Translating to ‘natural lakes’ in Sinhala, Wilpattu’s most prominent feature is its wetlands. Known as ‘Villu’, the park has over 50 lakes surrounded by grassy plains. Despite being Sri Lanka’s largest national park, visitor numbers remain low and give the park a true sense of wilderness.
One of Sri Lanka’s best destinations for bird watching, Bundala protects an important area of coastal wetland. Almost 200 bird species have been recorded here, including ibis, pelicans and huge flocks of greater flamingos. Visitors can also spot crocodiles, elephants, turtles and a variety of other fauna.
The only national park in Sri Lanka where you can take a boat safari, Gal Oya protects the vast Senanayake Samudra Reservoir. The park is home to 32 mammal species, with a visitor highlight being the sight of herds of elephants swimming across the reservoir from one island to another.