Minneriya is known for its elephants, and rightly so. Go in late afternoon when the elephants are leaving to shelter of the forest to get water from the lake.
We were in close proximity to several large groups of elephants, including one 'tusker'.
Pay for the "volunteer" guide to join you in your truck. He will be able to spot the deer and birds in the forest that are invisible to untrained eyes. Our guide was very knowledgable, spoke good English and added considerably to our experience.
I was there like all the rest of the tourists, but I do have to confess to qualms about disturbing the elephants in their habitat. There were numerous jeeps driving across the flats trying to get close to the elephants. At one point a group of elephants got quite agitated because their route to the much-needed water was blocked by a line of trucks.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.