Wilpattu National Park
Wilpattu National Park (Vil-pattu; Land of Lakes) is a park located in the island of Sri Lanka. The unique feature of this park is the existence of “Villus” (natural lakes) Natural, sandrimmed water basins or depressions that fill with rainwater are located in the Northwest coast lowland dry zone of Sri Lanka.
It is located 30 km west of Anuradhapura and 26 km north of Puttalam. The park is 131,693 hectares in content and ranges fi-om 0 to 152 meters above the sea level. Nearly sixty lakes (Villus) and tanks are found spread throughout the park. Wilpattu is the largest and one of the oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka. Wilpattu is among the top national parks world-renowned for its Leopard population, but its Leopard population is still not known.
The Annual Rainfall is about 1000 mm while the annual average temperature is about 27.2 °C. Inter-monsoonal rains are in March and the northeast monsoon is from December to February. It’s the main period of rainfall. There are many types of vegetation in Wilpattu; Littoral vegetation, including Salt grass and low scrub monsoon forest with tall emergent, such as Palu and Satin, Milla, Weera, Ebony and Wewarna.
Thirty one species of mammals have been identified within the park. Mammals that are identified as threatened species living within the Wilpattu National Park are the Elephant, Sloth bear, Leopard, Water buffalo, Sambhur, Spotted deer, Mongoose and Mouse, The Painted stork, the Openbill, Little cormorant, Sri Lanka jungle fowl along with many species of owls, terns, gulls, eagles, kites buzzards are also found in the park. Wetland bird species that can be seen in Wilpattu are the Gargeni, Pintail, Whistling teal, Spoonbill, White ibis, large white egret, Cattlu egret, and Purple heron
The most common reptiles found in the park are the Monitor Lizard. Mugger crocodile, Common cobra, Rat snake, Indian python. Pond turtle, and the Soft shelled turtle that are resident in tile large pennanent Villus.
Access Route: – Colombo would be via Negombo, Chilaw and Puttalam. The turn off is at the little hamlet of Thimbiriwewa on the 28th mile post along the Puttalam Anuradhapura road.
The park office, where one can obtain a permit and a guide is at Hunuwllagama, 8 km from the turn-off.