After 30 years, Wilpattu National Park is now open. We did a day trip from Negombo and it was amazing.
We saw a leopard!
We hired a driver (Linton at Holidays Lanka www.holidays-lanka.com) who was excellent and gave us a very fair price ($50/day 1/2011). Linton also negotiated a good price for the jeep at the park.
It was a long day out from Negombo - about a 3.5 hour drive. But we had about 5 hours in the park and saw an amazing amount of birds, lizards, and mammals.
Highly recommend both Wilpattu and Holidays-lanka