minneriya. Owing to its close vicinity to Sri Lanka’s east coast, travelers opting for an east coast beach hotel may easily visit Minneriya in two hours by car; the distance between the east coast beaches and Minneriya is approximately 85 km. Thus, if you select a beach resort on the east coast and go on safari at Minneriya National Park, a Sri Lankan safari and a beach vacation can go hand in hand.

Travelers can readily find lodging in these places because a huge number of hotels have recently opened up along Sri Lanka’s east coast. In reality, because of the influence of the monsoon over the West and Southern Coasts, the East Coast offers the ideal beach vacation locations from April to November.

Similar to numerous other national parks, including Yala and Udawalawe, a sizable convoy of jeeps gathers daily at the Minneriya national park gate in the early morning and late afternoon. Due to the great number of visitors who are excited to take the exit for the Mineriya National Park safari, the entry is extremely busy in the morning and afternoon. After touring the historical site in the cultural triangle, some of them are returning to their base in Habarana, Dambulla, or Sigiriya, while others, in their spare time during their road trip through Sri Lanka, are venturing further from their hotel to explore the country’s wildlife.

Minneriya National Park’s history

In 1938, Minneriya was designated as a sanctuary, and in August 1997, it was made a national park. Since1998, the national park has been accessible to tourists. The most well-known national park in the North Central Province and the Polonnaruwa region is Minneriya National Park. The 8000 acre Minneriya National Park offers wild creatures a safe and secure place to live. About 182 kilometers from Colombo, nestled away on the Colombo-Polonnaruwa main road, is Minneriya National Park. It is only a short journey of roughly 10 kilometers for travelers that visit Sigiriya, Dambulla, and Habarana to get to the park.

On the safari through Minneriya National Park, you may see a lot of wild elephants. Numerous other creatures, including crocodiles, monkeys, monitors, and jackals, can be seen here in addition to the elephant. Although it’s an extremely unusual chance, leopards and sloth bears can also be observed here. The main attraction of Minneriya is its wild elephant population, which comes from nearby wildlife reserves such as Sasgamuwa, Maduru Oya National Park, Somawathiya, and Galoya Sanctuary.

It’s obvious that Minneriya’s wild elephants are more gentle than those in other Sri Lankan national parks so it’s vital to exercise caution around these untamed giants when hovering in the area

Minneriya Wildlife Reserve’s vegetation

This dry zone park is home to several rare tree kinds, including Halmilla, Weera, Palu, and Milla, that yield valuable wood. Beside the park’s dusty track is a species of grass called maana, which may reach heights of up to 30 cm.

For the best Minneriya national park safari, it is highly advised to enlist the assistance of a jeep driver who has experience going on safari at the park, as the majority of jeep divers at the park have well-trained eyes and clues about spotting animals; they can spot wild animals more easily than foreigners do.

Wasp nests are those enormous, shell-shaped things that you may see hanging from enormous tree branches In this area of Sri Lanka, wasp nests are frequently seen. The rock stronghold of Sigiriya is famous for its wasp nests and attacks. Every year, a number of wasp attacks are reported from Sigiriya, a world heritage site. The Sigiriya rock fortification has a lot of wasp nests on its leeward side. The nests are constructed so that the wasps may stay out of the fierce wind.

At the nearby Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a well-liked tourist destination, there are a number of iron cubicles covered in nets that are meant to fend off wasp attacks. Although no wasps were found in Minneriya National Park, it is still wise to avoid approaching and disturbing the nest’s occupants, as well as to make as little noise as possible. However, apart from a few designated locations, guests are not permitted to exit the jeep in the park.

With an abundance of flora that they adore eating and a big area of open grassland next to the Minneriya tank, the park is a paradise for wild elephants. The park’s vegetation is a combination of woodland, grassland, and scrubland. Elephants like Minneriya Park because of its mostly flat terrain and lush foliage. Another wildlife reserve with significant populations of wild elephants is Udawalawe National Park, which has comparable types of vegetation and geographical circumstances.

Tank Minneriya

The primary water source for the national park is the Minneriya Tank. This artificial tank, which has been there for 2,500 years and is still functional, irrigates more than 8,000 hectares of paddy crops. For the local population as well as the park’s wildlife, the tank is a vital source of life. One of the first artificial tanks in Sri Lanka, the Minneriya tank, was constructed in the third century BC. King Mahasen was the one who oversaw its construction. The tank’s primary catchment area is the Minneriya jungle. The water in the tank covers 4500 acres when it is full.

The Padupola observation point and the Rmbawewa viewing point are the two viewing platforms in the national park. Normally, passengers are not permitted to exit the vehicles while on a safari; however, they are permitted to do so at certain designated viewing locations. Both viewing spots offer a very broad and expansive perspective over a significant portion of the National Park and are situated on a higher elevation that is elevated inside the park. Thus, remember to descend to these observation points so you may witness the elephants that travel about the national park.

When it comes to seeing wild elephants, why is Minneriya so unique?

Minneriya Lake distinguishes the national park in Sri Lanka from the others. Well-grown grassland may be seen in the park year-round, with the exception of the flooding season, because the lake ensures a constant supply of water to the surrounding grasslands. Minneriya National Park is not the only national park in the area without a reliable water supply. Because there is a lot of water in Minneriya National Park, even during the dry season, wild animals are choosing to seek sanctuary there.

What kinds of animals may I see at the National Park of Minneriya?

The park is home to 24 species of animals, 160 species of birds, 25 species of fish, and 75 species of butterflies. The park is home to six endangered butterfly species in addition to fifteen indigenous species. With the abundance of water resources here, one can frequently spot the painted stork, a huge bird with a long beak, standing in the water Inside the park, they are present year-round in large numbers. Thus, another typical bird that can be seen in the park’s water resources is the great white pelican. Here and there, one can observe native bird species like the grey hornbill, jungle fowl, and Sri Lanka hanging parrot. This is where you can observe the red-lipped lizard, an endemic and critically endangered species of reptile that lives in the park.

The largest carnivore in Sri Lanka is the leopard, which belongs to a subspecies of the common leopard. There are reports of Sri Lankan leopards in a number of the country’s national parks as well as in the hilly area. Even though, there are leopards in many of Sri Lanka’s national parks, Wilapptu and Yala are the most well-known for leopard sightings. Despite being well-known for its wild elephant population, Minneriya National Park also has leopard sightings.

Huge elephants congregating near Minneriya Lake

The ideal area to witness a significant number of wild elephants is on the open grasslands around the Minneriya tank. Animals congregate here daily as evening approaches in order to satisfy their need for additional food and water. Elephants really enjoy eating the soft grass that grows near the riverbank. Elephants of all sizes and forms can be seen here. The total number of wild elephants reported here is up to 400. It’s typical to see large herds of wild elephants sauntering down the bank.

There might be very few wild elephants—roughly a dozen—if you go on your safari in Minneriya National Park during the dry season. During the dry season, the majority of elephants relocate to adjacent wildlife reserves in search of water. Then, you might have to choose Kauduall or Eco-park as the location of your safari. The elephants move between the local national parks, selecting the optimal spot to hang out depending on food and water availability. Elephants travel from one location to another on foot since they are excellent walkers and may cover up to 30 kilometers per day.

The park is completely submerged in water from the monsoon season, which lasts for six months from October to March. The remainder of the year brings very little rainfall and dry temperatures to the area. However, the tank holds water during the rainy season and supplies water to the entire area when there is a drought.

Thus, the safari in Minneriya National Park is highly useful for visitors to Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle. The majority of round-trip beach vacation packages in Sri Lanka include the Cultural Triangle as a basic option. Thus, make sure to tour this dry-zone national park as soon as possible, as it presents a unique chance to capture a myriad of breathtaking wildlife memories.

Motels close to the national park Minneriya

Minneriya is a solitary, rocky outcrop in Sri Lanka’s arid zone that is covered in thick greenery. Minneriya is located on the Habarana-Matara route in the north-central province of Sri Lanka.  Minneriya National Park and the historic Minneriya Tank are the main attractions in Minneriya. The National Park occupies most of the Minneriya territory. Consequently, there aren’t many families in the neighborhood, and there aren’t any hotels in Minneriya for visitors. There aren’t any well-known hotels or other lodging options in Minneriya offered by Sri Lankan tour operators. However, there are lots of options to find lodging in adjacent cities, including Sigiriya, Habaran, and Polonnaruwa. Any of the previously listed cities can be reached in a matter of minutes from Minneriya National Park.

Udawalawe or Minneriya

If you are looking to go on a safari, I must note that Minneriya National Park and Udawalawe National Park are in the same locations. I’ve visited both locations numerous times, and the fauna and flora you find there are essentially the same. Elephants are the main attraction of both national parks, but you may also view crocodiles, deer, buffaloes, and a variety of other creatures, including several species of birds.

Both national parks are situated in Sri Lanka’s dry zone; however, Udawalawe is tucked away on the country’s west coast, while Minneriya is located in the country’s north-central province. Udawalawe National Park is the ideal location for your safari Thus, if you are based on the west and south coasts, you should definitely go on an elephant safari in Minneriya if you plan to stay in the Cultural Triangle.

Minneriya National Park safari FAQS

1. Where can I get a Jeep for the safari in Minneriya?

Any hotel in Sigiriya, Dambulla, Habana, or Polonnaruwa will rent you a jeep. Should you not be lodging in a local hotel, head over to Habarana Junction, where you may effortlessly locate a safari jeep just in front of the gas station. Here, a sizable group of Jeep owners are waiting for clients to knock on their doors.

2. How much does a safari in Minneriya National Park cost?

The price of a Minneriya safari varies according to the number of participants In most cases, it costs about US$ 50 per person for two people, and US$ 40 per person for four people. As the number of attendees rises, the entrance fee decreases. When more people travel, the cost of hiring a jeep also goes down. For example, a three-hour safari in a jeep can cost between 4,000 and 5,000 rupees, and the vehicle can fit up to six people.

3. Where can I buy the tickets for the tour of Minneriya National Park?

Only at the entrance ticket desk at Minneriya National Park’s entrance are entrance tickets available.

4. What is the cost of admission to the safari in Minneriya National Park?

$15 per person, $8 for children, $8 for services, 15% tax, and $250 for the jeep. Remember to bring Sri Lankan rupees with you, as payment for the admission fees may only be made using local money.

5. How long is the trip to Minneriya National Park?

The Minneriya safari typically lasts two hours, during which time visitors can visit the majority of the animal-viewing locations. But occasionally, you might visit the park for three or four hours. Everything is up to the guide and the Jeep driver. Most drivers and guides want to provide their visitors with the greatest possible safari experience, so they make an effort to show them as many animals as they can. As a result, they stay in the park for a little while longer.

6. When is the best time to go on a safari in Minneriya National Park?

Early in the morning, before the sun comes out to play, or late in the afternoon. At roughly six in the morning, the Minneriya safari should start. Animals are easily seen in the early morning hours before the sun rises. Animals in the park relocate to shady locations to escape the heat, making it harder to see them as the temperature rises. Around 2:00 pm is when the afternoon Minneriyaa safari is scheduled to commence. As the sun sets, the park’s temperature drops, and the animals start to reappear.

7. what times does Minneriya Park open?

Safari tours are available daily at Minneriya National Park from 6:00 AM to 6:00 p.m.

Reasons to use Seerendipity Tours for your tour of Minneriya National Park

Colombo-based Seerendipity Tour is a travel company that is entirely local-owned. One of Seerendipity Tours’ greatest assets is its highly skilled local team, which can tailor your ideal Sri Lankan vacation.

The lowest cost is assured for your vacation to Sri Lanka.

There are no intermediaries when you book a trip with Seerendipity Tours, so you can be sure to get the best deal. You book the tour directly with the local firm. Just contact us and let us know your preferred destinations and times of travel.

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