Holidays to Minneriya National Park, Sri Lanka

Previously dedicated as a wildlife sanctuary, Minneriya was reclassified as a national park in 1997 in an effort to protect the wildlife in the area through the preservation of the Minneriya Tank; a huge reservoir covering over 4 acres. The reservoir is an important feeding and drinking ground for nearby elephant populations and is particularly crucial during Sri Lanka’s dry season when many of the smaller lakes and waterholes dry up. Despite the dry spells though, the park is evergreen with low-canopy forests, scrublands, grasslands and rocky outcrops making for some spectacular scenery year-round.

Jeep safaris are the main activity at Minneriya National Park, which is home to 24 species of mammal including leopards, deer, sloth bears and two types of monkey that are native to Sri Lanka; the purple-faced langur and the toque macaque. Still want more? Crocodiles, iguana and wild boar regularly make an appearance and, for bird spotters, there’s a whopping 160 species including pelicans, parrots, owls and eagles. The most famous and iconic mammal synonymous with the park however is the Sri Lankan elephant. Large herds of these beautiful elephants are attracted to the grass fields around the edges of the Minneriya Tank, with their numbers regularly reaching between 150-200, and some reports detailing as many as 700 during the dry season! Whether it’s the sheer number of them, or the sight of a baby elephant playing freely by the water, for an elephant lover this is an experience that will top the bucket list.


  • See up to 700 wild elephants gather around the edge of the Minneriya tank

  • Spot some of the 160 species of bird, including parrots and pelicans

  • Breathe in the cleansing, refreshing scent of eucalyptus-filled air

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Minneriya National Park trip ideas

Here are some trip ideas that include Minneriya National Park. All of our trip ideas shown below are examples, and we’ll amend, adapt or start from scratch, until we’ve created the perfect trip for you. See one you like, or have a trip in mind? Call us now to book: 020 3510 5777

Things to do in Minneriya National Park

Here are some of the things you can do in Minneriya National Park. When you've chosen your favourite experiences, just give our Travel Designers a call and they'll put a trip together for you. If you need help choosing an experience, or if you want to learn more about it, our Travel Designers will be more than happy to talk to you. Just call them on: 020 3510 5777

Map of Minneriya National Park