A genuine wilderness for dedicated nature lovers

Wilpattu National Park

Unspoilt and beautiful Wilpattu is one of the largest and oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka. Far less visited than Yala, it is ideal for those who prefer a tranquil wildlife quest.

A genuine wilderness for dedicated nature lovers

Wilpattu means ‘natural lakes’ in Sinhala. It lies in the lowland dry zone of Sri Lanka, comprising of several rainwater lakes surrounded by open grassy plains set within dense scrub jungle.

Wilpattu’s most famous residents are leopards and sloth bears, although dense foliage makes spotting them a bit harder than at Yala. It is estimated that as few as a 1000 sloth bears remain on the island.

It is also possible to see Elephants, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Wild Pig, Asiatic Buffalo and Crocodiles. There are several species of butterflies, reptiles, snakes and amphibians to complement the big game. Endemic birds include the Ceylon Junglefowl, Brown-capped Babbler, Ceylon Woodshrike and Black-capped Bulbul in riverine habitats.

Butterflies recorded here include the Great Eggfly, Great Orange Tip, Glad-eye Bushbrown, Blue Mormon, Common Mormon, Common Rose and Crimson Rose.

Ancient Links

Within the park lie ancient ruins. A queen named “Kuweni” (considered to be the mother of the Sinhala race) is believed to have lived in a place known as Kalli Villu within the park. Historical evidence also shows the fact that Prince Saliya, son of King Dutugemunu lived in Wilpattu over 2,000 years ago.


Visit the Kudirimalai Point on the north-western tip of Wilpattu for views of the Gulf of Mannar. The copper coloured sandy site is made up of unusual geographical formations that are remains of fossilized ocean bed from the Miocene period.

Take a break from spotting leopards, and look for fossils of prehistoric sea creatures instead.

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