The Unique Gathering

They emerge from the relative coolness of the jungle as the heat of the day begins to recede.

Babies and their mums, dads, the naughty ones and the loners; they all come for a bit of fun and frolic, food, to roll  and splash in the water, a drink and perhaps some socialising.

When the dry season hits the North Central Province of Sri Lanka from June to September, and water and fresh food become scarce, herds of elephants head to the Kaudulla or Minneriya reservoirs.  They seem to know that at these man-made tanks there will still be water to drink and cool their bodies, and grass to graze on.

This congregating of elephants is known as the “The Gathering”, the largest of its kind for Asian Elephants. Often numbering up to nearly three hundred, they gather either at Minneriya or Kaudulla national parks, crossing the ‘Elephant Corridor” to get to their destination. The Gathering occurs only during the dry season and tour guides claim that the elephants would choose to visit one or the other park on different days.  

Though elephants can be seen in many other wildlife sanctuaries in the country, one has to visit Minneriya or Kaudulla during the ‘season’ to see hundreds of them in one place.