Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu, as the name implies, is truly a land of lakes. Wilpattu translates as ‘Lake District’ and owes its name to the unique saucer-shaped ‘Villu’ wetlands found randomly scattered throughout the park. The Wilpattu landscape is composed mainly of dry deciduous forests with thorny scrub jungle interspersed with extensive grassland. Sand and grassland rimmed water holes known as villus that are a unique feature of the park. A diverse array of forests and forest-related habitats provide sanctuary for the precious biodiversity in the dry zone of Sri Lanka from tiny crawling ants to gigantic elephants. Wilpattu, declared in 1938, is one of the oldest and largest national parks in the country, and is well known for its ecological and archaeological heritage. It contains a variety of ecological features, including wetlands, forests, and coastal habitats and harbours many notable species of animals and plants including, charismatic bears, leopards, and elephants, a variety of bird species, and trees such as Palu, Weera, Tammanna, Buruta and Kaluwara. Narrow winding forest tracks help to traverse around the park, through the forests and plains, offering a great opportunity to explore the wilderness beauty of Wilpattu.

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