Points of Interest - Wilpattu

Wilpattu National Park

Leopard at Wilpattu National Park
Deer at Wilpattu National Park

Size: 131,693 hectares

Main attractions: Leopards, Elephants, spotted Deer, Sambur, Wild Bow, Crocodiles, Water Buffalo, Peacocks and many migratory birds

Situated 180 km away from Colombo, and about 40 km from Anuradhapura, Wilpattu National park is the largest wild life sanctuary in Sri Lanka. It was declared a sanctuary in 1938, and subsequently also as a national park, Wilpattu reserve, is a popular attraction for both tourists and wildlife enthusiasts including birdwatchers.

The name Wilpattu has derived from the word Villu, meaning “small lakes in depressions of the land, where surface run-off water collects” complement the unique ecosystem found exclusively in Wilpattu National Park.

This park is renowned for its leopards, sloth bear population and villus. In the coastal strip of Wilpattu, lies sizable villi which are major feeding sites for a myriad of migrating water birds, primarily species of ducks.

Ecosystems found in Wilpattu

Although tropical dry mixed evergreen forests stand out in the landscape of Wilpattu, many other diverse sub systems can be found within its boundaries.

Forest Eco System

  • Tropical Dry Mixed Evergreen
  • Tropical Thorn Forests
  • Riverine Forests
  • Dry Grass lands

Wetland Eco System

  • Floodplains
  • Swamps
  • Ancient Tanks and Ponds
  • Villus

Coastal Eco System

  • Mangrove forests
  • Salt marshes
  • Beaches and sand dunes
  • Sea cliffs
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