Trip Planner:   Asia  /  Sri Lanka  /  Sabaragamuwa Province  /  Pinnawala  /  Wildlife Areas  /  Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Pinnawala

(2.9/5 based on 2,800+ reviews on the web)
Visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and witness the daily life of its pachyderm residents. Meet the rescued or abandoned elephants of all ages, see them play and bathe in the river, and watch the youngest of the herd being bottle-fed. You can help wash an elephant, feed them their daily fruit portions, or take photos with them, but a tip for their carer will probably be expected. Plan your visit to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Pinnawala tour planner.
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16 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM ISRAEL September, teens, kids, relaxing, beaches, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: September, teens, kids, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 7 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA April, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES March, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: March, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 4 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA August, teens, kids, culture, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: August, teens, kids, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA April, kids, outdoors, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, kids, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 22 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM GERMANY July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 18 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM PAKISTAN April, kids, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: April, kids, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA April, kids, outdoors, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, kids, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE April, kids, outdoors, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, kids, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 9 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE April, kids, outdoors, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, kids, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE April, kids, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • has less than having children not worth not especially that the road is long beautiful road against
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  • Previously, having never approached an elephant, we were surprised to see them so close, and to see that they were not locked behind fences. A single row of large stones separated us from them. We also enjoyed the bath of the elephants. Course 1 or 2 elephants were maintained by a loop, but for the majority they were moving freely in the River, lying down, waiting for healers to paint them. In terms of price, for my part I always consider when I visit a place where there are animals, that the price (which seems high) is there to finance mainly the food and veterinary care for the animals. So it should not have regrets. In any case, magnificent experience. Travel in Sri Lanka it was a shame to stay away of elephants.
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  • This has nothing to do with conservation, it's all about entertainment and making money. Hands constantly out for tips on top of the entrance fee. Elephants look unhappy and scared of the mahouts. Avo...  more »
Google
  • Amazing place where younger to see semi -domesticated elephants in wild. Vast expanse of land, greenery and mountains captivating the minds. Trumpeting elephants are matched by the roar of a lovely river flowing close to the orphanage. Watching the elephants bathe in the river and then walking back to the orphanage in an orderly queue is a sight to watch. Several restaurants in the vicinity to provide good food.
  • It's lovely to see the elephants enjoying their foods. The small elephants are cute. Anyone who is keen on observing elephant behavior upclose should pay a visit to here. The guides for elephant are nowhere to be found. I think it's better to have at least one elephant care taker to be near the elephants as we witnessed one baby elephant untangled one of its chains and was trying to remove other chain as well. May be the elephant got agitated with the crowd. At that time any official was nowhere to be seen.
  • Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is an orphanage, nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants located at Pinnawala village, 13 km northeast of Kegalle town in Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka
  • Located in Pinnawala this location is a haven for orphaned elephants from around Sri Lanka. Sponsored by the government but dependent on public donations this sanctuary provides a worthwhile service. There are activities set at different times of the day so check before you go if there is anything in particular you want to see or do. We visited when the elephants were bathing at the river & it was fun to watch them enjoying themselves in the water. For a small fee you can feed the elephants treats, supervised by the guides/caretakers. Watch out for hawkers. There are many. Entrance fee for foreigners is 2500 LKR. Recommended.
  • After visiting this place I understand why people are conflicted. If these elephants can not be released back to the wild, this looks like a better solution for them then being in some zoo. The place looks well kept and they are mostly free to roam around and get to bathe in the river twice a day. That being said, some of the elephants had chains around their necks and feet, and the caregivers let humans go close, pet them and take pictures with them. They charge 2500 s.r. from foreigners and 100 s.r from locals - we saw it on their website and still decided to go. What we didn't know is that the guides demand foreigners to tip them for feeding and taking pictures with the elephants. There's little educational value to the visit, since there are no sighs explaining to the visitors about the elephants, and also no actual guidance from the guides. It would be nice to learn about elephants in general and also hear the personal story of some of the elephants in the orphanage. The surrounding shops are tourist traps and if you're foreign you'll be pestered from the minute you get there. Be prepared for that.