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This national park is famous for its elephants, particularly between June and September, when a herd of more than 300 gathers on the receding shores of the Minneriya Tank – an awesome spectacle!

The island’s main cultural sites are nearby: Polonnaruwa’s palaces and shrines are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to troupes of monkeys, while Dambulla’s cave temples house a spectacular series of frescoes. The great citadel at Sigiriya is all that remains of a great civilisation, and the surrounding tanks are home to many waterbirds.

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: spot-billed pelican, Asian elephant, leopard, sambar, sloth bear
  • Where: North Central Province, Sri Lanka