This beautiful area showcasing the splendor of the impressively expansive Minneriya Tank, is home to the Minneriya National Park located about 182 km from Colombo. Spanning some 8,800 hectares, the Minneriya National Park is a great location for viewing herds of elephant, Deer, Wild Boar, including many species of Fish and Birds.
Some of the bird species found here are the Crested Serpent Eagle, Crested Hawk Eagle, Painted Stork, Great Stone Plover, Golden Plover, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Lesser Sand Plover, Open bill Stork, Spoonbill, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Waterfowl, White Ibis, White-necked Stork, White-Rumped Shama, White-bellied Sea Eagle among many other species.
Entrance to the park is approximately 6 km from Habarana town. The park opens from 6.00 a.m. while a permit to enter the park can be obtained from the Ambagaswewa Wildlife Conservation Office found about 6 km from Habarana.
It is not uncommon to see elephants on the Habarana Road in the evenings. If you travel along the Minneriya road above the famous tank, you would be able to view herds of elephants around the many water holes within the park.
There are many Safari Jeep-Hire services from Habarana, and even available at the gate. However if you wish to travel by van or mini bus you may do so as well providing the vehicle can take on tracks and dried up lake beds which are motorable during the dry season.
The Park can be reached from Colombo on the Colombo-Kandy road, turning off at Warakapola onto the Kurunegala road, then onto Dambulla and Habarana. At Habarana, turn onto the Polonnaruwa road which takes you to the park entrance about 20km along this road.