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Wilpattu National Park

Home > Sri Lanka > Animals and Wildlife | National Parks | Travel | Weekend Escapes
by Catalina Forbes (subscribe)
Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world.
Published September 12th 2017
Wilpattu National Park is a protected nature reserve in Sri Lanka, home to exotic flora and animals such as leopards, elephants and bears.

leopard at wilpattu, wilpattu national park
A leopard is relaxing atop a boulder ©Catalina Forbes

Home to a multitude of endangered species of fauna and flora, Wilpattu National Park boasts breathtaking views and adventures in the wilds of Sri Lanka.

Wilpattu National Park

Covering an area of 131,693 hectares of the dry lowland region of Sri Lanka, the Wilpattu National Park in Sri Lanka was named as a sanctuary in 1905. Declared as a national park on the 25th of February 1938, this verdant natural marvel attracts many an enthusiastic visitor, local and foreign alike.

Reaching Wilpattu National Park

Travel on the A3 Highway stretching from Colombo to Puttalam. Proceed for 42km on the A12 route from Puttalam to Anuradhapura Highway for another 8km until you spot the large signboard.

The Exotic Fauna

spotted deer sri lanka
A herd of spotted deer ©Catalina Forbes

The park offers a wonderful opportunity to catch a few glimpses of many exotic species of mammals including the endemic Sri Lankan Leopard, Panthera pardus kotiya, which is my favourite and which I was fortunate enough to see.

If you wish for a unique experience on your safari, you can consider options such as Mahoora Tented Safari Camps that provide luxurious accommodation right at the park's border.

The park is also home to several other animals such as spotted deer, sambar, sloth bear and even beloved Asian Elephants.

Although you see lots of photos of leopards when you search for Wilpattu, you'd need to be lucky to see one up close. So be patient and always accompany an experienced guide.

The Spectacular Flora

A lush forest covers around 70% of the park. Commonly spotted verdant treasures include Palu and Weera. Other rare species of trees include Satinwood and Ebony. The narrow pathways snaking through

On a personal note, I recommend going early in the morning because the heat will be excruciating in the afternoons. Also, plan your visit between April and October to get more animal sightings.

Willpattu attracts fewer crowds than the more famous Yala and other national parks in the wet zone so this is an awesome opportunity to avoid tourists and watch Sri Lankan wildlife peacefully,

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Why? Same wildlife, fewer crowds
Where: Wilpattu National Wildlife Park
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