Trip Planner:   Asia  /  Sri Lanka  /  Sabaragamuwa Province  /  Pinnawala  /  Wildlife Areas  /  Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Pinnawala
(2.9/5 based on 2,600+ 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.
Create a full Pinnawala itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Pinnawala

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Pinnawala by other users

4 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM KUWAIT February, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: February, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 12 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA March, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: March, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES March, kids, popular PREFERENCES: March, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES May, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: May, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES August, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA April, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 18 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM GERMANY February, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 30 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM GERMANY February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM OMAN April, kids, culture, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: April, kids, culture, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES March, kids, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: March, kids, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES March, kids, popular PREFERENCES: March, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM BAHRAIN February, teens, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: February, teens, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Just marvelous to see how the orphaned elephants are being tended for. The surroundings are well maintained, clean and relatively tidy. The " shows " are well organized and lots of photo opportunities...  more »
  • So glad we made the effort to revisit. Pinnawala. Nothing changes except, like us, the elephants get older.some have sadly died but another generation bring joy to watch. Glad also to see that commerc...  more »
  • Wonderful place where cast away elephants in a good way takes care of are in a truly stunning setting. They give a demonstration of how the baby elephants get the bottle. 4 x per day the elephants in a large herd to the River, this is really sensational to see how them through the street with souvenir shops abound to the river hurtling. You can from the shore or on a terrace of a hotel bathing the elephants see.. a beautiful location!! Also you can wash an elephant!! think it's a very special place that you certainly should not skip if you're on Srilanka!! approx. cost 17.50 euros.
    View original
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.