Around August & September every year, the receding banks of the Minneriya Lake create one of the most unique scenes you will ever see. A mass exodus of elephants create the World famous ‘Minneriya Elephant Gathering‘. A sight to behold and a must see if you happen to visit Sri Lanka!
One of the most spectacular natural scenes you will ever see! The Elephant Gathering at Minneriya is a sight to behold. During the dry season (July to September) water supplies reduce drastically in this region. To cope with this, the elephants congregate around the Minneriya reservoir where grasses are rich and fertile. The elephants come from areas beyond the reservoir and at times herds with numbers as large as 300 ~ 400 can be seen.
For any observer this is an incredible moment since this is not only a simple elephant migration. The animals here socialize, bathe and even find mates. It is a unique phenomenon of nature and can only be witnessed in this park. In fact it is so amazing it was recently listed as the Top no. 6 in the Lonely Planets’ guide to wildlife spectacles of the world.
This amazing sight known as ‘The Gathering’ is world famous for its large number of elephants. In the period of drought, the water level drops, revealing a tank bed that allows the grass to grow. During this time The Minneriya reservoir becomes a playground where the elephants can satisfy their water needs. The Gathering peaks during August & September at the height of the drought.
According to authorities the Elephant Gathering at Minneriya is the largest grouping of Elephants at one time in Asia. This event probably dates back centuries and the creatures a have done it multiple times but it has only gained mainstream attention quite recently.
Elephant Migration between Minneriya, Kaudulla and Hurulu Eco ParkThere are three national parks in the close proximity within that region. They are the Minneriya National Park, the Kaudulla National Park, and the Hurulu Eco Park,. All of the three parks are immensely popular among locals and foreigners the world over for their large herds of elephants. Generally, each year during the months of July to September large groups of elephants are found in the Minneriya National Park and then they migrate to Kaudulla National Park during the months October to November due to high rains and lakes getting filled up. Then the elephants move on to Hurulu Eco Park for the final leg of their migration during the month of December to January.
【Text by Lakpura™. Images by Google, copyright(s) reserved by original authors.】