Land of Lakes

Wilpattu National Park (‘Land of Lakes’) is situated on the Northwest coast near the ancient city of Anuradhapura. It is the largest and oldest National Park in Sri Lanka, consisting of 140,000 hectares of mostly dry zone evergreen forest cover and a coastal belt to the West. This is one of best places to see leopards in Sri Lanka alongside Yala National Park. The open grassy plains are set within the thick dense scrub jungle. The wetland includes around 48 shallow natural lakes known as Villus, natural basins that are filled up with rainwater and two salt water lakes. These natural lakes are the most important parts of the complex eco-system in the park.

The park is home to elusive leopards, elephants, sloth bears, water buffalos, Mugger Ccocodiles, Spotted and Barking deer, wild boar and pythons. Alongside these wild animals you may be able to see many endemic birds include the Ceylon Junglefowl, Brown-capped Babbler, Ceylon Woodshrike and Black-capped Bulbul in riverine habitats. Butterflies recorded include the Great Eggfly, Great Orange Tip, Glad-eye Bushbrown, Blue Mormon, Common Mormon, Common Rose and Crimson Rose. Diverse varieties of colourful butterflies can be seen in the park as well. You may see the wild animals, particularly elephants, near lakes in the early morning and late afternoons. The wildlife is abundant around the lakes and coastal belt, here you may spot the White Ibis, Open Bills, Painted Storks Spoonbills, Egrets, Whistling Teals, Kingfishers and you may also see the water buffalos, monitors and crocodiles.


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