Wilpattu National Park
Situated close to the historic city of Anuradhapura in the north west of Sri Lanka, Wilpattu became a National Park in 1938. The park takes its name from the numerous lakes, known as Willu, that are dotted throughout the park.
It's one of the largest wildlife parks in Sri Lanka and is home to many spectacular mammals, birds, reptiles and flora which flourish in the fertile land. In short it's the perfect place to take a wildlife safari in Sri Lanka.
Amazing bird spotting in Sri Lanka
Wilpattu is one of the best places to take a bird spotting tour in Sri Lanka (you can get in touch to discuss a special bespoke tour of Sri Lanka if you have a particular interest in bird spotting and wildlife), it’s renowned for its population of domestic and migratory water birds that live close to the many natural lakes dotted around the 130,000 hectare park.
The birds you might see around the lakes include the Whistling Teal, Spoonbill, Purple Heron, Garganey and Pintail. Other birdlife in the park comprises of the Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Painted Stork, Owls, Gulls, Eagles and many more.
Wilpattu is open from 6am to 6pm, but the prime time to visit the park for wildlife spotting is in the morning or mid-afternoon. The park can be explored via a Jeep safari, with both morning/afternoon (3/4 hours) and full day (12 hours) safari options available.
Although the park is typically open year round the best times to visit is between February and October for the best chances of spotting wildlife and avoid the rainy season from September to December.
Wildlife in the Wilpattu National Park
Of the over thirty mammals that call Wilpattu home, four of which are identified as a threatened species; the Leopard, Elephant, Water Buffalo and Sloth Bear. The Spotted Deer, Sambar and Mongoose are also regularly sighted around the park.
Reptiles and amphibians also flourish at Wilpattu, with the Monitor Lizard, Mugger Crocodile, Cobra, Indian Python and Soft Shelled Turtle residing in the park.