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Wilpattu National Park

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Wilpattu National Park

Hi All

Wonder if anyone has any information or personal experience of Wilpattu. There are a limited number of reviews on here and they seem to indicate a more remote and unique experience that maybe has a lower animal concentration of animals than somewhere like Yala.

We are looking for an alternative to Yala that doesn't require so much travel from the cultural triangle.



Rome, Italy
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for Sri Lanka, Maldives
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1. Re: Wilpattu National Park

hi Paul,

We have been to Wilpattu twice since it reopened.. both in October 2012.

the surroundings and the feeling is much nicer than Yala. a lot more "green" and it has a more "jungle" feeling to it. We went twice. one early morning safari (we saw lots of birds and monkeys and deer)

and one afternoon safari, where we saw all of the above + a barking deer, few jackals and a leopard. (and an elephant in the dark)

the leopard we saw was really shy and afraid of the jeep. i got the feeling it wasnt used to seeing jeeps (yet). and the elephant was just pissed off, maybe because it was getting dark, or maybe he wasn't used to jeeps either. lol

I would not reccomend Wilpattu if you have to go all the way just for it. but if you are in the neighborhood and have an afternoon to spare, go for it.

the surroundings, at first is a bit sad. lots of trucks and machinery laying around... but after about one hour drive the scenery looks much better. (and keep in mind you see NOTHING for about an hour and a half drive from the entrance)

another thing we loved: zero jeeps running around compared to Yala.

first safari done at dawn, it was only us. the second safari done in the afternoon, we saw two other jeeps.

if you are going, go early in the afternoon :)

here is a little video of our trip to Wilpattu:


Edited: 10:50 am, January 07, 2013
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2. Re: Wilpattu National Park

Hi Shawn/Caterina

Wow, what a reply - thank you so much. I am still undecided about whether to go that far North but your invaluable info will really help us shape our holiday. And the video has really whet our appetite for Sri Lanka.

Thanks again. Hope you enjoy all your travels, wherever they may, this year.


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3. Re: Wilpattu National Park

Thank you for this post and the video - I am going to Sri Lanka in May, staying in Sigiriya - your footage of the park had inspired me to visit it - hopefully I will be lucky enough to see a leopard too!

Schwyz, Switzerland
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4. Re: Wilpattu National Park

Hi everybody,

we visited Wilpattu in 2011, cannot compare with Yala, we never were there.

We went to Wilpattu around noon and were driving around for about 4 or 5 hours, better to go in the morning and not in the afternoon

If you did not see it, you may want to have a look on my trip report


I think it was not a normal year with all the rain we had in 2011, could be if there is less water you would not have to drive around that long.

Have a safe trip


London, United...
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5. Re: Wilpattu National Park

Hi Paul,

There is no questions that you will have chance of seen more animals in Yala park than Wilpattu, of course if you are around Wilpattu and have half of day free, its worth, but if you are heading to south for Safari you should have gone to Yala.


Winchester, United...
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6. Re: Wilpattu National Park

We were in Wilpattu in Jan 2013. We had the most amazing time only saw 3 other jeeps, one was a jeep full of (mature!) Sri Lankan men on a jolly. They were so funny and invited us to try their food. We went into the park at 12pm and by 12.20 we saw a leopard sitting right on the main road, we were the only ones there to see him.The park is so beautiful with lots of other wildlife and birdlife. It had been rainning before we went into the park but we managed to get all the way around. We did help pull another jeep out of the mud as our jeep had 4x4 that worked and big tyres. Around 4.30pm we saw our second leopard sitting right next to the road next to a pool of water, we were there for an hour just watching her rolling around in the grass after an hour 2 of the other jeeps joined us. We all sat there with big smiles on our faces. Think I took over 250 photos!!!!!!!!! We later went to Yala yes it's a beautiful Park but the amount of jeeps would make me never go back again. We were in a queue for over an hour just to see the back of a leopard in a tree far away. We felt like we were in a constant traffic jam. If anyone does go to Wilpattu we stopped for lunch at a Italian restaurant at the turn off on the main road and the food was yummy all homemade by Italians!

7. Re: Wilpattu National Park

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