The Gathering in Minneriya National Park
This place is special. I’ve seen elephants in isolation. At the zoo mostly. Or in Thailand working for The Man. I think I even saw one in the circus when I was a kid. But those experiences made me feel sad. I didn’t really like seeing the elephants contained like that.
The Gathering is different. There’s a peaceful feeling when you’re out there among all those elephants. Every year between July and September during the dry season, herds of elephants migrate to the water reservoir in Minneriya to graze.
There are just as many humans there as there are elephants. All these humans flock to Minneriya every day between the months of July and September to view the elephants and catch a few (hundred) photos of them. Despite all the people and the safari jeeps, there is still a majestic feeling to this place. All these people are there for the same reason, excited by the same thing. It has a communal feeling. It reminds me of seeing live music. And similar to going to a show, try as I may, I can’t seem to capture it with a camera. There’s something about these places and these experiences that get woven into who you are. And then you have these photos left over to remind you of them.
There were a LOT of other people there…
It was my first time on a safari.