Safari in Wilpattu

Wilpattu National Park, 27-28 August

The bus from Anuradhapura drops us off at Wilpattu Junction in under an hour. Today’s bus is decorated with pictures of Christ, which means we have a complete set: We rode on Buddhist, Hinduist, Islamic and Christian themed buses!

We’re in a homestay with an amazing garden, and the owner is the nicest we’ve met so far. He’s fully arranged our safari for the next day, including breakfast at 5.30 AM and packed lunches to bring along with us. We end up staying up a bit too late that night and wake up excited but knackered the next morning.

Wilpattu is the largest and oldest wildlife park in Sri Lanka, and world-renowned for its Leopard population. Because of its dense vegetation however it’s not very easy to spot the animals, and therefore the park is not crowded with tourists either.

Compared with our visit to Kenya, today is total luxury: Instead of being crammed into an old Nissan van with 5 other people, it’s just the two of us in a comfortable Jeep! Over the next 8 hours we see water buffalo, deer, mugger crocodiles, mongoose, monitor lizards, a huge amount of birds such as painted storks, serpent eagles, a spoonbill and the Sri Lankan junglefowl.

The big highlights of the park however are its elephants, sloth bears and most importantly its leopards. Visitor access is limited to only 25% of the park, as the remainder is dense forest, so unfortunately we don’t see elephants, but in the end we manage to track down a leopard. Our personal favourite however is a close encounter with the endangered sloth bear we find walking on the road to a pond, giving its fuzzy big heed a good wash, then crossing beneath the road by our vehicle.

So this concludes our sightseeing in Sri Lanka! Tomorrow we’ll be travelling back to the airport in Negombo, where we’ll spend one final night before boarding a plane to Cochin in Kerala, India the day after. Watch this space for more updates on our adventures!


One thought on “Safari in Wilpattu

  1. Again wonderful adventure you two are having. So lucky!
    We are back in Barcelona now and one day would love to have you two back here for a wee holiday when you have time next year.
    Enjoy India.


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