Wilpattu now open
by Shanika Sriyananda
Sunday Observer / 09 Oct 2005
Three new visitor bungalows have been opened recently at the Wilpattu National Park, which is one of the oldest protected areas in the country.
The park, which was closed for 17 years due to security reasons is now open for visitors and once again becoming a popular tourist destination. " The tourists are coming in numbers now and we want to increase facilities for them", Director General, Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) Dayananda Kariyawasam said.
These new bungalows are in Manawila, Talawila and Thanikkawila and the old bungalow at Kokmottai was in dilapidated state due to poor maintenance during the period when the Park was closed to visitors.
First declared as a sanctuary in 1905, this land spanning 131,693 hectares and rich in biodiversity became a national park in 1938. The Dutch and Portuguese Bays have also been proposed as a marine site to the park. The Park, which is a home for rare bird species, especially for migratory birds is a popular haunt for bird watching.
Meanwhile, the Yala National Park, which was closed for visitors due to drought and for construction of new water holes and renovation of visitor bungalows will be re-opened to the public on October 15.