• About Wilpattu Sri Lanka
  • About Wilpattu Sri Lanka
  • About Wilpattu Sri Lanka
  • About Wilpattu Sri Lanka
  • About Wilpattu Sri Lanka
  • About Wilpattu Sri Lanka
  • About Wilpattu Sri Lanka

Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu or the “land of lakes” is the largest national park in Sri Lanka with a land area of nearly 131,000 hectares. The park consists of lakes, large grass plains, thick forest and open white sand patches that make it one of the most beautiful National Parks in the country. The thick forest cover allows visitors a very comfortable drive even during mid-day.

It is closely associated with the history of Sri Lanka. The arrival of Prince Vijaya, from India and the commencement of the Sinhala race as documented in the Mahavamsa, landed at Kudurimalai point on the Northern boundary of the park in 543 BC. Artifacts dating from the Bronze Age with clay burial sites and other ruins can still be seen in the park.

“Willy” as it is more affectionately known by locals is associated with leopards, and was once the premier park in the world for daylight viewing of this enigmatic cat. Unfortunately the park was closed for many years due to the civil war with the consequence that much of its wildlife was poached. Fortunately,  Wilpattu is once again staking a claim as one of the best places in the world to have unhindered and undisturbed leopard sightings.  Your best chance of seeing the elusive sloth bear in Sri Lanka is also at Wilpattu particularly during the wet season and fruiting season. “The Land of the lakes” is a birders paradise with many species of resident and migrant birds, many species of deer and large herds of elephants during the dry season. The park is also host to Crocodiles, Buffalo and many smaller species that will make your safari an enriching and interesting experience.

Wilpattu is also a great place for bird watching with many resident and migratory species found in the park. The endemic Ceylon Jungle Fowl and Ceylon Grey Hornbill are frequently seen as well as the threatened Lesser Adjutant Stork and Spot-billed Pelican. Laying claim to the best song bird in the island the White-rumped Shama too is very easily seen in Wilpattu. Raptors like the White-bellied Sea Eagle, the Serpent Eagle, the Changeable Hawk Eagle and the Grey-headed Fish Eagle are often encountered on a safari in Wilpattu. The occasional Brown Fish owl can also be seen.

List of what you might see (not an exhaustive list)

Birds Mammals & Other
Black Drongo
Black-headed Ibis
Brahminy Kite
Brown Fish Owl
Common Kingfisher
Crested Hawk Eagle
Crested Serpent Eagle
Gray Egret
Gray-headed Fish Eagle
Great Egret
Green Imperial Pigeon
Indian Cormorant
Indian Palm Swift
Indian Peacock
Lesser Whistling Teal
Little Egret
Malabar Pied Hornbill
Medium Egret
Open-billed Stock
Orange-breasted Green Pigeon
Painted Stock
Red Wattled Lapwing
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Small Minivet
Spotted Dove
Sri Lanka Gray Hornbill*
Sri Lanka Jungle Fowl*
Sri Lankan Paradise flycatcher
White-bellied Sea Eagle
White-breasted Kingfisher
White-necked Stock
White-rumped Munia
White-rumped Shama
Barking Deer
Golden Jackal
Gray Langur
Indian Gray Mongoose
Indian Palm Squirrel
Land Mointor Lizard
Mugger Crocodile
Ruddy Mongoose
Sloth Bear
Spotted Deer
Sri Lanka Gaint Squirrel
Sri Lankan Elephant
Sri Lankan Leopard
Toque monkey
White-napped Hare
Wild Boar
Wild Buffalo
Star Tortise
Flapshell Turtle
Parker’s Black Turtle