Minneriya national park is located 182 kms away from Colombo, in the North Central Plains of Sri Lanka. The major city closest to Minneriya National Park is Polonnaruwa. The recently renovated, the ancient Minneriya Rainwater Reservoir irrigates a considerable area of the district of Polonnaruwa and is the focal point of the Minneriya National Park. May to October is the best period to visit Minneriya National Park in view of the famous Gathering of the wild elephant herds. The gathering is documented as the largest known meeting place of Asian Elephants in the world. During the dry season of August to September each year, herds up to 300 elephants are seen within a few square kilometers of the vast Minneriya Reservoir. This Elephant Gathering is a thrilling spectacle that would be remembered for rest of the life of all those who were fortunate enough to witness it. 24 species of mammals and over 170 species of birds have been recorded here and out Of the 25 species of reptiles recorded in the park 8 are endemic.
Located in the district of Matale, between Polnnaruwa and Habarana, 225 km away from Colombo, Wasgamuwa is the best place to observe Elephants. The nearest large town is Polonnaruwa, 10 km from the northern boundary. The best time to enjoy the sight of large herds is during November to May. In the rest of the year the elephants tend to migrate to nearby Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks. Other wildlife includes Purple faced langur monkeys, wild boar, sambar and spotted deer, buffalo and rarely sighted leopards and sloth bears. Among the reptiles are water monitor, mugger crocodile, estuarine crocodile and python.
Yala National Park Map
Located 30km west of Anurdhapura, and to the south of Wilpattu National Park is River Modergam Aru; to the north is River Kalay oya. February to October is the best time to visit Wilpattu. Wilpattu National Park has a good network of gravel roads, particularly between the water holes which are the best places to observe wild life. A unique complex of over 50 wetlands like “everglades” called “Villu” is the most prominent feature of the national park jungle. Jeep Safari is the regular norm in exploring the Wilpattu National Park. While the big 4 of Sri Lankan wild life the Leopard, Elephant, Sloth bear, Deer, endemic birds can be sighted easily during a half day safari, During the safari, the tourists aren’t supposed to get off the jeep at the tracks of the wild animals and expose themselves to the possible encounters in the wilderness. With the trackers at the Wilpattu National Park guiding the wildlife safaris, the visitors are always safe though in the thick of wilderness.
Yala National Park Map
Udawalawa is known for its reservoir and the national park closest to Colombo and is visited by many who love a splendid sight of Sri Lanka’s wild Asian elephants.
Udawalawa National Park Map
The second largest national park in Sri lanka, Yala is also the most visited wild life sanctuary, which harbours many endemic species of the island.
The climate here is semi-arid with vast dry woodlands and open patches of grasslands and is divided into five blocks. Jeep Safari tour through the wildlife Park will be an unforgettable adventure, along with an odd chance of being charged at by a juvenile bull elephant! But as one will find out soon it’s part of the daily routine of a young bull elephant and quite harmless. Park also includes wide varieties of wildlife and plants. Two large rivers flow through the park and are home to about 32 species of mammals, 125 species of birds, along with many reptiles and lagoon fauna species. The entrance fees are payable at the main entrance office and includes the services of a tracker. In our opinion Yala National park is the best place to see peafowl’s in their best suits, monkeys chattering through the bush, elephants trumpeting through the undergrowth, elusive Sri Lankan leopards (Panthera pardus kotiya) gliding soundlessly through the bush hunting for their next meal, end of the dry season is the best time to see the animals around shrinking water holes.