Wilpattu National Park

One of the more unique national parks in Sri Lanka, boasting of rich biodiversity in the form of wildlife, vegetation and a number of relief features that prove to be vital for the country; the Wilpattu National Park provides an idyllic setting for the nature lover to partake in adventurous safari game drives, enabling anyone to witness the best of Sri Lanka in all her natural beauty. Although considered to be one of the oldest, largest and bountiful national parks in the country, it also boasts of being a central figure in Sri Lankan history due to its close association to the first king of the country, King Vijaya.

Best Known For

  • It is without doubt the best feature the park is known for, namely, the abundance of flora and fauna that thrive here.
  • Such identified species known to nestle in the park are a numerous array of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.
  • What makes this park unique, as opposed to many other parks in the country, is the number of serene ‘Willus’ (Lakes) that amount to around 60, considered to be the primary nesting spots for many mammals, especially for the many elephants and leopards. The very site of these majestic animals reminds you about the importance and beauty of Mother Nature.

Interesting Facts

  • Wilpattu’s importance in the sustenance of Sri Lanka’s ecosystem was recognized in 1905, when it was designated as a wildlife sanctuary.
  • It was in 1948 that Wilpattu was elevated to the status of a National Wildlife Park.
  • The park is famed for housing more than 30 species of mammals, including threatened species like the Asian elephant, the Sri Lankan leopard, the Sri Lankan sloth bear and the Asian water buffalo.
  • Birds such as the painted stork, the open bill, little cormorant, Sri Lankan jungle fowl (the national bird), along with many species of owls, terns, gulls, eagles, kites buzzards are to be found at Wilpattu National Park. Thus making it a bird watcher’s paradise.
  • Reptiles that can be seen quite noticeably in the park are the monitor lizard, mugger crocodile, common cobra, rat snake, Indian python, pond turtle and the soft shelled turtle, which are resident in the large permanent Villus.
  • The park is also believed to have been the area in which the first monarchy of Sri Lanka was formed.
  • It is widely believed that the banished prince of India, Vijaya, married Kuveni, a princess of the native Yaksha tribe. This effectively created the many kingdoms and monarchical dynasties in the country that followed.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The park is open from 6:00am to 6:30pm, however, the last entry to the park is 4:30pm.
  • The ideal time to visit Wilpattu National Park is during the months from February to October, when wildlife can be quite easily spotted and the weather is relatively calm.
  • Apart from the entry tickets, there are other mandatory costs that have to be borne by the traveller.
  • The first being the hiring of a 4 wheel drive jeep since you can only go for safaris here, which would cost LKR 5,000 upwards.
  • The second being the hiring of a park tour guide.
  • The best tip is to organize this through your accommodation providers, since they normally provide transport back to your lodgings as well.
  • Make sure you listen to the professional tour guides, since animals, especially the elephants and leopards can come dangerously close to your vehicle.
  • Apart from the tour guides advice, make sure you adhere to the rules and regulation set forth by the authorities as well, (so no polythene and no pollution).

Bask in the unique sights and sounds of Mother Nature in all her natural glory, while partaking in an adventurous safari game drive at the Wilpattu National Park.

Title image by: Heshana Ariyaratne The information displayed is provided by Wilpattu National Park

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LKR 2,400
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