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Ritigala Forest

Distance from Hotel: 18 km Travel time: 30 minutes
Distance from Hotel: 18 km Travel time:30 minutes Located between Habarana and POLONNARUWA, the 8890 hectares of MINNERIYA NATIONAL PARK is an ideal eco-tourism location in Sri Lanka. The park consists of mixed evergreen forest and scrub areas and is home to Sri Lanka ‘s favorites such as sambar deer, leopards, and elephants.
However, the central feature of the park is the ancient Minneriya Tank (built-in 3rdcentury AD by King Mahasena). During the dry season (June to September), this tank is an incredible place to observe the elephants who come to bathe and graze on the grasses as well as the huge flocks of birds (cormorants and painted storks to name but a few) that come to fish in the shallow waters.

Making your way through the park, you will see elephants, Spotted Deer and also the Sambar, which is a deer with no spots and an apt scientific name, carves unicolor. If you’re lucky, a leopard looking for food might cross your path. Less menacing but equally intriguing are the frogs and lizards with their tongues ready. Among the reptiles, the Red-lipped Lizard and Skink are both endemic to Sri Lanka as well as endangered. The frogs, on the other hand, are more abundantly present and have a tendency to jump over your feet or across your eyes between leaves. A notable example with a formidable but misleading title is the Sri Lanka Greater Hourglass Tree Frog. It all sounds like there’s such a lot to see at the park. But overhead is where the action really is. Sri Lanka, home to over 400 species of birds, has long been a birdwatcher’s paradise. In Minneriya National Park alone, 160 species crowd the trees or strut the banks.