Pinnawala Day Tour

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Initiallycreated to protect abandoned or orphaned elephants, this is one of Sri Lanka’s most popular attractions. Sure, you get up close to elephants and see them bathing, but the orphanage’s conservation value is questionable and organizations including Born Free ( have published negative critiques of the center. Overall, national parks are the best places to see Sri Lankan elephants. There are up to 100 elephants here, of all ages. The creatures are largely well looked after, but experts have expressed concern over the amount of contact elephants have with the public and the fact that the facility has been used for breeding, contrary to its status as an orphanage. Over 70 baby elephants have been born in captivity here and none returned to the wild.

For many people it’s more a zoo than conservation organization. The orphanage is also a huge income generator, earning Rs 100 million per year. Be aware that elephants are also tethered for long periods when they’re not interacting with visitors.

Mahouts ensure elephants feed at the right times and don’t endanger anyone. The elephants are
led to a nearby river for bathing daily from 10am to noon and from 2pm to 4pm. Meal times are 9.15am, 1.15pm and 5pm.

Pickup  Katunayaka Bandaranaike International Airport or Hotel
Route  Colombo to Pinnawala
Vehicle  Private Car or Van (Air Conditioned)
Driver  Experienced, Friendly, English Speaking Driver

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