Elephant getaways are growing increasingly popular since, after all, everyone adores elephants. They are friendly, intellectual, and family-oriented giants. They are also enormous, and obtaining a sight of these colossal beasts in the wild is a chance not to be passed up. Sri Lanka is home to 10% of all Asian elephants, which is rather impressive given the island’s length and width, and equates to roughly 5000 wild elephants.
However, elephants are far from Sri Lanka’s sole claim to renown. During the dry season in the North Central and Eastern provinces, the Minneriya National Park is the site of a magnificent gathering of elephants from July to October. There is a dearth of water in the region due to the drought, which sends approximately 300 elephants to the Minneriya Tank. Water is critical to an elephant’s life since a fully grown elephant consumes around 100 litres of water every day.
The Minnerya Irrigation Tank was erected in the third century AD by one of the ancient Sinhalese monarchs, Mahasena, within what is now known as the Minneriya National Park. During the dry seasons, elephants are unable to drink from waterholes in the woodlands because they evaporate into broken mud patches, therefore this old tank has become a haven for them.
As a result, they all flock to the Minneriya Tank, which gathers water during the Monsoon season and so serves as a source of water for herds of thirsty elephants throughout the long months of drought. According to wildlife specialists, the elephants gather during this period to drink water and munch on the grass that grows on the tank’s bed.
The Minneriya Elephant Gathering is the consequence of a number of separate wild elephant herds coming together in the same spot, rather than elephant migration. They have gathered from a variety of sites in the North Central Province, making this massive gathering of Wild Asian elephants an incredibly rare and exceptional global event.
In fact, Lonely Planet rated ‘The Gathering,’ as it is now known, sixth on their list of the world’s top wildlife spectacles. This gathering is also regarded as the largest in South Asia, and it is immensely popular with travelers who wish to see this yearly event. Visitors watch as herds and herds of elephants feed, drink, and play on the dry tank bed at Minneriya. Some lucky elephant fans may even catch a sight of one or two tuskers.
On an elephant safari to Minneriya, wildlife fans may see many types of deer, monkeys, and possibly even a leopard or two. Similarly, the tank’s bed attracts a lot of birds. Painted storks, egrets, and the white, dark-bellied fish eagle all visit the tank in the hopes of capturing a fish in its shallow waters. During this time, the gathering is at its peak.