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Safari in Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu National Park is one of the oldest and largest national parks in Sri Lanka, known for its unique landscape and diverse wildlife. Here are some fun facts about Wilpattu National Park:

  • Age and History: Wilpattu National Park is one of Sri Lanka’s oldest and most historically significant national parks. It has a history dating back to the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa (3rd century BC), and it was declared a national park in 1938.
  • Size: Wilpattu covers an extensive area of about 1,317 square kilometers (508 square miles), making it the largest national park in Sri Lanka.
  • Diverse Ecosystem: The park boasts a varied ecosystem, including dense forests, scrublands, grasslands, and numerous lakes (villus), which are vital for its wildlife.
  • Wildlife: Wilpattu is home to a wide range of wildlife, including leopards, elephants, sloth bears, water buffaloes, and several species of deer, as well as numerous bird species. It’s particularly famous for its leopard population.
Sloth Bear at Wilpattu
Wilpattu leopard sighting
  • Bird Watching: Bird enthusiasts will appreciate the park’s avian diversity, with over 215 bird species recorded. You can spot various species of owls, eagles, and waterfowl in the park.
  • Vegetation: The park’s vegetation includes dry zone flora, such as Manilkara hexandra (Palu), Drypetes sepiaria (Din Beriya), and Manilkara hexandra (Weera). These provide habitat and food for the park’s wildlife.
  • Villus: The park’s numerous natural lakes, known as “villus,” are essential water sources for its inhabitants, especially during the dry season. These villus are a unique feature of Wilpattu.
  • Cultural Significance: In addition to its natural beauty, Wilpattu has cultural importance due to its proximity to several ancient temples and ruins, including the Kudiramalai Temple and the Pomparippu ruins.
  • Archaeological Finds: The park has revealed evidence of ancient civilizations, including pottery shards and other archaeological artifacts. Some of these discoveries date back over 2,000 years.
  • Conservation Efforts: Conservation efforts in Wilpattu National Park have been ongoing to protect its diverse ecosystem and wildlife. It is a designated protected area in Sri Lanka.
  • Accessibility: The park is located in the Northwestern Province of Sri Lanka and is accessible from various cities like Anuradhapura, Puttalam, and Mannar.
  • Camping: Wilpattu National Park offers camping opportunities, allowing visitors to experience the park’s unique wildlife and natural beauty up close.

When visiting Wilpattu National Park, it’s essential to follow park regulations and be mindful of conservation efforts to ensure the protection of its unique ecosystem and wildlife.

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