It is Sri Lanka’s largest and oldest national park, and the name comes from its many ‘villus’ or natural lakes. The park extends over 1317 sq km. Wilpattu is in the North Central Province of the country and is close to the heritage city of Anuradhapura. And, if you want to know how to get to Wilpattu National Park from Anuradhapura, it is only 30km west of the city. Hunuwilgama is the main entrance to the park. It is one of the best places to see the leopard, elephant, and the sloth bear. Saltgrass meadows and dense monsoon jungles cover the area, while distinctive red earth covers the ground. Wilpattu National Park safari jeep is the best way to cover the extensive grounds.
At a glance
There are approximately 31 mammals in the park, including the leopard, elephant, sloth bear, barking deer, spotted deer, water buffalo, and wild boar.
Wilpattu is a sanctuary for birds with the lakes sustaining them in abundance. It hosts a large variety of wetland bird species, endemic birds, and birds of prey.
Reptiles and Amphibians
You can see the Monitor Lizard, Mugger Crocodile, Common Cobra, Rat Snake, Indian Python, Pond Turtle, and the Soft Shelled Turtle here.
Dry zone tree species such as Palu, Weera, Milla, Wewarna, Satin, and Ebony are common in the park, while almost extinct in other parts of the island.
Palace of Kuveni
When Prince Vijaya landed in Sri Lanka, he found Kuveni, queen of Yaksha tribe spinning cotton. Her palace ruins are visible inside Wilpattu.
- Luxury safari camping at Wilpattu National Parks is an experience you should not miss.
- Wilpattu has a high density of leopard populations you can spot on less-crowded safaris.
- The nearby Anuradhapura UNESCO city is a treasure trove of ancient Buddhist monuments.
Where to Shop in Wilpattu National Park
The nearest city Anuradhapura is the place to go if you are looking to buy cultural handicraft items. You can also find fresh local fruit, vegetable, and herbal products in the city.
Where to Eat in Wilpattu National Park
You can look forward to gourmet cuisine when you choose a luxury camping provider in Wilpattu. Mahoora, Leopard Trails, and Big Game Camp offer the best accommodation services inside the park.