We were lucky enough to visit the Wilpattu National Park in September 2018, and it really is an incredible place!
Chances are, you’re visiting Wilpattu to experience your own jungle safari. But did you know, there are some really cool other things for you to try whilst you’re there?
Well, don't worry, I've listed a few of the other top things to do in Wilpattu at the end of this post.
But first, let’s take a look at the 5 best hotels in Wilpattu and other types of accommodation you’ll find in the area.
NOTE: I’ve provided links through to Cruisingtonight.Com for all of the Wilpattu hotels given. This is because we used them everywhere throughout Sri Lanka and believe they offer the best prices and availability of accommodation.
The 5 best hotels in Wilpattu
1. Big Game Camp
This is where we chose to stay when visiting Wilpattu, and I would highly recommend it to anyone else visiting!
Yes, we are budget backpackers so this came in slightly more expensive than what we’re used to paying. But, for what you get from their tented safari package, it’s an incredible deal!
We paid $190 in total, and that included a 3 hour safari in Wilpattu National Park, a night spent glamping under the stars, a wonderful breakfast and 5 course dinner.
Also, you actually eat your dinner under the stars, in a sort of luxury, makeshift campsite with all the other guests. Check it out …
- The best price deals for Big Game Camp
2. Wilpattu Tree House
Wilpattu Tree House is a very unique place to stay in Wilpattu. Yes, you will be sleeping in a good old-fashioned tree house, but no, the room is anything but basic!
Instead, your room and bathroom are incredibly modern. Featuring a large, comfy double bed and a fully fitted bathroom area.
The room also has air conditioning, making it a nice place to relax away from the heart you'll find around midday in Wilpattu.
The resort has a bar for you to get an evening drink (or 2), as well as barbecue facilities.
Many rooms also have balconies and even bathtubs. Most of all, guests love how well situated Wilpattu tree House is to the local National Park and other things to do in Wilpattu.
- The best price deals for Wilpattu Tree House
3. Wilpattu Dolosmahe
If you're looking for cheap hotels in Wilpattu, then this has to be the best option available. They offer rooms to suit all budgets.
Right through from private family rooms with private bathrooms, to a large shared dorm room with 6 double beds.
The property is well located close to Wilpattu National Park, and they can easily help you to book onto a local safari.
Facilities at Wilpattu Dolosmahe may be a little basic, but they include everything you need. Right through from an onsite restaurant to a garden area for relaxing.
- The best price deals for Wilpattu Dolosmahe
4. Wilpattu Safari Camp
Wilpattu Safari Camp is possibly the best Wilpattu tented safari. Which is also why they are a little more expensive than other nearby Wilpattu National Park hotels.
For your money, you get to sleep in a luxury tent, complete with your own private bathroom.
Compared to most other tented safaris available, these ones are incredibly spacious and well built.
For your money, you get all of your meals included, as well as a jeep safari of the National Park. This includes all costs, including a naturalist guard and any Wilpattu National Park entrance fees.
What guests most love about Wilpattu Safari Camp is the superior quality of service you’ll find anywhere in the area.
- The best price deals for Wilpattu Safari Camp
5. Base Camp Wilpattu
Lastly, but by no means least, we have Base Camp Wilpattu. They also offer glamorous tenting options for the night. Allowing you to really immerse yourself in the wonderful natural surroundings of Wilpattu.
All rooms come with your own private bathroom, and you can book yourself onto a safari through Base Camp Wilpattu.
You are located very close to the national park entrance and you’ll hear plenty of natural wildlife surrounding your campsite in the evenings.
Breakfast is included with your stay and they also offer barbecue facilities as well.
- The best price deals for Base Camp Wilpattu
Of course, there are a number of other hotels near Wilpattu National Park to choose from, but these ones above offer good pricing and come with plenty of high quality reviews. If you do want to see what else is available for your visit, then you can search here for more Wilpattu hotels.
What is there to do in Wilpattu?
Go on the best Sri Lankan safari
It had to be mentioned and is without a doubt the best thing to do in Wilpattu. Depending on what time of year you visit, you can expect to see animals such as leopards, elephants and Lankan sloth bears. If you want to find out more, then check out this post on our incredible safari in Wilpattu.
You can check out my guide to booking a Sri Lanka Safari here.
Cave of Arts
The Cave of Arts is located not far outside of the Wilpattu National Park and contains some ancient cave artwork that it is believed belonged to some of the earliest humans ever to settle in Sri Lanka.
This is a wonderful photo spot, if you want to pick up on a local attraction that is relatively unknown to most travellers. Just be wary of visiting in the rainy season when the water level is known for rising incredibly quickly.
Samadhi Buddha Statue
It is believed that the Samadhi Buddha Statue was carved back in either the 3rd or 4th century. Making it at least 1700 years old! In the last couple of centuries, it has been restored to its original beauty and is truly a sight to behold.
Thanthirimale Rajamaha Viharaya
This is a sacred Buddhist area that is believed to be around 1800 years old. It is most famously known for housing an extremely large reclining Buddha statue.
I recommend staying in Wilpattu for anywhere between 1 and 3 nights. If you’re just interested in the safari, then one night should be plenty.
But if you want to experience any of the other sites, then definitely take an extra day or two.
You then have more time to relax and enjoy the area and everything your Wilpattu hotel has to offer!
And it’s certainly one of the nicest areas in Sri Lanka. Depending on how close to the park you stay, you have a good chance of hearing, and even seeing, a herd of elephants strolling through your village at night!
Getting to Wilpattu
Getting to Wilpattu is pretty straightforward, largely because it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sri Lanka.
You can choose from the following:
- Bus. Buses run regularly up to Wilpattu. It could be easiest to speak to your current hostel or hotel for advice on local bus operators running there.
- Train. It is possible to get a train from Colombo and other areas to Wilpattu National Park. I recommend using Rome2Rio to find out more about prices and journey times.
- Grab an Uber. As of writing, it costs around 11,000 LKR to hire an uber from Colombo up to Wilpattu. The journey time would be around 4-5 hours, but you get to relax in a nice air-conditioned car. Just note, not all cities and towns in Sri Lanka will have Uber drivers to pick you up.
- Rent a tuk tuk! This is the choice we went for. We hired our tuk tuk in Colombo, and it cost us $18 per day. It is what we used to travel the whole way around Sri Lanka and really did make for an unforgettable experience. Here’s a picture to help tempt you …
Other than this, you can, of course, hire your own alternative form of transportation. Such as a car or moped. Both would be fairly straightforward to do.
But, simply because of the novelty, I wanted to recommend tuk tuks above. Either way, the added benefit of having your own form of transportation is that it’s then very easy to get to any of the hotels in Wilpattu listed above.
If you have any questions, then just let me know below!
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