Minneriya and Kaudulla National Park
by Jetwing · Published · Updated
Explore two wilderness sanctuaries with various terrain and outstanding sights, especially the famous Sri Lankan elephant that journey between these two parks. The Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks are great places for safaris when you visit Sigiriya. The parks can be reached easily in about an hour by car. However, it’s far from Lions Rock.
The National Park of Minneriya is known for the annual ‘elephant gathering,’ which occurs every year from August to September. 200-300 elephants gather around the Minneriya reservoir during the dry season, where the grass is rich and fertile. A magical experience, which allows you to witness elephants in their natural setting.
However, you can still see plenty of majestic elephants in the park when you visit Minneriya at any other time of the year. Besides the endemic Sri Lankan jungle fowl, the grey hornbill, the purple-faced langur and the toque macaque, the National Parks are also home to countless animals and birds. Over the years, Minneriya has become popular and now is a place for tourism. If you wish to avoid crowds during peak season, we suggest heading to the quieter Kaudulla National Park.
A good 40 minutes’ drive from Minneriya is Kaudull, also home to many Sri Lankan elephants. From August to September, herds of elephants gather in the Kaudulla waterways, much like in Minneriya. The National Park is also home to endemic mammals, reptiles and amphibian species such as the Sri Lankan sloth bear, the albino axis deer and the Sri Lankan leopard, which are difficult to spot and lies heavily on one’s luck. As 160 bird species had been discovered here, Kaudulla had been named as an important Bird Sanctuary. Species include spot-billed pelicans, Asian spoonbills, giant eagles, ibis, painted and open-billed storks.
One of these parks would surely be a highlight of your visit as a wild safari experience.