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Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka’s largest national park, spans an impressive 1317 square kilometers. It is a haven for elusive leopards, sloth bears, elephants, nearly 150 varieties of birds, and numerous other animals, making Wilpattu National Park an ideal destination for wildlife enthusiasts eager to experience Sri Lanka’s rich biodiversity. Located 150 kilometers from Colombo International Airport, Wilpattu National Park is accessible with a drive time of approximately four hours.

What sets Wilpattu National Park apart is its denser forest cover compared to other national parks in Sri Lanka. The landscape of Wilpattu National Park features dry zone forests and thorny scrub, interspersed with expansive open plains, sand dunes, and the distinctive Villu wetlands. Wilpattu National Park has gained a reputation as one of the premier locations for spotting leopards in Sri Lanka.

Explore the various options available for Wilpattu Safari Game Drives, Wilpattu Safari Packages and Tented Safari Camps in Wilpattu.


Location Approximately 188 kms away from capitol Colombo
Enterance Gate Hunuwilgama Enterance (Main Gate)
Park visiting hours 6 AM to 6 PM
Mode of safaris Only Jeep safaris
Best time of the day to visit the park 6 AM to 10 AM and 3 PM to 6 PM
Type of animals in the park Leopards, Elephants, Bears, Deer, Crocodiles, Reptiles and many verities of birds
Closest town to the park entrance Nochchiyagama, Puttalam and Anuradhapura
Best months to visit the park Throughout the year. But February to October is the prime time
How to come Hired private car or van

Wildlife in the Wilpattu National Park

There are approximately 30 species of mammals in the Wilpattu National Park which include the Sri Lankan Elephant, Sri Lankan Leopard, Lankan Sloth Bear, Sri, Spotted Deer, Buffalo, Sambar and Mongoose.

Bird Watching in Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu National Park, located on the northwest coast of Sri Lanka, is a renowned destination for wildlife enthusiasts and, more specifically, a haven for bird watchers. Spanning over 1,300 square kilometers, this park is characterized by its unique "Willus" or natural lakes, which provide critical habitats for a vast array of bird species. For those interested in bird watching in Wilpattu, the park offers an unparalleled experience with its rich avifauna and scenic landscapes.

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Reptiles and Amphibians in the Wilpattu National Park

Monitor Lizard, Mugger Crocodile, Common Cobra, Rat Snake, Indian Python, Pond Turtle and the Soft Shelled Turtle can be seen in Wilpattu National Park.

Flora in the Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu is home for many species of flora and they are Palu (Manilkara hexandra), Satin (Chloroxylon swietenia), Milla (Vitex altissima), Weera (Drypetes sepiaria), Ebony (Diospyros ebenum) and Wewarna (Alseodaphne semecarpifolia).

Climate in the Wilpattu National Park

The annual temperature in the Park is between 27°C to 30°C and its annual rainfall is approximately 900 mm. The Wilpattu National Park is situated in the dry zone but most of the time flora is very greenish and has plenty of water sources. The period between September to December is the rainy season while inter-monsoonal rains are expected between March to May. The period of drought in the Park extends from June to early September.

How to reach Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu is located 30 kms north of Puttalam, approximately 190 kms from Colombo. Wilpattu National Park extends from the northwest coast towards inland ancient capital city of Anuradhapura which is about 50 km to the east of the Park, covering 425 sq miles approximately. The route from Colombo is via Negombo, Chilaw, Palaviya and Puttalam, The Park office and the main entrance where one can obtain a ticket and enter the park is at Hunuwilgama, 7 km from the turn-off from Puttalam - Anuradhapura road.

The best times to visit the Wilpattu National Park

Though this National Park can be visited throughout the year, February to October is the prime time.