Wilpattu in native language means ‘natural lakes’ which is just right, becasue about sixty lakes or tanks also known as ‘villus’ are found to which animals come for water during the dry season. It is appropriate that a tour of Wilpattu National Park begins early morning, leaving Negombo at least by 6.00 a.m. or preferably earlier because with the rising sun the atmosphere gets heated and animals go into hiding in he deep jungle. Animals cannot be sighted from 11.00 a.m. until 2.00 p.m. Wilpattu is the largest wild sanctuary in Sri Lanka, world renowned for its leopards. Almost all animals such as elephants, deer and sambhur, monkeys, leopard, wild boar, wild buffalo, porcupine, crocodile, tortoise and various lizards types, of animals can be seen in the park.
Among the bird population, peacocks, jungle fowl, pained stork, little cormorant, eagles, spoonbills, large white egret and many rare species of birds live here in abundance. Leopard-watching has to be done in a 4-wheeler jeep with guides, after obtaining the permit from the government. On the way you may visit the more-than 500 years old Kali Amman Temple at Madampe as well as the Munneswaram Hindu Temple that can be visited. In addition, the lagoons of Mundal and Puttalam, the salterns at Palavi and the windmills can be seen in this area.