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The North West

 

The North of Sri Lanka is opening up more and more to tourism after the decades of conflict which blighted this little-visited region of Sri Lanka.

Visits to the vast Wilpattu National Park are very much back on the agenda and although the wildlife may not be as abundant as in Yala, a visit to Wilpattu is still a very worthwhile experience and leopards are still plentiful.

Puttalam is the main town on the way north, facing a huge lagoon. North from Puttalam things become more arid and travelling here feels quite off the beaten-track.

 

Discover The North West

Dolphin Beach

Spacious air-con, en-suite luxury tents by a stretch of golden sand beach with superb dolphin and whale watching in season.

Beach Add-on
Combine with Wilpattu
3 Nights from
£336pp
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Full Board

Notary's House

6 suites in a charming luxury boutique hotel, ideal for the first or last night or two in Sri Lanka.

30 mins to Airport
Luxury Boutique Hotel
2 Nights from
£750pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Horathapola Coconut Estate

An hour from Negombo and the Airport, Horathapola is a great option for a first or last night in Sri Lanka.

Rural Setting
Working Coconut Estate
2 Nights from
£760pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

The Mudhouse

Traditional huts in a beautiful rural setting between the airport and the Cultural Triangle region.

Trip Advisor Favourite
Unique Experience
2 Nights from
£819pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Wilpattu - Leopard Safaris

Discover Wilpattu National Parks on a Luxury Tented Safari with Game Drives - one of the best wildlife experiences in Sri Lanka.

Tailor Make your trip
1 - 2 night Luxury Safaris
1 Nights from
£190pp
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Inclusive Package

Wilpatu - Kulu Safaris

Experience the best of Sri Lanka's Wildlife with Kulu Safaris - tailor made Wildlife tours in Wilpattu National Park.

Luxury Safari Experience
Wilpattu National Park
2 Nights from
£495pp
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Meals & Game Drives

Relaxing Sri Lanka

Enjoy the best of Sri Lanka at a gentle pace, visiting the highlights - with time for relaxation in one of Sri Lanka's boutique beach resorts.

Tailor Make your trip
Touring & Boutique Beach
8 Nights from
£1195pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Discover Sri Lanka Family Holiday

Climb Sigiriya Rock fortress, search for Leopards, visit an Elephant Sanctuary, enjoy the beach and go Dolphin watching.

Kandy, Sigiriya, Wilpattu, Beach
Family Adventure
12 Nights from
£1350pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Wilpattu, Sigiriya & Kandy

Safari in Wilpattu & explore the Cultural Triangle. Extend to a longer trip with Kandy, Hill Country and/or the beach.

8 night option with Kandy
Wildlife & Culture
6 Nights from
£1350pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Sri Lanka Wildlife Highlights

Browse our suggested Sri Lanka wildlife tour itineraries & tailor make your Sri Lanka wildlife holiday to your requirements.

Nature & Wildlife
7 - 14 night Itineraries
7 Nights from
£1495pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Sri Lanka & The Maldives

Sri Lanka & the Maldives offer a compelling combination of culture, cuisine, scenery, history and some of the world's best beaches.

Tailor Made Sri Lanka & Maldives
Tour & Beach Combinations
12 Nights from
£2595pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu National Park in the North West of Sri Lanka is less visited than other National Parks in Sri Lanka.

Located north of Colombo along Sri Lanka's dry lowland North West Coast, Wilpattu National Park is one of Sri Lanka's oldest and largest National Parks but was for many years off limits due to the conflict in the north of Sri Lanka.

Thankfully with the conflict over, this stunningly beautiful region of Sri Lanka has re-opened to visitors who are now slowly rediscovering this scenic park and haven for Sri Lankan wildlife.

Much of Wilpattu is covered by dense forest and scrub vegetation, meaning around a quarter of the park is accessible for visitors.

Best Time to visit Wilpattu

The best time to visit Wilpattu is between February and October although the park can be visited all year round.

September to December and March to May can see some rain but Wilpattu is in the "Dry Zone" of Sri Lanka.

Between September and December the lakes (villus) fill up, and fringed by colourful purple "Horse-fly" flowers are magnets for migrating wading birds.

Safaris in Wilpattu

Tracking wildlife in Wilpattu also requires a bit more skill here, which is why having quality guides is essential.

Driving in Wilpattu means negotiating quiet sandy trails that snake under a canopy of thick, dense jungle.

Wilpattu is stunningly beautiful though, particularly at dawn as sunbeams filter through the jungle illuminating a leopards footprint or catching the wings of colourful butterflies.

Water holes, fringed by white sand are found throughout the park and of course are attractive to the game. The water holes are often the best spots to see a leopard basking lazily in the amber evening light.

Wildlife in Wilpattu

Wilpattu National Park is most noted for the presence of Sri Lankan Sloth Bears and of course the Sri Lankan Leopard.

Sloth Bear

There are said to be as few as 1,000 sloth bears remaining, so to see a sloth bear in Wilpattu is a special and memorable experience.

Sri Lankan Leopard

Leopards in Wilpattu aren't as numerous as Yala National Park but the sightings are more exclusive as the park is less visited than Yala.

Other Mammals

Amongst other mammals often sighted in the park are Mouse Deer, Barking Deer, Spotted Deer, Sambhur Deer.

Birdlife

Diverse birdlife in Wilpattu includes various raptors, migrants, shore birds and waders.

Kulu Safaris

Explore Wilpattu National Park with Kulu Safari’s – a family run operation with a unique insight into Sri Lankan wildlife.

Stay in a comfortable bungalow on the border of Wilpattu and enjoy tailor made safaris in Wilpattu.

Game drives are undertaken in customised Toyota jeeps lead by English-speaking naturalists who are dedicated to helping guests seek out even the most hard to find wildlife in the parks.

Guides are experts in their fields and are more than willing to impart their knowledge on wildlife and photography.

In addition to comfortable accommodation and expert guides, expect a high quality of al fresco wining and dining.

The experience includes all accommodation, meals and snacks, drinks from the international bar, two game drives per day, national park fees, and taxes.

We often include a Safari in Wilpattu as part of a longer tailor made Sri Lanka holiday - so just let us know your interests in Sri Lanka and let us design your perfect Sri Lanka trip.