Wilpattu National Park was closed by the fighting but reopened in March 2010. It lies 180km north of Colombo and 26 km North of Puttalam.
The park spans from the northwest coast inland towards the ancient capital of Anuradhapura (which lies 50 km to the east of the park). Wilpattu covers an impressive 425 sq miles, being the largest park in Sri Lanka.
Wilpattu is dry zone jungle interspersed with a number of flood plain lakes banked with delicate white sands. It boasts an impressive variety of flora in huge expanses of forest, and varied wildlife, including deer, elephants, wild boar, sloth bears and leopards.
A total of 31 species of mammals have been identified at Wilpattu National Park - a number of which are threatened. The elephant(Elephas maximus), Sloth bear (Melursus ursinus), leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) and water Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) are identified as the threatened species living within the Wilpattu National Park. Other wetland bird species as Garganey (Anas querquedula), Pin tail (Anas acuta), Whistling teal (Dendrocygna javanica), Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), White ibis (Threskiornis malanocephalus), Large white egret (Egretta alba modesta), Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) and Purple heron (Ardea purpurea) also found at the Wilpattu National Park.
At Wilpattu, among the reptiles found the most common are the Monitor (Varanus bengalensis), Mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris), Common cobra (Naja naja), Rat snake (Ptyas mucosus), Indian python (Python molurus), Pond turtle (Melanonchelys trijuga) and the Soft shelled turtle (Lissemys punctata) who are resident in the large permanent Villus. We can saw Star tortoises (Geochelone elegans) roaming on the grasslands at Wilpattu. Termites of the Genus Trinervitermes clan probably account for the most significant proportion of the invertebrate bio mass. Termites are found not on the grasslands but actively living in the scrub forests. Nearly sixty lakes and tanks are found spread around the Wilpattu National Park.
Accommodation in the park: