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Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu National Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

Wilpattu National Park: 3-Hour Morning or Evening Safari

1. Wilpattu National Park: 3-Hour Morning or Evening Safari

Go on a thrilling 3-hour morning or evening safari adventure in Wilpattu National Park, the largest national park in Sri Lanka. Capture unforgettable sights of a diverse range of flora and fauna, and an outstanding array of wildlife that charms travelers from all around the world.  Explore the stunning scenery and incredibly abundant wildlife overlooking the dazzling dry tropical rainforest and the silver-blue small water pools. Take in the sights of mighty elephants as well as views of spotted deer, barking deer, jackals, sambhar, wild pig, and water buffalo. Apart from the mammals, your safari can guarantee you ample opportunity for spotting incredibly beautiful swamps of butterflies saturated with vivid colors including great egg fly, great orange tip, glad-eye bushbrown, blue Mormon, common Mormon, crimson rose, and more. Thanks to the stunning coastal belt, shallow lakes, dense scrublands, treeless grasslands, and thick forests, catch a variety of wildlife during your safari experience. The small water bodies scattered around the park are a prominent feature that enhances the photographic character of the park, while also attracting a variety of aquatic birds and reptiles.

Day Tour to Wilpattu National Park from Negombo

2. Day Tour to Wilpattu National Park from Negombo

Spend a day at the largest and one of the oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka - Wilpattu, which is also among the top national parks and world-renowned for its leopard population. The park is unique to others in the country with its dense country woodland and masses of birds, lying inland from the coast in the Northern Province. Meet your guide at your accommodation in Negombo and begin your journey around 6:00 AM. Reach Wilpattu National Park after approximately 4 hours. Wilpattu is 508 square miles (131.694 hectares) and was declared as a National Park in 1938. The special feature of this park is the large number of Villus (lakes), where you can watch wildlife and many species of birds. Leopards and elephant herds are the most famous animals in the park. Spotted Deer, Sambhur, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Wild Buffalo, Sloth Bear, Mongoose, Crocodile, and Peacocks are also found here. After your safari, enjoy a local lunch at the Puttalam Hotel then return to your accommodation. 

Wilpattu National Park Safari Tour from Colombo

3. Wilpattu National Park Safari Tour from Colombo

Benefit from pickup at your hotel in Colombo, and then relax in air-conditioned comfort on the 4-hour journey to Wilpattu National Park, located on the northwest coast of Sri Lanka's lowland dry zone. Enter the vast nature reserve, declared a national park in 1938, and discover the unique willus water basins that fill with rainwater. Look for native wildlife, including herds of elephants in their natural habitat. Keep a look out for elusive leopards, along with spotted deer, sambar deer, barking deer, wild boar, wild buffalo, sloth bear, mongoose, crocodiles, and peacocks. Get some free time to enjoy a local lunch at the nearby Puttalam Hotel, at your own expense. Then, relax on the journey back to Colombo and get dropped off at your hotel on arrival.

Wilpattu National Park: Leopard Safari Experience

4. Wilpattu National Park: Leopard Safari Experience

This tour starts with a pickup from the park entrance, where you'll then drive into Wilpattu National Park on a modified game viewing safari Jeep, then start your game drive at the National Park. Wilpattu is situated in North part of Sri Lanka, comprising a range of habitats including scrub jungles, water reservoirs, brackish lagoons, and riverine habitats. Wilpattu has one of the highest leopard sightings in the world. Its elephant heard is about 300-350. After a bit of exploring, your guide will deliver the picnic lunch to a location where you will enjoy a bite to eat. Unwind for a while after lunch and get ready to enjoy your second round of the game drive. Hop in to the Jeep and start the afternoon game drive by searching for leopards. If you are really lucky, you may be able to witness a few of them during this game drive. In addition to leopards, elephants, as well as mammals such as sloth, bears, black-naped hare, wild buffaloes, spotted deer, sambar deer, anuman, langur or toque monkeys, stripe-necked and ruddy mongooses, wild oar, and golden jackal can be found in Wilpattu National Park. You can also see reptiles like the water and land monitors and marsh crocodile.

Colombo: 8-Day Private Cultural Triangle & Wildlife Trip

5. Colombo: 8-Day Private Cultural Triangle & Wildlife Trip

Discover the best of Sri Lanka on an 8-day private trip to the Cultural Triangle. Experience game drives in Wilpattu and Minneriya National Park, visit the ancient city of Anuradhapura, and experience the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Dambulla Royal Cave Temple and Golden Temple complex. Day 1:Get picked up from Colombo, Negombo, or Bandaranaike International Airport and admire the beautiful scenery of Sri Lanka's North Western Province as you drive to Chilaw. Arrive in the coastal town of Chilaw, known for its stretching beaches and tall coconut trees, and spend the night in a 4-star hotel. Day 2:Wake up early in the morning with the sunrise and drive to Wilpattu National park. Spend a full day exploring one of the largest and oldest parks in Sri Lanka, world-renowned for its leopard population. Benefit from the expertise of the safari team as you go on a game drive through the park, observing rare animals in their natural habitat. Keep an eye out for leopards, mongooses, and water buffalo. Leave the national park and set off for Anuradhapura, one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka. Check into your 4-star hotel when you arrive in the city. Day 3:Take a little more time to relax in bed this morning, before getting up for a delicious breakfast, traditionally made up of kiribath, hoppers, and pani pol. Depart from the hotel and set off into the ancient city of Anuradhapura, making a visit to the well-preserved ruins of a Sinhala civilization. In the afternoon, climb up to Mihintale, once a dense jungle that was reserved by the royals as a hunting ground. Learn why the mountain peak is now referred to as the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, as you enter a Buddhist monastery. Return to your hotel in Anuradhapura and settle down for the evening. Day 4: Tuck into another Sri Lankan breakfast in the morning and get ready for an adventure to the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Polonnaruwa Ancient City. Arrive at the archaeological site and discover the monumental ruins of the stunning garden city, created in the 12th century. Drive on from Polonnaruwa, making a stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress of great historical significance. Rest for the night at a 4-star hotel in Sigiriya. Day 5: Enjoy a late breakfast, then be driven to a rural village for an authentic experience of traditional Sri Lankan life. Take in scenic views on a short walk, before getting into a bullock cart for a ride across the countryside. Arrive at a picturesque lake and trade off the wheels for a sail as you cruise across the waters on a catamaran tour. Disembark from the boat in the afternoon and get driven to Minneriya National Park. See Sri Lankan wildlife in a different light on an evening game drive, with "oohs" and "ahhs" as Asian elephants stomp by the 4x4 in the sunset. Return to your 4-star hotel in Sigiriya. Day 6: Finish off your breakfast and make your way to Dambulla. Be absolutely blown away as you delve into the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Dambulla Royal Cave Temple and Golden Temple complex. Explore this cave temple complex, the largest and best-preserved in Sri Lanka, containing five caves with 157 statues and over 2000 meters of intricately painted walls and ceilings. Make a visit to Pidurangala, the tallest mountain in the country, and view the Buddhist monastery settled upon the slopes. Learn about the history of the monastery and how monks have made use of the sacred site. Return to your 4-star hotel in Sigiriya. Day 7: Try something new this morning at breakfast and fuel up for your day. Leave Sigiriya and drive to Matale to observe a wood carving demonstration at a local factory. Discover more local traditions as you make a visit to the spice garden. Watch a live cooking demonstration with fresh spices and learn about how they are grown. Join a guided tour of Kandy in the afternoon, home to many tea plantations, sacred Buddhist sites, and biodiverse rainforest land. Finish your tour and check into a 4-star hotel in Kandy for the night. Day 8:Think back on your memories of the trip over a final Sri Lankan breakfast. Say goodbye to your new friends and helpful guides, before being transferred back to your accommodations.

From Kandy: Ancient Heritage of Sri Lanka 2-Day Guided Tour

6. From Kandy: Ancient Heritage of Sri Lanka 2-Day Guided Tour

Embark on a 2-day tour of Sri Lanka’s cultural history, including one of its most famous National Parks. Explore the sacred city of Anuradhapura, Dambulla Golden Cave Temple, and Wilpattu National Park.   Day 1: Kandy – Dambulla – Anuradhapura Start your journey at 7:00 AM with hotel pickup in Kandy. Hop into an air-conditioned vehicle and head for Dambulla to your first stop: the historic caves of the Golden Temple of Dambulla, dating back to the 1st century BC. View the ancient murals depicting the life story of Lord Gautama Buddha. Marvel at the hundreds of Buddha figurines and other deities scattered across the 5 main caves. You’ll also see the giant golden Buddha statue just a little distance outside the cave complex and hear the tales of this ancient kingdom.   Afterwards, head to Anuradhapura where you’ll check into your hotel for a short rest. In the evening, explore the Sacred City of Anuradhapura, which served as the country’s capital for over a millennium until the 10th century AD. See its pagodas, monastic buildings, and ponds scattered over a vast area. Visit important landmarks, like Jetavanarama, one of the tallest buildings of the ancient world; the Sri Maha Bodhi, a sacred tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment; and the huge Abhayagiri Monastery. Learn about the fascinating history of this region as you walk in the footsteps of kings.   Day 2: Anuradhapura – Wilpattu – Kandy Early in the morning, head to Wilpattu National Park for a jeep safari. Feel the call of the wild as you catch sight of the elusive Sri Lankan leopard—this National Park is believed to have the highest concentration of leopards in the entire world. See hundreds of other types of wildlife such as deer, buffalo, monkeys, crocodiles, and rare birds. Get the photographs of a lifetime of these curious creatures.   After the safari, return to your hotel for a short rest before setting off again for a visit to Mihintale Rock. This is the place where Buddhism began in Sri Lanka, the spot where King Devanampiyatissa and Monk Mahina met. View the monastic ruins at the foot of the mountain and walk in the footsteps of Mahina as you visit the cave where he lived. See historic stupas (commemorative monuments) as you wander the ruins of an age long past, helping you to understand its impact on the history and current state of Sri Lanka. After this final visit, you’ll head back to your hotel in Kandy.

From Negombo: Anuradhapura to Wilpattu National Park 2-Day

7. From Negombo: Anuradhapura to Wilpattu National Park 2-Day

Visit the ancient city of Anuradhapura, explore its ruins, and visit the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi. Stay overnight at a 3-star Hotel on a Bed and Breakfast basis. Then, discover the unique landscape of the Wilpattu National Park as you look out for its resident leopards and other wildlife on an adventurous game drive. After a pickup from your hotel in Negombo and a 4-hour transfer onboard a luxury vehicle, arrive in Anuradhapura. Visit the oldest historically documented tree on earth, The Sacred Bo tree over 2000 years old, grown from a branch of the very tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. Admire the relic chambers like Ruwanveliseya, Abhayagiriya, and Jetavanaramaya. Visit the remains of the Brazen Palace, The Twin Ponds, and the Samadhi Buddha. See the Isurumuniya temple, The Moonstone, The Guard stones, or Thuparama and Lankaramaya Dagobas. The following morning, drive to Wilpattu National Park for a thrilling Game drive. Uncover huge swathes of dense, dry country woodland. See a variety of birds, and with a bit of luck, an impressive array of wildlife including leopards, sloth bears, spotted deer, wild pigs, and crocodiles. Conclude your trip with a transfer back to Negombo.

Other Sightseeing Options in Wilpattu National Park

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What people are saying about Wilpattu National Park

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 11 reviews

Booked this, thoroughly enjoyed - managed to see all the animals listed (except a bear). Lots of driving, but car was clean, comfortable and air conditioned. The company was accommodating and we asked to start at 8am, (instead of 9:30) and this wasn’t a problem.

Very well planned itinerary. We thoroughly enjoyed our day at the safari. Aarun was really friendly. Totally recommend spending a day at Willapattu if you are in Negombo

Truly great experience, great guide and very professional pick up. We actually saw leopards. Prepare for the long ride, and pack some snacks and drinks with you.

Incredible Safari, saw lots of animals including leopards, elephants, bear, crocodiles, monkeys and more! Comfortable ride to and from Colombo.

Excellent tour and excellent guide and driver , we took very good photos including drone ones . I recommend .