We live in a world of progress and industry – man’s ambition immortalised in jagged skylines and sprawling cities.

But can a skyscraper ever compare to the magnificence of a mountain? Pure beauty lies not in the hand of man, but in the mystery of nature.

Lying west of Anuradhapura, Wilpattu National Park is a place to touch the soul of Mother Nature herself.The name Wilpattu is derived from the Sinhalese ‘Wilu-pattu’ meaning Land of Lakes, and it is the dominating presence of water that makes Wilpattu National Park so special. Over 131,693 hectares of dry lowland forest are fractured by up to 60 naturally formed rain-fed lakes known as “Villus”, creating a truly spectacular world.

Being Sri Lanka’s largest national park, Wilpattu’s biodiversity is varied and rich. The park is home to 35 species of reptiles,189 species of birds and over 28 species of mammal. Witness bull elephants roaming peacefully in the wild, spotted deer grazing by the water’s edge and the painted stork moving quietly through the wetlands. Wilpattu National Park is most famous for its large Sri Lankan leopard population (approximately 34). This reclusive animal is a top predator and a camouflage expert, so you have to keep your eyes peeled. But once you’ve seen one, you’ll never forget.

We’ll organise a safari to take you right into the heart of Wilpattu National Park, to a place free from the scars of man’s industrial nature. A place just waiting to be explored.

Stay with us and book your Wilpattu National Park safari today.

Information source – Kithsiri Gunawardena – www.wilpattu.com

Wilpattu in a day from Palagama Beach

Palagama Beach is located close to Sri Lanka’s oldest and largest national park Wilpattu National Park. If you are staying for 3 nights or more with us we recommend you do a visit to this amazing national park. Ask our team about booking this wildlife experience with us.

Suggested itinerary for the day:

9.30 am after breakfast drive to from Palagama to the Kalpitiya fishing harbor which is a 15 minute drive. Take the boat through the lagoon which can give you a chance to see the ‘Pink Dolphins’ which are a rare species of dolphin that live in these lagoons. Also get a chance to see some of the migrant Shorebirds & Terns that rest on the sand banks along the boat ride. Dock the boat at a local guesthouse which is within an amazing mangrove forest where you can have a refreshing local drink and tour of a lovely Cashew plantation and enjoy a nice Sri Lankan lunch – you can either have an early lunch or take a packed lunch into the park. Enter the park around 1pm in your safari jeep. Spend the next 5 hours travelling through this most scenic national Park. The birdlife is excellent here and some of the commoner species you will see include the Crested Serpent Eagle, Crested Hawk-eagle, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Lesser Whistling-duck, Eurasian Thick-knee, Malabar-pied Hornbill, the endemic Ceylon Grey Hornbill, plenty of Egrets, Cormorants, and migrant shorebirds can be seen around the park. This park is not the place for Elephants but if you are lucky you can see a few closer to the park entrance but don’t hold your breath! Leopard and Sloth Bear are two of the main attractions in Wilpattu, however seeing them is not as easy as one would hope so a good guide, and a lot of patients can be rewarding. Other smaller mammals include Wild Boar, Spotted Deer, and Barking Deer which are hard to see in other parks, Jackal can also be seen here. The park is home to many species of indigenous plants and trees and this makes Wilpattu very green even during the driest of months. You will also be served a small snack and tea in the evening while on the go! After the safari our vehicle will be at the gate to take you to the hotel via the main road which will take around 45 minutes. Get to the hotel for a late dinner. You can also do a full day safari to Wilpattu by leaving very early morning. We can tailor this for you based on your requirement.

Price for two pax – $220 (Entrance ticket not included. Guest has to buy)
(includes boat ride, jeep safari, return transport to hotel)

If you require a naturalist, supplement is $50 per half day safari
  • Time duration – 10 hours plus
  • Toughness – No fitness needed. However you do need to get on and off a small boat which means you need to get wet a bit and need to rough out a little.
  • Bathroom facilities in the national park are non-existent so you need to be ready to use the jungle loo.
  • Very child-friendly – but may not be suitable for 3 years or younger