Wilpattu national park, Sri Lanka has been visited by recorded number of visitors from January to March 2012. Wilpattu national park has earned around five million rupees during the three months period. With the ending of 30 years civil war in the country, security in the region has significantly increased. “Now it is not need to be worried to visit national park” one jeep driver said. Highly peaceful atmosphere and being one of the biggest national parks, Wilpattu has been able to attract large number of foreign and local holiday makers. Last year Wilpattu national park recorded 8 million rupees profit.
Department of wild life has allocated 600 million rupees for the improvements in the Wilpattu national park. Wilpattu national park was not visited for last 30 years by tourist as it was not safe, and most of the facilities such as lodgings, campsites, transport facilities, are in the dilapidated condition. All measures are taken to upgrade the facilities and they are closely monitored by the department of wild life.
Newly constructed road network is improved in parallel to Deyata Kirula – 2012 exhibition in Oyamaduwa. Wilpattu national park can be accessed very easily due to the good road network in the region, and it has immensely helped to reduce the traveling time to national park. Now it is very easy to reach the Wilpattu national park along the Colombo Anuradhapura main road via Puttalam. Improved road network is one of the reasons for the increasing number of visitors to the national park.
According to the information existing road network will be widened within the park enabling to explore wider area in the reserve. Four new holiday bungalows will be constructed in addition to the existing four resorts. Existing resorts will be improved to facilitate better experience for tourists. The new entrance to the park from Tanthirimale has helped to ease the traffic congestion to the park.
Wilpattu national park is one of the best places to witness leopards in the island. National park is consisting of 140,000 hectares of mostly dry zone evergreen forest cover. Wilpattu national park is located in the district of Puttalam bordering Anuradhapura and Mannar districts. Weerakkulichola, Eluwankulama forest reserves and the Thabbowa Park are also located within the borders of Wilpattu national park.
Wilpattu was declared as a national park by the wild life conservation act in 1938. Wilpattu is the biggest national park in the country and it is 424 sq.miles. There are 42 shallow natural lakes in the national park and two of them are salt water lakes while the other lakess harbor fresh water. The lakes are one of the most important parts of the complex eco-system in the park. It serves as the source of water for animals on one hand and on the other hand it controls the flood water. The largest lake is known as Kokkari and it contains salt water, the lake is located about 10 km from the sea. The second salt water lake is located further 2 miles towards the land from the sea. One of natural wonder of this national park is the two lakes that are located in between the salt water lakes are consisting of fresh water. The reason is not known to any one and no comprehensive research launched in this regard.
Wild animals flock around the water lakes searching for water in the early morning and evening. The salt water lakes attract wild elephants due to the salt water. Two lakes of salt water are the best places in the national park to see the wild elephants here. Large number of wild elephants can be witnessed around the salt water tanks especially in the morning and evening.
Wilpattu national park was visited by 140 foreigners in January 2011 and number is increased to 500 by January 2012. There had been sharp increase of visitors to the park in March 2012 and was 2000.