It is Sri Lanka’s largest and oldest national park, and the name comes from its many ‘villus’ or natural lakes. The park extends over 1317 sq km. Wilpattu is in the North Central Province of the country and is close to the heritage city of Anuradhapura. And, if you want to know how to get to Wilpattu National Park from Anuradhapura, it is only 30km west of the city. Hunuwilgama is the main entrance to the park. It is one of the best places to see the leopard, elephant, and the sloth bear. Saltgrass meadows and dense monsoon jungles cover the area, while distinctive red earth covers the ground. Wilpattu National Park safari jeep is the best way to cover the extensive grounds.
There are approximately 31 mammals in the park, including the leopard, elephant, sloth bear, barking deer, spotted deer, water buffalo, and wild boar.
Wilpattu is a sanctuary for birds with the lakes sustaining them in abundance. It hosts a large variety of wetland bird species, endemic birds, and birds of prey.
You can see the Monitor Lizard, Mugger Crocodile, Common Cobra, Rat Snake, Indian Python, Pond Turtle, and the Soft Shelled Turtle here.
Dry zone tree species such as Palu, Weera, Milla, Wewarna, Satin, and Ebony are common in the park, while almost extinct in other parts of the island.
This ancient 3rd BC Century temple once gave protection for a night to the Sri Maha Bodhi, which arrived from India. The area contains many ruins.