Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Pinnawala

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. Put Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage into our Pinnawala vacation planning site to see other points of interest to visit during your vacation in Pinnawala.
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Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
3,235 reviews
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  • I found this "orphanage" very sad. I loved the elephants were chained. It is true that they do have to free but in a country that is forested mostly doesn't make much sense, apart from tourism, keeping of animals so majestic in chains. We asked for help to leave. I don't recommend visiting ...
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  • It is with utter disappointment that I have written this. Having spent some time at Patara elephant Farm (Chang Mai) in Thailand, we expected something similar, but left after 5 minutes and we have ma...  more »
  • The elephants are trained that if they come into the area they will be looked after, they are not kept there, this place is doing everything possible to make sure the elephant population stays up. The...  more »
Google
  • What is wrong with you people? Do you know what you are contributing to? Elephants are sentient beings that belong in the wild. These elephants are chained and suffering- being exploited for profit. Do not support places like this!! Educate yourself and look up the process called “the crush” that elephants go through before they are introduced into places like this. Please, please do not support this kind of exploitation!! Animals do not deserve to live a life of suffering for human entertainment. This is not natural behavior! This place needs to be shut down and all elephants sent to a real sanctuary. So, so sad
  • This elephant orphanage is popular tourist attraction place having approximately 60 elephants from new born to elderly & include orphaned, abandoned and injured. They are being looked after very well. These are not trained and left freely. Usually around 11AM elephants are taken for a bath in river after that they come back to roaming area where you can see them comfortably later on there will be fruit and milk feeding.
  • They have more than 60 elephants at this location. One can see the elephants being fed, if you wish you can feed the elephants fruits too (for which the ticket price is LKR 250). The bathing of the elephants is the best experience of this place for which you have to exit and cross the road and walk down towards the river. There are specific timings for this. Under no circumstances should you agree for an elephant ride: these are operated by touts who are looking to fleece you off your money. They will lead you down a completely isolated road and quote around LKR 4000 for a ride in which the elephant will just walk up and down a narrow dirt path. The only issue with the place is, none of the elephants look happy here!
  • Well maintained elephant orphanage, more suitably can be called as home or nursery of elephants. Mammoths are left free and we can go very close to them. Having specific time based events when elephants marches to near by river to take bath and return. Nice to see so many elephants at the same time, walking in much disciplined way to cross the road etc.
  • Sweet place to visit. Unique and interesting activities include elephant fruit feeding, milk feeding and bathing. Donot miss the bathing session . It's a sight to see Eles rolling polling in mud and then taking a shower. There are also a few spice gardens near the orphanage which produce and sell natural herbs oils, cremes, medicines and ointments. They offer a free foot and head massage which is quite relaxing.

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Where to stay in Pinnawala

The number of accommodations available in Pinnawala remains pretty modest, so make sure to book in advance. As you'd expect, lodgings lie very close to the elephant orphanage, with options including rental villas, characterful homestays, and some budget hotels. To the south along the main road (accessible by bus from Pinnawala proper), a couple of hotels provide alternative lodgings if the village fills up. Some visitors opt to stay in Kandy, about an hour to the east and linked to the orphanage by rail and road.
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