Wilpattu National Park
Wilapttu is Sri Lanka’s largest national park, covering a staggering 130,000 hectares of land. The park is so big that, on top of it’s huge coastline, it borders the Mannar, Anuradhapura and Puttalam districts! The park was closed for the best part of 30 years due to the civil conflict, but re-opened to visitors in 2010 and has been slowly gaining popularity since then.
Wilpattu is distinguished by three distinct types of jungle, where the density and species of trees vary. The park’s other main distinguishing feature is a network of ‘villus’, or natural fresh water lakes. It is here that the animals come to feed, drink and bathe and it is here that many of the best sightings occur.
Leopard, elephant, sloth bear, jackal, sambur, spotted deer, wild buffalo, mongoose and the jackal are just some of the 31 species of mammals known to inhabit the park. There are also many species of birds to be seen here including the painted stalk, cormorant, owl, tern, buzzard, kite, ibis, teal, egret, heron, hornbill and eagle, to name only a few. Wilapptu does not have the same volume of leopards as Yala, not the same guarantees of sightings, which is why there are also no traffic jams inside the park. It is important to visit Wilpattu with an open mind and appreciate it for the wild and beautiful place that it is.
Historically, Wilpattu is also a hugely significant place. It is here, at Kudrimalai Point to be precise, that Prince Vijaya is said to have landed from India, married Kuweni, and founded the Sinhalese race. There are a number of small ancient monuments to be seen within the park to support this claim.
Wilpattu can be arranged as a full or half day safari from The Mudhouse. The drive is roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes each way. The best times for animal spotting are early morning and late afternoon. The Mudhouse can organise the full or half day outing including packed lunches, jeeps, entrance tickets, return transport to the park and also a local guide from The Mudhouse. Alternatively, we can arrange a transfer to the main gate and you can make your arrangements and negotiations from there. Contact us if you require any more information regarding Wilpattu and how to fit it into your stay.