Safarisin Wilpattu National Park
Situated in the north western coast of the island, the Wilpattu National Park is a historic nature reserve that contains evidence of the first monarch that settled in the island, making it a great place to understand the cultural roots of the country, while also observing the natural beauty of the island.
Wilpattu National Park gets its name from the 60 or so natural lakes, called ‘willus’, within the park that provide freshwater to the animals and plants. These lakes attract more than 30 species of mammals, the most popular being the Asian elephant, Sri Lankan sloth bear and the Sri Lankan leopard, who can most often be witnessed in the morning hours, quenching their thirst at the watering holes. Other reptiles, such as mugger crocodiles, Indian pythons and soft-shelled turtles inhabit the large lakes as well. Several rare and endemic bird species, such as the Sri Lankan jungle fowl, the painted stork, and the little cormorant are just some of the avifauna that nest near the willus.
A jeep safari in the months between February and October will take you through the park to the many lakes, allowing you to witness many species in their natural habitat. Your guide may also tell you a few interesting stories about Sri Lankan folklore associated with the park.
Contact your local tour operator to pre-book your safari experience, as it can be difficult to do an onsite booking during the season.