The Gathering

The dry tropical sun descends

Over the burnt North Eastern plains

And as the dust settles

Dusk taking shape

The Gathering occurs.


The Gathering in Minneriya (almost sounding like a low budget horror film)

Is one of nature’s great mystical wonders

Because it is largest ‘gathering’ of South Asian elephants in the world

(And also vagabond khakhi-outfitted travellers alike)

‘We are family’

You see,

In the various micro climates of Sri Lanka

The North and East enjoy their dry season from April to September

And by late July to August the various waterholes dry up

Except for one

The manmade Minneriya tank

An ancient engineering feat

Made on the backs of poor mortals from the ancient Anuradhapura kingdom circa 100AD

Lone Elephant.

It is around this time

That all creatures’ macro and micro, inhabiting the North Eastern plains migrate in search of fresh water

Much to the delight of first world-explorers (and local safari establishments alike)

Not to see the various exotic invertebrates. primates, wild bovines and not even the birds (Heaven forbid! Not even the birds!)

Rare wetland birds enjoying the Minneriya Tank

But rather for the macro

The large, majestic, stunning macro

And honestly who could blame them

To see herds upon herds of elephant families

Congregating for the yearly wildlife spectacle

A vagabond expeditionist in her environment (albeit khaki clothes)

And what a spectacle it is

Seeing dignified sentient beings

In their natural habitat

As far as the naked eye can see

More than hundred-fifty, nay possibly two hundred

From newly born barely 1 week old calves

To seasoned experienced campaigners of the yearly journey

As if going on a mammalian summer holiday camp

A family expedition

(I mean anywhere with water; who wouldn’t be sold?)

To bathe, relax, procreate

Spend quality family time

The perfect way to spend summer.

Having an elephant of a time

Aeration rating: Fresh As. A strong dry summer draft was enjoyed. By far one of the highlights this year.

*Cover photo artwork was created by The Sarong Diaries with inspiration gained prior to going to The Gathering. For a free copy of this artwork inquire within. 

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