Wilpattu National Park
Wilpattu is a park located North of Divyaa Lagoon Resort at the edge of the Kalpitiya Lagoon, past the Dutch bay and the Portugal Bay. The shore front of the Wilpattu National Park can be approached by Boat through the Lagoon. The unique feature of this park is the existence of natural lakes, sand-rimmed water basins or depressions that fill with rainwater. Located in the Northwest Coast lowland in the semi dry zone of Sri Lanka. The park is located 30 km west Anuradhapura and 50 km north of Puttalam, approximately 180 km from Colombo. The park is 131,693 hectares in extent and ranges from 0 to 152 meters above sea level. Nearly sixty lakes and tanks are found spread throughout Wilpattu. Wilpattu is the largest and one of the oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka. Wilpattu is among the top national parks world renowned for.
The unique feature of the topography of this park is the existence of Willus (Natural lakes) – Natural, sand-rimmed water basins or depressions – of fresh and salt water. The altitude ranges from 0 to 152 meters above sea level. Falling within the lowland dry zone of Sri Lanka, Wilpattu in the Northern Province is home for a rich diversity of wildlife including leopards, elephants, sloth bear and all dear species found in the dry zone. Diversity of habitat types favourable for dense populations of prey species, supports a high density of leopards, for which Wilpattu is world renowned.
Well established network of roads provides access to the important areas within the park, especially to the core area where there is a better opportunity to observe wildlife, due to concentration of water bodies. Four park bungalows located at picturesque settings, provide overnight accommodation within the park.
‘Kudiramalai Point’ is on the western coast where one can have a birds eye view over the sea from a rock cliff. ‘Kuveni’s Palace’ is based on a legend that saysit was built by King Vijaya for Kuveni, famous in Sri Lankan ancient folklore. Wilpattu is located approximately 180 km north of Colombo, and can be reached via Puttalam. Ancient city of Anuradhapura is within one hour drive from the park. Park bungalows can be reserved at the Head Office of the Department of Wildlife Conservation in Colombo, while the park entry permits are issued at the park entrance at Hunuwilagama.
The size and location of the park
Jeep Safaris in Wilpattu National Park
Divyaa works with Sri Lankan Expeditions who provide Safari jeep tours in Wilpattu National Park with experienced drivers for half day and full day safaris. The Jeep, driver, entrance tickets and rangers also included in our packages while Picnic packs can be at an extra fee.
Rates for half a day safari at Wilpattu National Park
- 1 person US$ 95
- 2 persons US$ 70 per person
- 3 persons US$ 65 per person
A Supplement of U$ 20 will be charged per Jeep for the Japanese made Toyota Hilux brand new Safari Jeep. The above rates include
- 3 to 4 hours safari (Morning safari is 4 hour and evening safari is 3 hour)
- Jeep fees
- Park entrance fees
- All taxes
Jungle safari by Boat from Divyaa Lagoon Resort
Boat Tour to Wilpattu -1 :
Take a Boat to Wilpattu National Park – minimum two guests in a Boat with sun roof, chairs, safety equipment and River Safari – Game drive ( Elephants, Birds, Crocodiles, varan, monkey, snakes ), swimming stop, jungle tour includes drinks and snacks – Cost per Person 1 Day (US $ 48 or Euro 38) Rs: 6,000
Boat Tour to Wilpattu – 2 :
Take Boat and Camp at the edge of Wilpattu National Park for one night – minimum two guests. Boat with sun roof, chairs, safety equipment and River Safari – Game drive (Elephants, Birds, Crocodiles, varan, monkey, snakes ), swimming stop, jungle tour included drinks and snacks included one night in a tent per Person 2 Day (US $ 144 or Euro 115) Rs: 18,000 Foto service
The Mahavansa (The Great Chronicle of Sri Lanka) records that in 543 BC Prince Vijaya landed at Kudrimalai Point (Horse Point15 Km north of the Kalpitiya Lagoon), married Kuweni and founded the Sinhalese race. In 1905 the area was designated a sanctuary and in 1938 it was upgraded to the National Park status.
The Annual Rainfall is about 1000mm and the annual temperature is about 25 to 30 degrees. Inter-monsoonal rains in March and the northeast monsoon (December – February) are the main sources of rainfall.
There are many types of vegetation to be found in Wilpattu; Littoral vegetation, including Salt grass and low scrub monsoon forest with tall emergents, such as Palu (Manilkarahexandra), and Satin (Chloroxylonswietenia), Milla (Vitex altissima), Weera (Drypetessepiaria), Ebony (Disopyrosebenum) and Wewarna (Alseodaphnesemecapriflolia).
31 species of mammals have been identified within Wilpattu national park. Mammals that are identified as threatened species living within the Wilpattu National Park are the elephant (Elephasmaximus), Sloth bear (Melursusursinus), leopard (Pantheraparduskotiya) and water Buffalo (Bubalusbubalis). Sambhur, spotted deer, mongoose and mouse are more of Wilpattu’s residents.
The painted stork, the open bill, little cormorant, Sri Lanka Junglefowl (Gallus lafayetii) along with many species of owls, terns, gulls, eagles, kites buzzards are to be found at Wilpattu National Park. Wetland bird species that can be seen in Wilpattu are the Garganey (Anasquerquedula), Pin tail (Anasacuta), Whistling teal (Dendrocygnajavanica), Spoonbill (Platalealeucorodia), White ibis (Threskiornismalanocephalus), Large white egret (Egretta alba modesta), Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) and Purple heron (Ardeapurpurea).
The most common reptiles found in the park are the Monitor Lizard (Varanusbengalensis), Mugger crocodile (Crocodyluspalustris), Common cobra (Najanaja), Rat snake (Ptyasmucosus), Indian python (Python molurus), Pond turtle (Melanonchelystrijuga) and the soft shelled turtle (Lissemyspunctata) who are resident in the large permanent Lakes.
One can also see Elephants, Leopards and several species of Deer.