Sri Lanka is surely one of the best countries to travel to in Asia. This island is full of so many places that you can visit. It is home to rich biodiversity especially when it comes to its national parks. And while in Sri Lanka, you should never miss out on a chance to visit the minneriya national park.
All About Minneriya National Park
Back in 1938, the Minneriya National Park was declared by the government of Sri Lanka as a wildlife sanctuary. It was only in 1997 when it became a national park. Now, the park is managed by the Department of Wildlife Conservation in Sri Lanka. If you love nature, then the Minneriya National Park is surely a place that you should visit.
The park is located in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka and it covers 8,890 hectares of area. As the ‘dry zone’ of the country, the park is known all across the globe for the country’s 70 Important Bird Areas (IBAs). And when it comes to history, the Minneriya tank is very important. This task is built by King Mahasen. The Amban River and Elahera canal provide a continuous water supply to this tank.
Why Visit the Minneriya National Park
So why should you visit the Minneriya National Park? Well, there are two reasons – for its flora and fauna. When it comes to the flora or the plant life of the park, tourists can find here a range of trees and shrubs. Some of the most common here are the Kumbuk, Neem, Palu, and Bodhi trees. They are usually found in the parks’ riverbanks. It is also common for tourists to find eucalyptus and teaks here as they have been established to help conserve the forest.
And when it comes to the parks’ wildlife, tourists are always surprised by what they can find here. As wildlife is the major focus of the visitors here, there are a total of 24 species of mammals that can be found in the Minneriya National Park. In fact, the park is known for its large elephant gatherings. They are gracing the tourists with their presence as they drink, bathe, and even play in the river.
Aside from the elephants, there are also other mammals here like the axis deer, toque macaque monkeys, and the endemic purple-faced langur. The park is also popular for having 160 species of birds. You can go to the Minneriya reservoir if you want to do bird watching.
Should You Visit Minneriya National Park?
To fully enjoy the experience, you can take advantage of the things that you can do here at the park. You can go for safari jeep rides to have an up-close experience of watching the elephant gatherings. The park is about 182 km away from Colombo. This is one of the top destinations in Sri Lanka, especially if you want to have a first-hand experience with nature.