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Wilpattu National Park in Sri Lanka

Wilpattu is the largest national park in Sri Lanka. It is located in the Northern Province and is easily accessible from the sacred city of Anuradhapura. Wilpattu national park is well worth as a standalone attraction as it records the second highest leopard density in Sri Lanka, after Yala. It also admits a fewer number of visitors, which sets it in stark contrast to Yala national park, which tends to get overcrowded. These reasons alone make Wilpattu national park a perfect alternative for proper safari-goers who prefer to see magnificent wild animals in their natural habitat, while avoiding annoying crowds. It also reduces the burden falling on Yala national park as the leading leopard safari destination in Sri Lanka.

The leopards at Wilpattu are elusive, yet the high density makes spotting leopards at Wilpattu easier. The unique “Villu” lake eco system inside Wilpattu national park provide a perfect setting for seeing these beautiful creatures up close in their natural habitat. Villus are natural rainwater lakes, which work as an important water source for this dry zone park’s wild inhabitants. They also draw herds of Asian elephants and provide a habitat for birdlife. In fact, the Villus at Wilpattu are designated a Ramsar wetland of international importance. The park is also a haven for aquatic sea birds as its western boundary is the Indian Ocean. In addition, Wilpattu national park is home to 31 mammals including the Sri Lankan sloth bear, water buffalo, spotted deer, ruddy mongoose, mugger crocodile, Bengal monitors and mouse deer, all of which are threatened species.

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Safari Information

Wilpattu National Park Opening and Closing Times – 6.00 a.m to 6.00 p.m

Wilpattu Safari Duration – 3-4 hours

Wilpattu National Park Entrances

  • Hunuwilgama Enterance (Main Gate)

Major eco-systems inside Wilpattu National Park

  • Tropical Dry Mixed Evergreen Forest
  • Salt marshes
  • Scrublands
  • Villu Wetlands
  • Beaches

Area in Wilpattu National Park

Total Area – 131, 700 hectares

Other informations about Wilpattu National Park

Status – National park, Important bird area (IBAs), International Ramsar wetland

Altitude – Sea level to 152m

Annual Rainfall – 900mm

Monthly mean temperature range – 270C

Closest Towns – Nochchiyagama, Puttalam, Anuradhapura

Nearest Hospital – Rajanganaya Divisional Hospital

Access Roads to Wilpattu Block 1 (Palatupana Entrance)

  1. Colombo to Wilpattu via Puttalam (190km)
  2. Anuradhapura to Wilpattu (39km)

Major Attractions in Wilpattu National Park – Sri Lankan Leopards, Sri Lankan Elephant, Sri Lankan Sloth Bear

Best time to visit Wilpattu National Park – February to October

Useful Tips for Wilpattu Safari Drive

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