Minneriya National Park was established in 1997. Its status as a national park was given to it to combat the sustained and poorly controlled tourist influx that it was undergoing at the time. It covers 8,890 ha of forest and bush, and a huge reservoir of 2,550 ha (Minneriya Wewa - 3rd century BC). This water point attracts, especially during the dry season from June to September, many animals that come to drink there. There are many elephants, monkeys, deer and several hundred species of birds. With its rich flora and fauna, Minneriya National Park is an excellent alternative to the large parks in the south of the country.

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