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“Disappointed”

Wilpattu National Park
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$57.50*
and up
Private Tour: Wilpattu National Park Safari
Ranked #191 of 781 things to do in Sri Lanka
Attraction details
uk
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
Reviewed September 2, 2012

We booked to go on this safari as we were told we would see a Hurd of elephants a gorilla and crocodiles but we might only get to see the leopards. We left the hotel close to Colombo at 4.30 in the morning so as to get there by 7.30 to see the animals at the water. On entering the park we saw an owl and. Lizard some birds in a swamp and three deer that ran across the road. Then we drove round for another three hours and then spotted 1 leopard in the bushes. When we left we went to use the toilets and what a mess they were just a hole in th floor with beetles flies and other things in the cubicle with you. For a cost of 70.00 per person I think this should be better. Save your money you see more wildlife on the road monkeys jumping from tree to tree fruit bats and about 30 parrots flying, cows walking the road and even saw a working elephant, when we asked the guide where they had gone he said they had not had water for months but he ddnt know where all the animals had gone. Small shop on site but not much and with the toilets being in th state they were didn't fancy anything.

Visited September 2012
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5 Thank UkLinny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Wilpattu rip-off !!!”
Reviewed April 18, 2012

A very mediocre experience for a lot of money !! We paid nearly £40.00 to get in to the park and then, when we returned from the drive, had a demand from the 4WD driver for another £45.00 which we were not expecting. After all, once you've paid your entry fee what are you supposed to do - walk !! They even charged us to park our car. We ended up paying a total of £60.00 to see deer, buffallo and two elephants plus birds and lizzards that you can see from the side of any road. The jeep was dirty and uncomfortable. The terrain is attractive but makes it hard to see anything that might be lurking.

If you want to see wildlife, go to Africa - forget Sri Lanka. If you do go, be very sure what you're in for. The locals pay a pittance by comparison and the fat chief warden took great pleaure in pointing that out to us. You expect to get ripped off in Sri Lanka but you don't expect it to be Goverment sponsored (allegedly) !

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
7 Thank bootsanall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“authentic”
Reviewed April 2, 2012

stayed at parkview bungalows-lovely place 5 mins to park entrance for the birders out there THERE HAVE A PAIR OF RESIDENT PARADISE FLY CATCHERS WHO LIVE OUTSIDE YOUR WINDOW !!!!!!!!!! lovely hosts and wonderful staff-its a bed and breakfast place
you buy your groceries and they cook it -sri lankan style- the safari was authentic no one about safe locals-very different feel to gala- no leopards this time but loads of birds and untamed scenery-we will be returning same hotel same jeep team

Visited March 2012
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4 Thank hena27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Level 6 Contributor
90 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“My Heaven on earth”
Reviewed December 28, 2011

This review is a summary of the 6 visits I have been fortunate to make to Wilpattu over the past 18 months. Firstly visitors should appreciate the geographical extent of Willi (as it is fondly referred to) vs Yala Block 1. It is approx 8 times larger. Yala is a park that can be visited in one half day drive (at a rush of course) One needs at least a full day to do Willi any justice given the size. Another factor is that the main wildlife viewing area, or concentration of water holes, or Willus as they are called, is approx 45 to 60 minutes from the main gate. Yala has arguably the highest animal, especially leopard density in Sri Lanka, it is also a relatively small area, for those who want to spend a half day on wildlife during a Sri Lankan visit, Yala would be my recommendation, however if one want to chill out, appreciate the unique habitat and serenity of a jungle, Willi would be my choice. Be warned animal density is no where near that of Yala or for that matter Udawalawe or the "elephant parks" of Minneriya/Kaudulla" during the dry months,this is a direct result of the 19 years it was closed between 1983 and 2003 and the 3 years from 2006 to 2009. (Poaching was rampant and unfortunately still prevelant) Wilpattu was the country's premier park prior to 83, visitation by tourists however is now very low, low, animal density, less infrastructure and much less publicity/hype being contributory factor. The result is that while you would expect to see between 50 to 200 jeeps in Yala block 1, you can spend 3 days in Wilpattu and see as few as 3 other jeeps. This is not good for the park, however it does lend it self to solitude and superb animal sightings with little interferance when they occur.

Accommodation outside the park is varied and relatively cheap, 4 bungalows are currently avilable for booking within the park and would be my preferred choice. Each bungalow is sighted adjacent to a willu, while Kokmotte (when available) is alongside the Modaragam Aru.

Jeeps are available for daily hire at/near the gate/office, or even for overnight hire(in case of bungalow bookings)

Dry rations and basic toiletries are avaiable at shops near the gate.

Wilpattu was and remains my first choice for a true "wildlife experience" in Sri Lanka.

Note to those using their own vehicle, during the rainy season, 4 WD is an essential.!

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
18 Thank ramli27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Fantastic family accommodation near Wilpattu, Sri Lanka”
Reviewed October 22, 2011

Governor's Camp Wilpattu : The entire place sleeps ~12 people and can be rented whole. Ideal for a family (or 2 !) Great hospitality and close personal attention to our very comfortable stay at the new Governors Camp Eral Madu in Wilpattu. The location is superb - great to have that river viewe and it looks ver.y well placed for access to the new entrance proposed from the coast...which also looks like a much shorter drive to get into the heartland of the National Park, compared with the old entrance. The kids had a superb time, great idea having the Boxer puppies, ponies and baby goats nearby, not to mention the air rifle shooting range and trail bikes. Thanks again, also to the fantastic staff....probably the best "gedera kaama" we had had for years !!

Visited January 2011
Helpful?
12 Thank g1willi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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