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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 15, 2020
Headline for 5 Best Things to do in Kalpitiya & Wilpattu – Excitement Out in the Wilderness
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Best Things to do in Kalpitiya & Wilpattu – Excitement Out in the Wilderness

The Wilpattu and Kalpitiya region is where you'll find some of the wildest and natural sights in all of Sri Lanka. For sprawling national parks to ancient historical landmarks, there's all sort of things to see and do – here're 5 of the best.


A Safari Through Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu National Park is the largest and one of the oldest national parks found in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has often been cited as one of Asia's premier safari destinations and locations like Wilpattu are a prime example of this. First established as a sanctuary over a century ago, the vast stretches of scrubland, forest and signature villus make a perfect refuge for all manner of interesting creatures. Some of the popular animals that most safari-goers are keen to spot include the elusive leopard and the placid Asian elephant. In addition to these two fantastic species, you'll also find creatures like the curious sloth bear, the menacing mugger crocodile and the regal sambar deer. Pretty much all hotels near Wilpattu National Park – such as the Dolphin Beach Resort – will include a safari through here in their itinerary list, so don't miss out!


Experiencing the Kalpitiya Peninsula

Embark on a thrilling whale watching tour on the high seas off Sri Lanka's coast here at the Kalpitiya Peninsula. You'll find plenty of tour operators ready to take you on a boat safari to spot these amazing marine mammals in their natural habitat. Some of the largest specimens you'll find out here include the titanic sperm whale which can grow to lengths in excess of 18 metres and weigh over 40 tons. If you're lucky, you might even catch sight of a playful pod of spinner dolphins. True to their namesake, these clever animals sometimes leap out of the water and spin around in a remarkable display of agility and coordination.


Birdwatching at Anawilundawa

Anawilundawa is a dedicated bird sanctuary that's nestled between Chilaw and Puttalam. What set's this sanctuary apart is the sheer variety of ecosystems present here. You'll find mangrove swamps, pristine coastline, freshwater tanks and dry shrub forests all packed together within Anawilundawa. These provide the ideal habitat for hundreds of bird species, which include over 150 different varieties of water birds. It's common to see massive flocks of heron here, as well as massive congregations of cormorant and egrets.


Spend Time by the Waterside

The Kalpitiya and Wilpattu region is full of large man-made tanks. These were built in the ancient days when Sri Lanka was still ruled by a single monarch. Their purpose was to act as a reliable water source during periods of excessive drought which the island's northern territories are prone to. Nowadays, they serve as serene sights to relax in – consider having a tranquil picnic by one and take in all the sights and sounds.


Visiting Cultural Heritage Sites

Amidst all of this sprawling wilderness, this region also has a number of interesting cultural sights that are worth a visit. Some highlights include the ancient ruins of Yapahuwa City and the remains of Pandurasnuwara. Along the way, you'll encounter many rock temples and ancient rock inscriptions.

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