National Park

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Wilpattu national park

Experience the wonders of a jungle safari at Wilpattu National Park – the biggest and one of the oldest National parks in Sri Lanka. With over 30 species of mammals and a staggering range of flora and fauna spanning its jungles and nature trails, a visit right here is simply something to understand for a lifetime.

The name Wilpattu basically means a place that is known for some lakes 'villus' or waterbodies and this is actually what you'll discover here. Notwithstanding the floodplain lakes that are kept money with white sensitive sands, the recreation center is loaded with interminable thick, dry zone forest woods blended with masses of winged animals and a marvelous cluster of untamed life including spotted deer, wild hog, sloth bears, elephants and panthers.

Where is Wilpattu National Park located?

Wilpattu lies inland on the northwest coast of Sri Lanka, about 26 km north ofPuttalam and a hundred and eighty km north of Colombo. It spans closer to the historiccapital of Anuradhapura, which is approximately 30 km east of the park. The park spans theborder of North Central and North Western Province of Sri Lanka and covers a spectacular131, 693 hectares (1,317 sq km/508 sq miles), making it the biggest countrywide park in thecountry! The west border of the park stretches 35 km alongside the north-western coast ofSri Lanka. There are two zones of Wilpattu – the principal region in the north and the smallerquarter which lies to the indoors which has no coastal border.

When was Wilpattu National Park established?

Wilpattu used to be declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1905 and was upgraded toNational Park reputation on twenty fifth February 1938, making it the oldest park in SriLanka. The northern place of Wilpattu was once declared as Wilpattu North Sanctuary on seventh November 1947. The park used to be closed for several years from 1988 onwards due to safety worries Sri Lanka used to be facing. It used to be reopened in February 2010and is now open to both nearby and foreign tourists.

How to reach Wilpattu National Park?

The primary entrance and office to the park are at Hunuwilgama, where one can attain a ticket and enter the park. This is approximately nine kilometres from Thimbiriwewa,which is a small hamlet positioned between Puttalam and Anuradhapura. Thimbiriwewa is reached by traveling on the A3 essential motor avenue from Colombo to Puttalam(approximately one hundred forty km north) and then along the Puttalam- Anuradhapura A12predominant street (45km north-east) to the Wilpattu Junction. From here to the primary park entrance, it is about 10 km.

Travel time:

- Puttalam to Wilpattu: 40 mins
- Kandy to Wilpattu: 2.5 hours
- Colombo to Wilpattu: 3.3 hours

Tourists that are staying in Kalpitiya – which is well-known for whale watching, dolphin watching, kitesurfing and a range of different water things to do – will have handy get entry to to Wilpattu. Accommodation options such as Dolphin Beach have placed about 30 km from Puttalam. Wilpattu is a 1.5-hour force away from Dolphin Beach.

When is the best time to visit Wilpattu National Park?

The best time to visit the park is from February to October. It is best to avoid rainy weather, and to visit the park during early morning or late afternoon as it is difficult to see animals in the afternoon as they hide in the forest to avoid the harsh heat. The park is open throughout the year for visitors.

What is the landscape like at Wilpattu National Park?

The park consists of by and large dry zone high forest, with substantial open plains. Since it is so massive and tiers from zero – 152 meters above sea level, the park supports over ten habitats covering three ecosystems inside it (forests, wetland and coastal& marine ecosystems), making it a biodiversity hotspot of vegetation and fauna.

The fundamental function of the park, of course, is its namesake – the presence of ‘villus’ or herbal lakes that are located all over. These natural lakes are herbal water basins that are surrounded by using white sand that fill with rainwater. There are over 60 lakes and tanks natural lakes that span the park that vary from small ponds to large herbal reservoirs.Majority of the villus is stuffed with fresh water and are full-size wetlands, whilst some are stuffed with seawater and brackish water.

In addition to these herbal lakes, certain zones of the park have copper-red loamy soils. The western aspect of the park has deeply forested areas and thorny bushes comparable to Yala National park. The park also has minor irrigation reservoirs or tanks over the jap boundary, which have been rehabilitated in 2010. The top notch range of terrain, ranging from jungle sand plains to wetland makes the park a haven for all sorts of flowers and fauna.

What is the climate like in Wilpattu National Park?

It is excellent to visit the park at some point of the dry season, which falls betweenFebruary and October. The wet season at the Wilpattu is between September to December all through the northeastern monsoon. Inter monsoon rains manifest between March andApril, observed with the aid of sizable drought from May to early September. The park has an annual temperature of 27.2°C and an annual rainfall of approximately a thousand mm.Although the park is situated in the dry zone, the flora is very inexperienced and luscious due to the presence of a number of water sources.

What fauna can be found in Wilpattu National Park?

There are a number of exclusive sorts of animals to be determined here, with a magnificent array of mammals, birdlife and reptiles. As the park is pretty large, the animals are unfold out thinly.

What flora can be found in Wilpattu National Park?

Majority of Wilpattu is composed of dense forest and scrub (75%), while the remainder is made up of pockets of extensive open plains. There are several flowering plant species in the park, with over 25 endemic plants. There are three main types of vegetation found in the park.

Littoral vegetation which consists of an abundance of salt grass and low scrub that is adjacent to the beach.

Low stature monsoon scrub is found 5 – 10 km within the coastal belt.
Monsoon forest with tall emergents is located further inland. Some of the tall emergent trees to look out for include Manilkara hexandra (slow-growing evergreen tree that can grow up to 40 – 80 feet tall and 1 – 3 m in circumference, with a grey-black rough bark),Chloroxylon swietenia (also known as Sri Lankan satinwood, tropical hard wood medium-sized deciduous tree that grows up to 50 – 65 feet with a fissured, corky bark), Vitexaltissima (woody plant that grows up to 65 feet in height with a scaly grey bark), Diospyros ebenum (hard black wood tree) and Alseodaphne semecapriflolia (endemic 60 foot tree with a brown bark).

Mammals at Wilpattu

The best location to view mammals is at the interfaces between forests and the scrub and grasslands in the western phase of the park, as well as around the natural lakes and drainage structures in the middle of the park. This is due to the fact that most animals take refuge from the solar at some point of the day in the forests and then come out to the open plains and lakes to drink water early morning and in the late afternoon when it gets cooler.

There are 31 species of mammals that have been recognized at Wilpattu National Park and the park is an high-quality location to view quite a few species. This consists of the leopard(Panthera pardus kotiya), which is the pinnacle predator of Sri Lanka. With luck, vacationers will be able to spot a leopard or two in the course of cooler parts of the day.

Enjoy looking out for sloth bears (Melursus ursinus), golden jackals (Canis aureus), sambardeer (Rusa unicolor), noticed deer (Axis axis), barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak), ruddymongoose (Herpestes smithii), wild boars (Sus scrofa) and extra mammals on your safari at Wilpattu.

A quantity of endemic mammals of Sri Lanka can additionally be sighted right here including the golden palm civet (Paradoxurus zeylonensis), northern mouse-deer (Moschiolameminna) and a subspecies of the purple-faced leaf monkey (Semnopithecus vetulusnestor). A few elephants (Elephas maximus) and water buffalo (Bubalus bunalis) can also be seen. Herds of elephants are only generally spotted in the course of the height of the dryseason, though lone bulls can be seen on occasion during the yr at regularly visited lakes.

Birdlife at Wilpattu

Bird gazing enthusiasts are in for a treat at Wilpattu and will be in a position to spot an incredible array of birdlife. The lakes around the park assist a large quantity of resident and migratory wetland bird species.

Resident bird species at Wilpattu encompass the endemic Brown-capped babbler(Pellorneum fuscocapillus babaulti), endemic Ceylon gray hornbill (Ocyceros gingalensis),Sri Lanka inexperienced pigeon (Treron pompadora), dark-fronted babbler (Rhopocichlaatriceps siccatus), little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius jerdoni), Black-capped bulbul(Pycnonotus melanicterus), racket-tailed drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus), golden-backed woodpecker (Dinopium benghalense jaffnense) and the spot-bellied eagle-owl (Bubonipalensi).

Commonly considered migrant birds such as the Indian paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphoneparadise), orange-headed floor thrush (Zoothera citrine), Asiatic golden plover (Pluvialisfulva), Indian pitta (Pitta brachyuran), Indian blue robin (Luscinia brunnea), black-tailed godwit (Limosa Limosa) and pintail snipe (Gallinago stenura) can additionally be spotted at Wilpattu.

Other bird species that can be considered at Wilpattu consist of the spoonbill (Platalealeucorodia), white ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus), painted stork (Mycteria leucoephala),openbill stork (Anastomus oscitans), garganey (Anas querquedula), whistling teal (Dendrocygna javanica), giant white egret(Egretta alba modesta), cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis), pink heron (Ardea purpurea), lesseradjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus) and Indian darter (Anhinga melanogaster). Other commonbirds that are located within the vicinity of the lakes of Wilpattu are white-shafted little tern(Sterna albifrons), whiskered tern (Chlidonias hybridus), gull billed tern (Gelochelidonnilotica), magnificent stone-curlew (Esacus recurvirostris), purple wattled lapwing (Vanellusindicus) and black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus).

Common raptors that can be spotted include the white-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetusleucogaster) crested serpent eagle (Spilornis chela), and crested hawk-eagle (Spizaetuscirrhatus). Don’t neglect to seem out for ground-feeding birds at Wilpattu such as thepeafowl (Pavo cristatus) and the Sri Lanka jungle fowl (Gallus lafayetti), the latter of which isthe country wide fowl of Sri Lanka.

Reptiles at Wilpattu

Given that Wilpattu is full of natural lakes, several reptiles can be spotted at the giant everlasting villus. The land monitor (Varanus bengalensis) is a common sight at Wilpattu. However, other species can be discovered consisting of the mugger crocodile(Crocodylus palustris), estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), pond turtle (Melanonchelystrijuga) and the soft-shelled turtle (Lissemys punctata) in addition to star tortoises(Geochelone Elegans) which can be discovered on the grasslands.

There are a few snake species present at Wilpattu such as the frequent cobra (Naja naja),rat snake (Ptyas mucosus), Indian python (Python molurus), common Bronzeback(Dendrelaphis tristis), frequent bridal snake (Dryocalamus nympha), Indian Russell’s viper(Daboia russelii), Forsten’s cat snake (Boiga forsteni), endemic flowery wolf snake (Lycodonosmanhilli) and the endemic Sri Lankan flying snake (Chrysopelea taprobanica).

Butterflies at Wilpattu

There are many species of butterflies that can be noticed at Wilpattu at the cease of the wet season making it a treasure trove for lepidopterists. The Ceylon lesser albatross(Appias Paulina) is a white butterfly that gathers in giant numbers shut to water puddles.Colourful butterflies observed around the park include the blue Mormon (Papiliopolymnestor), the Common Mime (Papilio clytia), Common Banded Peacock (Papilio crino),Great Orange Tip (Hebomoia glaucippe), Common Jay (Graphium doson), Large SalmonArab (Colotis Fausta), Dark Wanderer (Pareronia ceylanica), Great Egg Fly (Hypolimnasbolina), Indian Sunbeam (Curetis thetis), Redspot Duke (Dophla Evelina) and the tawnyrajah (Charaxes Bernardus).

What is the cultural significance of Wilpattu National Park?

Apart from the superb plants and fauna, the park and its coastal belt are steeped in history and legend, which adds to the pleasure of your visit, as you are also journeying a culturally vital site. According to history and popular legend, in 543 BC Prince Vijaya fromIndia landed at Tambapanni in the northwestern coastal belt of the park which is now regarded as Kudiramalai Point (Horse Point). It was here that he married Kuweni and as a result established the Aryan Sinhalese population. Queen Kuweni, who is regarded to be the mother of the Sinhala race, lived in Kali Villu which is additionally positioned in Wilpattu. Both Kudiramalai Point and Kali Villu are consequently culturally tremendous factors of interest.

In addition to this, records suggests that Prince Saliya, son of King Dutugemunu, lived with Asokamala in Maradanmaduwa in Wilpattu approximately 2000 years ago. Another tremendous location is Pomparippu, as stays belonging to humans from pre-Vijayaninstances were excavated from that site. There are additionally stays of an ancient harbour between Palangaturai and Kollankanatte. Ruins of Buddhist temples are additionally positioned in Wilpattu that are overgrown with the aid of bush jungles and are included with dense forests.

What types of safaris are available at Wilpattu National Park?

Wilpattu is high-quality explored with the aid of a jeep safari. There are a number of safari tour corporations that furnish jeeps, drivers and professional publications for an enlightening, informative and safe tour. The guides are skilled forest rangers and will be able to make sure that your time is properly spent within the park premises as they are acquainted with the areas most frequented by fauna. The courses are also specialists at spotting wildlife in between the bushes and will also be able to make certain that all safety precautions are adhered to.

There are two sorts of safaris handy – a full day and a half-day. Tours can be organized in accordance to your preference. Half-day excursions can both be in the morning (6 am to eleven am) or evening (3 pm to 6 pm). Most animals can be sighted easily at some stage in a half-day safari, but actual fans of nature will revel in the full day safari, which permits one to revel in natural world at a slower pace. Full-day safaris encompass approximately 12hours of game drive. As approximately 75% of the park is a dense forest, travelers will solely be in a position to tour 25% of the whole place of the park. The park has a proper network of roads between the water holes, though the experience can get pretty bumpy.
Dolphin Beach arranges excursions to Wilpattu, which includes transport to and from the park to the hotel, jeep fees, ranger fees, park entrance fees, taxes and refreshments and lunch if required. We work with the quality safari tour corporations that furnish expert-guided excursions in well-maintained jeeps with secure drivers and professional rangers. Jeeps can accommodate up to 6 persons.

Estimated rates per person for a half day safari:
Package up to 6 persons half day1-2 pax: US$ 170
Additional person US$ 40Vat and service charge not included (10% SC + 2% NBT + 15% VAT) Package includes transfer to the park and back, jeep with driver and tracker in the park lunch snack pack.
Entrance fee to the park is extra $ 25 for adults, $ 12.50 for children 6-12, children under 6 free.
The above rates include 3 – 4 hour safari (morning safaris are 4 hours, evening safaris are 3 hours), jeep fees, park entrance fees, rangers, taxes. Lunch and refreshments can be provided at an extra fee.

Estimated rates per person for a full day safari:
Package up to 6 persons full day1-2 person $ 220
Additional person $ 65Vat and service charge not included (10%SC + 2%NBT + 15%VAT)
Package includes transfer to the park and back, jeep with driver and tracker in the park, breakfast and lunch snack pack.
Entrance fee to the park is extra $ 25 for adults, $ 12.50 for children 6-12, children under 6 free.The above rates include a 12 hour safari (6 am – 6 pm), jeep fees, park entrance fees, rangers, taxes. Lunch and refreshments can be provided at an extra fee.

Package up to 4 persons overnight1 person $ 450
2 persons $ 600
3 persons $ 750
4 persons $ 900Vat and service charge not included (10%SC + 2%NBT + 15%VAT)
Package includes transfer to the park,accommodation in bungalow (2 separate bedrooms with attached bathroom) inside the park with all meals (lunch on departure, dinner and breakfast), drinks (water, soft drinks, tea, coffee)
2 guards in bungalow , 2 jeeps, 2 drivers, tracker and a chef
Naturalist $ 100 extra on demand depending on availability.
Entrance fee to the park is extra $ 25 for adults, $ 12.50 for children 6-12, children under 6 free.

What do i need to know regarding Wilpattu National Park safari?

1. All your guided safaris are with professional rangers at the park who are conscious of the distances needed to be stored from the animals in order not to disturb them in their element. Listen to the recommendation of your ranger at all times.

2. During your safari, it is essential no longer to get off the jeep and expose yourselves to possible encounters with animals in the wilderness. Do not attain out of the vehicle when visiting and take care when standing up as low lying tree branches and thorny shrubs might also strike you and motive injury.
3. Fortunately, the park is quite peaceful and calm and now not many different jeeps will be around, so you can revel in your safari in peace. As the park is very large, flora and fauna is unfold out more and you will experience like you have the park to yourself. Ensure that you are in right health in the course of the safari and no longer suffer from illnesses that can also require emergency treatment. This is due to the fact the drive internal the park is pretty bumpy and lengthy and it will take a few hours to get assist if necessary.

4. Keep hydrated and take lots of water to sip in the course of the safari. If you are on a full-day tour, you will want to pack lunch and snacks to munch along the way. Do not litter or throw away any garbage in the park. All garbage wishes to be taken back with you.

5. Protect yourself from the warmth with the aid of making use of sunscreen lotion and sporting a hat and sunglasses. It is also wise to wear light coloured/breathable clothing as it can get pretty hot.

6. When you come upon an animal at close range it is wise no longer to make loud noises or harass the animals in any way. Do now not ever feed the animals – this can lead to serious damage to you or the animals.

7. Don’t neglect to convey your digital camera and snap some of the most remarkable pictures of nature you will ever take on your Wilpattu safari!

What makes Wilpattu National Park unique?

1. Oldest and greatest park in Sri Lanka, spanning over 1,300 sq. km.

2. Relatively peaceful park, with not many jeeps or travelers to obstruct views or distract you from your safari.

3. Perfect for dedicated safari-goers who revel in reconnecting with nature and feeling a part ofthe wilderness.

4. Over 60 villus and tanks which entice quite a number species of fauna.

5. A vary of topography from dry region tropical woodland to open grassland and coastal belt toscrubland supports a vast variety of vegetation and fauna.

6. Bird enthusiasts will love the surprising array of birdlife of resident and migratory birds.

7. Leopards, elephants, sloth bears, deer, boars, crocodiles, monitors, turtles and more animalscan be spotted here.

8. The park can be visited throughout the year, although February to October is the high time.

9. Historical and culturally massive web sites are present within the park.

10. Excellent and safe guided safari excursions with skilled drivers and informative rangers.

Dolphin Beach is the perfect lodging choice for tourists that are searching to visit Wilpattu National Park. Located by the relaxing beach of Kalpitiya that is 1.5 hours away from Wilpattu, Dolphin Beach is the epitome of luxurious and serenity with luxurious air-conditioned tented accommodation, en-suite bathrooms, tantalizing meals and astounding views of the IndianOcean. The motel is the perfect way to loosen up after your eventful safari day trip at Wilpattu National Park.


The Sri Lankan elephant, a distinct subspecies of the mainland Asian elephants inIndia and Thailand, is the easiest of the Big 5 to see, with countless set up “elephant safaris”accessible in most natural world parks. Its contrasting mild demeanour and indomitabl emeasurement have made the gentle-giant a much-loved natural world icon the world over and though as many as 10, zero of them roamed Sri Lanka at the turn of the century, only about 5,000 stay in the wild today. This is mostly due to the “Human-Elephant Conflict”(HEC) that leaves about 150-200 elephants demise each year, main to the classification of the elephant as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List.


The top predator in Sri Lanka, the leopard is determined in all kinds of forests –from thorn scrub and dry deciduous forests to lowland rain forests and mountain forests.Research in 1996 led to the Sri Lankan leopard being categorized as a separate sub species, having being viewed to be the same as the Indian subspecies until then. Weighing 37-90 kg for males and 28-60 kg for females, the leopard is affected in Sri Lanka with the aid of habitat loss and poaching, and is now listed as a threatened species by means of IUCN(2007).

Sloth Bear

The Sri Lankan Sloth Bear is the sole species of bear located in Sri Lanka and like the elephant, is an awesome subspecies to the Indian species. The wild populace of theSloth is little as 1,000 in many isolated areas, though it is only labeled as “vulnerable” (IUCNRed List). Destruction of dry-zone natural forest is the most important danger to its livelihood. The sloth undergo is the most elusive of the Big 5 and organised efforts will have