Towards the north of the inland circuit, Minneriya is the setting for the gathering of elephants that occurs between July and October each year. This can be a remarkable sight, as you witness herds of up to 150 elephants and their sheer collective might as they wash and feed and care for their young. Perhaps not so large, but as endearing to some, there is a wonderful array of frogs and lizards, some of which are endemic and endangered and all tongues at the ready. You may also see spotted deer and sambar, the latter of which is a deer with no spots, sporting a very appropriate scientific name, carves unicolour.
On the coast some of the region’s most thrilling marine life encounters beckon, with the largest animal on earth - the blue whale - and dolphin spotting possible from Mirissa and Kalpitiya. In Rekawa the Turtle Conservation Project provides a sanctuary for nesting female turtles until their hatchlings make a break for the ocean.