Sri Lanka Beach.jpg Logo Srilanka
Back to Listing

Wilpattu National Park

Located on the north west of the island, Wilpattu is the oldest and largest National Park in Sri Lanka, stretching over 1,315 square kilometres of wild terrain. Despite its impressive status, it lies surprisingly under-the-radar on an international level and offers a significantly less crowded safari experience compared to the acclaimed Yala National Park. After years of being off-limits during the civil war, it re-opened just a couple of years ago and thanks to its years of isolation, it remains largely unspoiled and unerringly wild to this day.

Meaning 'Land of Lakes', this reserve is mostly formed of reflective bodies of water, which provide striking vistas as you drive throughout the park and - most importantly - attract an array of wildlife and aquatic birdlife. During game drives, make sure to keep an eye out for elephants and crocodiles, as well as great egrets, hornbills and Sri Lankan storks.

Also, with luck, you may spot the sloth bears that Wilpattu is famed for, especially within the atmospheric forests of 'weera' trees where these creatures look for berries and termites. While the number of leopards within the park are still unknown, sightings are relatively frequent (although it has to be said that your chances of glimpsing them are higher in Yala).

A huge plus of this park is its distinct lack of crowds, which results in practically private viewings of the wildlife and provides a welcome relief from the number of jeeps in other more popular Sri Lankan parks. This means it is especially well-suited to families with young children who would appreciate a less hectic and polluted environment. We recommend staying at Leopard Trails' Wilpattu Camp for an authentic but somewhat luxurious safari experience, and opting for the full-day game drive, in order to make the most of this underrated location.

Lying just an hour's drive away from Anuradhapura, a key city within the Cultural Triangle, and a couple of hours from Colombo, a safari here fits neatly into a wider tour of Sri Lanka. For inspiration, take a look at our 'If Tarzan went to Sri Lanka...' suggested itinerary. 

Features in the following itineraries

Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka 2019.JPG Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka 2019.JPG
WilpattuNationalPark2019.jpg WilpattuNationalPark2019.jpg
Wilpattu National Park Sri Lanka2 Wilpattu National Park Sri Lanka2
Wilpattu National Park Sri Lanka Wilpattu National Park Sri Lanka
Wilpattu National Park Sri Lanka13 Wilpattu National Park Sri Lanka13
WilpattuNationalPark2019(1).jpg WilpattuNationalPark2019(1).jpg
Wilpattu_National_Park2019(2).jpg Wilpattu_National_Park2019(2).jpg
Wilpattu National Park Sri Lanka11 Wilpattu National Park Sri Lanka11
Wilpattu National Park Sri Lanka14 Wilpattu National Park Sri Lanka14
To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.
Bill Bryson

I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka

From our Instagram

The exhilarating city of #Tokyo has a world-renowned culinary scene & rightfully so! 🇯🇵
Be tempted to join ‘salarymen’ for an evening drink and #yakitori in restaurants and bar likes this 🏮🏮
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
There are more colours to the #PinkCity than you may think... 🌸
Walk the streets of #Jaipur, past the iconic #HawaMahal (Palace of the Winds), #CityPalace & #AmerFort passing a vivid spectrum of colours as you go 🌻🌹🌿
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Cascading rice terraces greet you in #Ubud 🍃🍃🍃
Balinese women make daily offerings of vibrant flowers and fruit to the gods 🍊🍐🍌🍎🌺💐
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Glide down #ThePerfumeRiver to experience #Hue’s scenery, passing mausoleums as you go 🍃🌿
📸 Beautifully captured by @soaipham
#Vietnam #AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
The buzzing metropolis of #Shanghai promises an unforgettable stay 🇨🇳
Visit this city as part of a tailor-made tour of #China with us to discover its heady mixture of impressive skyscrapers, colonial history and incredible gastronomy 🏙🥟🍜
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
One of our #Cambodia specialists, Simon, has just returned from the wonderful #ShintaManiWild & couldn’t recommend it more! 🇰🇭
Overlooking a crashing waterfall & immersed in rugged jungle, this luxury camp genuinely lives up to its name 🍃
Swipe to peek inside the tents, designed by one of our favourite designers #BillBensley & get a striking bird’s eye view of the camp...
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
🇮🇳Reminiscent of a French village, with its bright Mediterranean architecture and flower-laden balconies, it’s no surprise that #Pondicherry (or #Pondi) is nicknamed the ‘Indian Côte d’Azur’ 🇫🇷
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience 
From mid May to mid October, The Ultimate Travelling Camp’s wonderful #ChambaCamp in #Thiksey (#Ladakh) will be open! 🏞
Our specialists stayed at this one-of-a-kind luxury tented camp last year and adored it - we guarantee that you will too 🏕
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
✨Beautiful Udaipur✨
A pleasure palace built in the 1700s, the location for Octopussy and many a love story, @tajlakepalace is so magical, you can’t quite believe your eyes
📸 @the_adventuresofus during their whirlwind tour of India 🧡🇮🇳

Let us keep you up to date

Sign up to our newsletter and never miss out on unmissable exclusive luxury experiences