Wilpattu National Park is the largest national park in Sri Lanka, situated in North Western and North Central provinces. From Colombo it is approximately 3 to 4 hours drive to Wilpattu main entrance named, Hunuwilagama on Colombo – Negombo – Pattlam – Auradhapura road (Approximately 185 kms). At present Hunuwilagama entrance is the only entry point to Wilpattu National Park.
Wilpattu National Park is open from 6 AM to 6 PM for visitors and the mode of safari is only on soft top Jeeps. Walking safaris are not permitted. Click here to see Safari Jeep Game Drive offers....
In our opinion Anuradhapura, the main city of North Central province is the most practical and easiest town to stay when visiting Wilpattu National Park. It is just 1 hour drive from Anuradhapura to Wilpattu’s main entrance, Hunuwilagama. Anuradhapura being a very touristic city, it has a wide choice of hotels for various budgeted travellers and also you can visit the famous UNSCO world heritage sites of Anuradhapura ruins and Mihintale rock temple. Kalpitiya and Habarana are two other major touristic cities where visitors to Wilpattu National Park are coming from and the drive is approximately 1 ½ hours approximately. Near the entrance of Hunuwilagama there some simple guest houses with basic facilities which are good for 1 or 2 nights stay, staying in these guest houses near the entrance is the most convenient option when visit Wilpattu National Park. There are no big hotels or resorts near the entrance.
Click here to see some bundled Hotel + Safari packages in Wilpattu.
There are also tented safari camps just outside the park entrance which provides all inclusive tented safari camping experience if you are not so tight in cash.
Click here to see the best Tented Safari camping offers in Wilpattu...
Wilpattu is good to visit throughout the year. The unique feature of this park is the existence of "Willus" (Natural lakes) - Natural, sand-rimmed water basins or depressions that fill with rainwater. Nearly sixty lakes (Willu) and tanks are found spread throughout Wilpattu.
There are approximately 30 species of mammals in the Wilpattu National Park which include the Sri Lankan Elephant, Sri Lankan Leopard, Sri Lankan Sloth Bear , Spotted Deer, Buffalo, Sambar and Mongoose.
Wetland bird species found in the Wilpattu National Park include the Garganey, Pin tail, Whistling Teal, Spoonbill, White Ibis, Large White Egret, Cattle Egret and Purple Heron. Also, many species of Gulls, Terns, Owls, Kites and Eagles are also lives here. The endemic Sri Lanka Jungle fowl, Little Cormorant and the Painted Stork can also be seen.