Head to the gate of Minneriya National Park in the afternoon to begin your trip. Guests who are staying within 3 miles (5 kilometers) of the park entrance are eligible for an included pick-up from their accommodations.
Continue into the park aboard a private safari Jeep. This protected area dates back to the third century AD, when Sri Lankan King Mahasena built an artificial reservoir. Today the reservoir serves as a haven for Asian elephants, which congregate in the area between August to October each year when the water level falls and a growth of plants rises in its place. Elephants from other areas including Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, Matale and Kaudulla flock to Minneriya during this time to feed, bathe, and play in the shallow waters.
Your Jeep will creep up to this gathering of up to 200 pachyderms while remaining at a safe distance. You’ll have the awe-inspiring opportunity to witness this huge gathering as the sun sets in the distance, watching as the animals spray water in the air, swim, and mingle. Make sure to also keep your eyes out for other creatures including the Sri Lankan sloth bear, monkeys, deer, crocodiles, and many species of birds that call the park home.
You’ll finish your trip at 5:30pm back at the park entrance gates, or receive an included drop-off if your accommodations are within 3 miles (5 kilometers) of the park.