Wilpattu National Park is located in the north west of the dry zone of the island with a long coastal boundary. It is approximately 180 km north of Colombo. Wilpattu is reputed to have the highest density of leopards in the world. The park is also home to elephants, spotted deer, boars and mongooses. The jungle fowl, the national bird of Sri Lanka, and many species of owls, gulls, eagles are also found in the Park.
The Park is also inhabited by mugger crocodiles, common cobras, Indian pythons and soft shelled turtles. During the rains of the northeast monsoons from December to February and the subsequent inter-monsoonal rains, the 60 lakes and tanks in the Park attract wildlife while flora and fauna thrive in the lush climate. Only a quarter of the Park is open to visitors; the rest is covered in dense forest.