Introducing Minneriya National Park

Dominated by the ancient Minneriya Tank, this national park (adult/child US$12/6, plus service charge US$6, plus per vehicle charge Rs 150) has plenty of scrub and light forest in its 8890 hectares to provide shelter for its toque macaques, sambar deer, leopards and elephants – to name a few. The dry season, from June to September, is the best time to visit. By then, water in the tank has dried up, exposing grasses and shoots to grazing animals; elephants, which number up to 150, come to feed and bathe; and flocks of birds, such as little cormorants and painted storks, fish in the shallow waters.

The park entrance is along the HabaranaPolonnaruwa road. A new visitor centre near the entrance sells tickets and offers a variety of exhibits about the park’s natural history.

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