Between the well known cities of Habarana and Polonnaruwa rest the wilderness of Minneriya. Situated in the North Central Province there is historical value sitting inside the park. The Minneriya Tank built by King Mahasena in the 3rd Century AD is a main attraction for elephants during the dry season. This gathering is known to be the largest gathering of elephants, counting about 100-700 sightings per gathering. Reptiles such as painted lip lizard, salt water crocodile, Indian python and water monitors reside in Minneriya. Large water birds can be seen fishing in the large tank.
Kaudulla national park located on the Habarana –Trincomalee main road is home to about 250 elephants. They use this park as a corridor between Minneriya and Somawathie sacred area. In addition to elephants, you will also see leopards, sambar deer, sloth bear and endangered rusty spotted cat. Spanning 6600 hectares all animals likely to be found in the dry zone reside here.