Wilpattu National Park
Kudrimalai Point (Horse Point) has been described as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Wilpattu National Park. Legend has it that this is where Prince Vijaya landed in 543 BC to found the Sinhala nation.
Be that as it may, Wilpattu is the largest and one of the oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka, ideal for experiencing your first safari in Sri Lanka. As well as being among the top national parks world-wide, it also has the largest population of leopards in Sri Lanka.
Located 30km west Anuradhapura, the park is 131,693 hectares, contains nearly sixty lakes (Willu) and tanks, from which it takes its name, and supports a huge range of wildlife.
This includes 31 species of mammals, including favourites such as elephant, sloth bear, leopard and water buffalo, as well as sambhur, spotted deer, mongoose, mouse and shrew.
Birds include the painted stork, the open bill, little cormorant, Sri Lanka jungle fowl, many species of owls, terns, gulls, eagles, kites and buzzards. Wetland species include the garganey, pintail, whistling teal, spoonbill, white ibis, large white egret, cattle egret and purple heron.
The most common reptiles are the monitor lizard, mugger crocodile, common cobra, rat snake, Indian python, pond turtle and the soft shelled turtle.