Minneriya National Park is another famous tourist destination in Sri Lanka. The place is widely popular due to its largest elephant gathering. It belongs to the Polonnaruwa District of North Central Province. Minneriya National Park is the home to many wild animals. This covers 8889.4 ha.

Location

Minneriya National Park is situated 182km away from Colombo city. It needs almost 4 hours to reach the capital. The distance from Kandy is about 105km. It will take around 3 hours to reach this from there. Google Maps will help you find the location. Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa are some of the most visited tourist destinations on the island. Those locations are not far from this national park. Therefore, many of them don’t miss this place to visit.

History

Minneriya Tank, or what the locals call “Minneriya Wewa,” is an ancient construction. It was made by King Mahasen in the 3rd century AD. The purpose of the tank was to supply essential water for paddy cultivation. The surrounding forest was the main water source for the tank. Apart from that, the Amban River and Elahera Canal bring water to the Minneriya Tank.

The tank and its surrounding forest were declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1938. It was further declared as a national park in 1997/08/12. The aim of the declaration was to protect the tank and wildlife of the area.

Climate

The Minneriya National Park and surrounding area receive an average annual rainfall of 1000–1500 mm. The average annual temperature is around 25–30 °C. The North-Eastern Monsoon is the main rainfall source and it is active from October until February. There is a clear dry season from May to September.

Wildlife

Minneriya National Park is home to 24 mammal species, 1600 bird species, 9 amphibian species, 25 reptile species, 26 fish species, and 75 butterfly species.

Some of the birds that you can watch here are the Sri Lankan Junglefowl, Sri Lankan Hanging Parrot, and brown-capped babbier. It is a paradise for both resident and migrant birds. Along with them, you can identify the Sri Lankan Leopard, Sri Lankan Sloth Bear, Sri Lankan Sambar Deer, Buffalo and two types of endemic monkeys.

Elephants

Minneriya is best known for its largest elephant gatherings. Group of 150 – 300 wild elephants can identify together in the dry seasons. Elephants in Matale, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee disticts migrate to Minneriya National Park in the dry season. They gather around the Minneriya Tank because of the food and water. Therefore, May to September time period consider as the best time to visit this sanctuary.

There are many Safari service providers around this national park. So, you can pick one of them to plan your wildlife tour. As well as you, there are many hotels and lodges for tourists in Dambulla, Sigiriya, Habarana and Girithale areas. This is the National Park that you should visit if you love Sri Lankan Elephants and widlife.

Read more from our Website:

Day Tour at Polonnaruwa Ancient City

( Cover Image Credit: Stephen Blaxhall )

Did you know that this small island called Sri Lanka is full of great natural treasures? Even though it is a very small country, it is filled with numerous mountains, plains, waterfalls, rivers, and exciting nature adventures. With a tropical weather in most part of the island, it is easy to adapt to the weather and enjoy the tour. This tour is designed to accompany you with a guide to Horton Plains. You will be provided with a proficient guide who is fluent in English and thorough with local knowledge. We ensure that the guides are informative and supportive. Language specific guides can be arranged upon request too. The tour is carefully constructed to give you the best experience of Horton Plains.

 

Horton Plains: The beautiful heritage

Horton Plains National Park is located in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is protected by the Department of Wildlife Conservation because the wildlife is very condensing in the area. The original name of the place is “Maha Eliya Thenna” which means “Great Open Plain.” Later the Plains were renamed after a British Governor. Sri Lanka has a lot of non-recorded history and people have come up with many folk stories regarding this place. Horton Plains are blessed with opulent flora and fauna and hikers and trekkers find this place quite amusing.

 

A must in the travel itinerary: Trekking at the Horton Plains

Are you up to seeing one of the most stunning places in Sri Lanka on a higher altitude? This is for you.

Wander across the cloud forests, green pastures and scattered pools while listening to nothing but the sounds of nature!

Your ears will be filled with the sound of birds chirping, water gushing, and fresh breeze sweeping across your face. For those for you who love trekking, why not inhale all the fresh experience that is in store for you!

The main attraction of the place is a drop called “The World’s End” from where you can see the farthest of Sri Lanka. You can see the most beautiful waterfall from top of the plains called The Baker’s Fall which runs from the very top of stony mountains down to the greeny valleys. The whole trekking experience will give you an adventurous thrill while soothing your tired self with cold breeze and perfect peace offered by nature. There is nothing more tranquil than receiving every ounce of nature’s fresh air and breeze from the trees while listening to buzzing bees.

 

Best of the Bests

This is the place for all candid photographers to capture as many memories as you want. The higher you climb, the better the view, the fresher the breeze, and more beautiful the feeling. Trekking at the Horton Plains has thus far become one of the favorite spots of backpackers, trekker, and globetrotters who love adventures. Our guides will guide you through this miraculous hike explaining the endemic species of trees and animals the place is blessed with. Come and see for yourself!

So, you can plan a horton plains trekking with us. Here are the details of the tour;

 

Horton Plains Trekking with Mahaweli Tours & Holidays

Possible Starting / Pick-up Locations :
Nuwaraeliya, Haputhale, Bandarawela, Ella, Ohiya, Kandy, Hatton  (You can let us know your exact location for us to check and confirm the possibility)

Duration : It will take around 4 – 6 hours to complete the tour depending on the weather condition and the desire of the travelers.

Tour Type : A private tour. Vehicle and the Guide / Chauffer guide are dedicated to you / your group. Safari tour will be done by an off road vehicle and traveling to the starting point and back will be done by Comfortable Car / Van / Mini coach

 

Read more about our other tours:

Hanthana Trekking

Ella City Tour

(Cover Image Credit: Evic Kushan)

Hakgala Botanical Garden is a nice place to visit in the Nuwara Eliya region of Sri Lanka. It is considered one of the five botanical gardens in the country. The other four botanical gardens are as follows:

  • Peradeniya Botanical Garden.
  • Mirijjawila Botanical Garden
  • Henarathgoda Botanical Garden.
  • Seethawaka Botanical Garden.

Hakgala Botanical is the second largest of those five gardens. This was established in the British Era in 1861.

You need to turn your vehicle into the Badulla–Nuwara Eliya route in the Nuwara-Eliya main town. Driving 6km along that road will take you to the garden. It is really easy to find the location. You can use Google Maps. Buying a ticket is essential to enter the garden.

Annually, 500,000 visitors come to the Hakgala Garden to enjoy its beauty. It contains a variety of plants and species, over 10,000. You can also see a lot of floral verities. The orchid garden and rose gardens always attract visitors. Nobody forgot to take some nice photographs from there. All around, the entire garden is comprised of beautiful landscapes. The place is managed and operated by the Department of Agriculture, Sri Lanka.

Hakgala Botanical Garden is situated near the Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve. But you can’t go to the nature reserve. The elevation of the place is 5400 ft. from sea level. It has spread over 28 hectares. You can experience a cool climate all around the year. But the December through February season is the coolest time period. The average temperature is between 16C and 30C.

April is considered the best month to visit here. The period is the spring season in Nuwara Eliya. So, a lot of travelers never forget to come here. March is the off-season for many floral plants, so you will not see many flowers. Hakgala Botanical Garden is open all year round and the opening times are 8am to 6pm. It is a very relaxing and ideal place to visit with your family and friends.

(Cover Image Source: Ceylon Footprint Holidays Facebook Page)

Udawalawe National Park is the third most visited national park of Sri Lanka which is located on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa & Uva Provinces. Total extend of the park is over 30,000 hectares and a popular place among the tourists who love sighting water birds and Sri Lankan Elephants in their natural habitats.

The rusty-spotted cat, fishing cat, Sri Lankan leopard, The Sri Lankan sloth bear, Sri Lankan sambar deer, Sri Lankan axis deer, Indian muntjac, Sri Lankan spotted chevrotain, wild boar and water buffalo are among other mammal species. Golden jackal, Asian palm civet, toque macaque, tufted grey langur and Indian hare also inhabit the park. A study conducted in 1989 found that considerable numbers of golden palm civets inhabit the forests of Udawalawe.[1] Five species of mice also have been recorded from the park. The endemic Ceylon spiny mouse, known from Yala National Park, was recorded in Udawalawe National Park in 1989. Indian bush rat and three species of mongoose are also recorded in the national park.

Jeeps are available to hire at the entrance of the park and you can decide if you prefer a half a day safari or a complete full day one. Camping inside the park under strict guidelines also possible with the prior approval of the authorities.

 

Distance to the Udawalawe National Park from some of the key places are as follow.

From :

  • Udawalawa – 10 km
  • Katharagama – 60 km
  • Ella – 90 km
  • Nuwaraeliya -144 km
  • Kandy – 200 km
  • Colombo – 160 km
  • CMB Airport – 170 km
  • Galle – 130 km

 

You can see some of the beautiful photos below;

Elephants in Udawalawe National Park