Wilpattu National Park—“Land of Lakes,” Elephants, Sloth Bears, Jackals… Oh My!
The lush wilderness of Wilpattu National Park encompasses nearly 2% of the land area of Sri Lanka. And true to its name, Wilpattu is a haven of lakes, nearly one hundred and six natural, saucer-shaped bodies of water that are spread throughout Wilpattu. Forests, wetlands, coastal habitats—Wilpattu is home to over 31 species of mammals, including Asian elephants, mugger crocodiles, sloth bears, and the magnificent Sri Lankan leopard. Many on the endangered species list.
Wilpattu has been a natural preserve since 1903 and, in 1905, also became a sanctuary to protect the animals from hunting. From ants to water buffalo, jackals, and monkeys, the park is home to a stunning diversity of wildlife that is a delightful, once-in-a-lifetime experience. The skies and tree canopies above the park are flocked with painted storks, black-headed ibis, wondrous purple herons, and a thrilling list of many other bird species. The park is also home to monitor lizards, common cobras, Indian pythons, and surrealistic-looking soft shelled turtles.
One of the oldest and largest national parks in Sri Lanka, Wilpattu was given that designation in 1938, and since has been renowned for its ecological and archaeological importance. The narrow winding forest tracks within the park offer a great opportunity to explore the untamed wilderness and beauty of Wilpattu.
History & Places of Interest
Also scattered throughout Wilpattu National Park, besides the zoological wonders, you’ll come across Buddhist monasteries, stupas, rock inscriptions, and tanks—manmade lakes for supplying water to livestock and the natural wildlife.
Thambapanni, the location where Prince Vijaya (the first king of Sri Lanka) landed around 500 BC and founded the Sinhalese people, is claimed to be in the park.
Your Sri Lankan Safari
Traveling to Sri Lanka is easy from the the USA; one stop options are offered through Qator (DOH) with Jet Blue, American and Qator Airlines before arriving to Colombo.
The most exhilarating way to experience Wilpattu National Park is to stay at the Aggressor Safari Lodges®, where guests are invited to hitch a ride in our jeeps during a six-day exploration of Wilpattu and Minneriya national parks. All of our excursions include a private guide, and amazing views of elephants, jackals, monkeys, and so much more! Book your Sri Lanka safari today!
Air-conditioned tented chalet
Relax and take a dip in our pool at the Aggressor Safari Lodge