Wild Wilpattu & The Elephant Gathering
A short wildlife tour exploring the wilds of Wilpattu and the Elephant Gathering in Minneriya / Kaudulla, which is ranked amongst the world’s top wildlife spectacles.
Popularly dubbed as ‘the land of the lakes’, Wilpattu National Park is famous for watching wildlife within its picturesque villus and dry evergreen forests. It is Sri Lanka’s oldest and largest national park which re-opened in 2010 after being closed for nearly three decades due to the civil war. Wilpattu is one of the top spots in Sri Lanka for watching Leopard and Sloth Bear. Other larger animals seen regularly here include Elephant, Jackal, Mugger Crocodile, Sambar, Spotted Deer and Buffalo are among the larger animals regularly encountered.
The Gathering of Elephants’ runs from June – October each year, where each afternoon, around 150 - 200 individual elephants come out of the forest in to the open to graze on the fresh green pasture by the water’s edge at Minneriya and Kaudulla national parks. You have excellent opportunities here to observe the social dynamics of the Asian Elephant as the large bulls in musth compete among each other and seek the females within the herd, while young calves with carefree abandon get up to their mischievous antics often to the displeasure of its alert mothers within the herd. During the wet season, the elephants herd move to the nearby Hurulu Forest Reserve.
Day 01: Arrival and transfer to Wilpattu (3 ½ hour drive). Remainder of the day at leisure. Time permitting, go on an afternoon safari in Wilpattu National Park. Spend 03 nights at the Wilpattu Safari Camp.
Day 02: Full day safari in Wilpattu National Park for wildlife viewing with an added emphasis on leopards and sloth bear.
Day 03: Early morning game drive in Wilpattu. Late morning, travel to either Minneriya or Kaudulla National Park to see ‘The Gathering of Elephants’, where 150+ elephants can be seen in the open plains.
Day 04: Time permitting, go on an early morning safari to Wilpattu. Afterwards, leave for the Bandaranaike International Airport / Colombo.