Encasing the famous and the islands largest Minneriya Tank is the Minneriya- Giritale National park in the northwest interior, which is a haven for a herd of almost 150 wild elephants, along with monkeys, spotted and spotless deer Sambar and tigers to add up the fauna population. June to September is the ideal for an expedition tour. During the dry season when water reservoirs are shallow, you can watch birds and deer herds making the best.
This reserve is one of the few remaining rainforests out of those many that once covered the entire island in the past. Trees that rise to 45 feet, cast a shadow over most of the day. In this amazing forest you can find rare orchids, ferns as well. Elephants of a rare species too meander in the vicinity. Further a flock of thousands of nose-diving cormorants preying on fish is a daily sight. Painted Storks, Great White Pelicans, Gray Herons too add to the nature’s glamour. The rainforest boasts of 217 tree species, 45 kinds of snakes and large amount of wet and dry dead foliage up to 5000 mm per year and humus create an impressive jungle, heavy with thickets. A trained and qualified guide will accompany for an enjoyable out of the world experience.
Equally exiting and bewitching but with a far richer biodiversity and flora sans a lake is the Sinharaja forest in the mid low country, a rain forest. It is virtually unspoiled by developmental activities or modernisation and hence the nature is preserved for wildlife and foliage. In fact the UNESCO has recognised it as a world heritage forest. Conserving water, it serves well for the South Western district of Sri Lanka. It is a very popular nature tourism or research expedition for locals as well as foreign visitors. Going by foot is the only convenient way and to get the best out of it.