Minneriya National Park
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The Elephant 'Gathering'
There's something unbelievably captivating about watching elephants roam around in large herds in the wild. Add to it, some stunning scenery of vast grass plains, gorgeous sunsets and a mountainous backdrop; it makes for great photography! As the drought sets in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka each year, the migration of small clans of elephants through elephant corridors towards the Minneriya Tank builds up into what is now known as the 'Gathering' of large herds of hundreds. The Minneriya tank was built by a Sinhalese King of the 3rd century AD and rarely dries up completely during the drought and each year, proves to be the lifeblood for these hungry and thirsty herds. Billed by the Lonely Planet as the 6th greatest animal spectacle this annual convergence begins around July and peaks towards August and September. Jeeps could be hired for a 3 hour safari in the afternoon, from the towns of Habarana or even Sigiriya. We generally try to visit towards the end of August or even early September, on weekdays, when schools have reopened after the vacations, which means fewer safari goers.
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