Best Time to Visit: June-September (Kite Surfing)
Sri Lanka’s North West, the areas around Wilpattu and Kalpitiya situated in the Puttalam district, offers the islands largest national park, unspoilt beaches, dolphin and whale migrations and great opportunities for kite surfers along the coast. As an extremely arid region, the lack of rainfall allows one to enjoy the weather almost all year round.
Enjoy miles of unspoilt coastline on the Kalapitya Peninsula, just northwest of the Puttalam salt pans. Watch the dolphin and whale migrations (Nov-Feb), or experience fabulous kite-surfing during the windy months.
With a large choice of accommodation available to cater for all types of traveller, this part of the Island offers chances for adventure, nature and relaxation, and the region is very accessible if you are coming from the cultural triangle.
Wilpattu National Park
The park is situated along the Northwest coast lowland dry zone of Sri Lanka. It comprises of a unique complex of lakes called Villus, which are natural basins that are filled up with rainwater and are surrounded by open grassy plains set within dense scrub jungle. A multitude of sandy paths wind around the entire park and open up into these large natural lakes. The unspoilt and beautiful Wilpattu National Park is one of the largest and oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka. It is ideal for those wanting to escape the flurry of activity of Yala and instead offers the opportunity for a tranquil, peaceful and undisturbed drive.
The biggest draws in Wilpattu are Leopards and Sloth bears. Alongside these, it is possible to see Asian Elephants, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Wild Pig, Asiatic Buffalo and Mugger Crocodiles. Endemic birds include the Ceylon Junglefowl, Brown-capped Babbler, Ceylon Woodshrike and Black-capped Bulbul in riverine habitats. Muntjac or Barking Deer are more easily seen in Wilpattu than any other national park. Butterflies recorded include the Great Eggfly, Great Orange Tip, Glad-eye Bushbrown, Blue Mormon, Common Mormon, Common Rose and Crimson Rose.
Anawilundawa Bird Sanctuary
Location: North West Province (Puttalam District), 90 kilometres from Colombo. is nestled between the coast and the Negombo railway line. Declared a sanctuary in 1997, this area is surrounded by lush paddy fields and is home to seven ancient reservoirs, which were built by King Parakramabahu the Great, back in 1140 AD. Anawilundawa is the second RAMSAR wetland site in Sri Lanka and has proudly recorded the sighting of more than 20, 000 birds of 150 species. Three peripheral tanks are interconnected to create a complex irrigation system that has supplied water to paddy fields around the area for over 800 years.
Anawilundawa is marshy and packed with luscious vegetation. It is one of the finest wetlands in the island for sighting water birds. During the migration season, a large variety of birds can be seen using this area as feeding ground as well as breeding ground.