Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage: Hours, Address, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Reviews: 3.5/5

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
3.5
8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and similar attractions

Popular mentions

3.5
4,019 reviews
Excellent
1,164
Very good
1,194
Average
703
Poor
347
Terrible
611

libranof1987
Bloomington, Indiana185 contributions
Nov 2021
Quite a nice place to visit to see elephants free to roam around and do their thing without being chained.

There are about 70 elephants here and most of them are free to roam around the property (there are tied only when under medical care or preparing to mate). Visitors have a gallery from where they can watch the elephants, and also walk around their bathing area. There is a small souvenir shop as well.

They take the elephants at designated times to the river for bathing, but that was not done when we went because the river water level was very high.

This can be fun for kids.
Written 23 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Libranof, A fantastic day from Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage! Thank you very much for visiting PEO and sharing your lovely travel experience with us on TripAdvisor. We are so fascinated with your feedback and as you said, we have set them free most of the daytime in a free-roaming area to keep up their social behaviors, as they are social animals as we are. Elephant welfare is our top priority in this facility and we have designed many enrichments in the free-roaming area to stimulate their mental and physical health. A, for instance, there are sandpits and muddy puddles to wallow mud and sand, water tanks to cool off the body, etc. Chaining some elephants in the facility is for some inevitable and multiple reasons at PEO. Especially the uncontrolled bulls with violent behaviors, elephants are under veterinary treatment, elephants in their musth period are compelled to chaining them in the facility. Elephants will not be taken to the river during extreme weather conditions or poor health conditions. Thanks a lot for highlighting their wellbeing; we welcome you back to the PEO in the future. Thank you. From PEO Team
Written 28 November 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Evelyn Casey
London, UK34 contributions
May 2021
Situated in the Indian Ocean, south of India, Sri Lanka ( Ceylon) is an island famous for its tea. Sri Lanka has great beaches along the entire coast, wonderful nature, tea plantations, Buddhist temples and monuments. I liked temples and elephant safari the most. In addition to the elephants, you could see jaguars, monkeys, and crocodiles. I also visited an elephant orphanage, a great place where elephants are fed with milk from a bottle. Another must see attraction: Turtle lairs (turtle incubators) and the sandy beaches.
Written 25 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear visitor, A fantastic day from Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage! First of all, thank you very much for the wonderful description of our country and as you said, Sri Lanka is a beautiful island full of attractive places. We would also like to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude for visiting and appreciating this beautiful place, which is famous for being a place where the largest herd of captive Asian elephants can be seen up close in the world. However, it should be noted that the daily routine of milking orphaned baby elephants at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, when you attended during your visit has been temporarily halted due to unavoidable circumstances. Instead, we have arranged to engage in several interesting daily activities such as feeding elephants and bathing elephants, etc. and we invite you to rejoin us with these activities in the aftermath of this Covid-19 pandemic in the country. Once again thank you for your review. Hope to wish welcome you back to the PEO for a memorable visit. Thank you. From PEO Team.
Written 30 June 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

dilan m
Sri Lanka31 contributions
Apr 2021 • Couples
We visited this awesome place during the beginning of covid 19 pandemic situation. Place was less crowded and very quiet. We were comfortably seated and watched elephants are enjoying natural river bathing. Hope to visit again
Written 28 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear visitor, A fantastic day from PEO, Thank you very much for visiting PEO and taking the time to share your valuable feedback on TripAdvisor. You have mentioned that you visited here during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka. We have provided all the facilities to the visitors as per the health guidelines to come safely to the Elephant Orphanage in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time of your visit, we have provided all facilities for visitors according to the health guidelines of Covid-19 for a safe visit to the Elephant Orphanage. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of visitors to the Elephant Orphanage has dropped dramatically during this time. Otherwise, on days this is a place full of visitors. The elephant bathing at the river is the most famous and attractive event at PEO. In addition, we provide opportunities to visitors who like to feed and get close to the elephants to feed and bathe the elephants in the river. But at present, those opportunities have been temporarily suspended for tourists due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Once again thank you for your review. Hope to wish welcome you back to the PEO for a memorable visit. Thank you. From, PEO Team
Written 4 June 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alan G
Morecambe, UK19 contributions
Mar 2020
Billed as a sanctuary for orphaned elephants, commercialism has taken over and it is no more than a glorified tourist attraction zoo. Not a pleasant site to see these majestic creatures chained up and being proded with spiked staffs.
Written 9 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A fantastic day from PEO, Thank you so much for visiting PEO and sharing your experience with us on TripAdvisor. We are deeply distressed to learn that you did not have a positive attitude toward us. The Elephant Orphanage under the Department of National Zoological Gardens in Sri Lanka, and currently, we are home to 81 elephants in the facility. We bear a sum of money to protect these creatures in the facility and the cost of food for one elephant is about LKR.10,000 per day. Therefore, we need an income to run the company. However, despite the collapse of our income in the wake of the Easter attack in 2019 and the Covid-19 pandemic since 2020, we continue to run the institute successfully. Therefore, we are not giving priority to commercial activities in the PEO. Additionally please note PEO is a well-organized institute under the Sri Lankan government, we occasionally use chains and elephant keepers with bullhooks just to manage certain aggressive bull elephants in the facility. We should bound to ensure the safety of visitors and elephants as a responsible government institute. It is happy to say that we have already taken many steps to remove their chains as much as possible and we aim to control them in a proper way in the facility. The “Chain free-born free” project is one of the main ongoing projects at PEO, which focuses on their freedom in the facility. Therefore, we hope you understand our efforts and we welcome you back to the PEO in the future for a memorable visit. Thank you. From PEO Team
Written 13 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kekin2011
Mumbai, India302 contributions
Feb 2020
Entry charges were LKR 800 (for SAARC adults), LKR 3500 (foreign adults). We enjoyed the place a lot because it lets you be quite close to the elephants. It's not every day that you see elephants being bathed in a river. In fact, there were more than 20. There were elephants of all sizes. While some elephants were returning to the orphanage, we witnessed them passing on the road leading to the river. We were less than 6 feet away from them! It was amazing! Make sure you check the timings before you go. You don't want to miss the bathing time.

There was a small little street with some elephant themed handicraft and boutique shops as well. Mainly for souvenirs. One of the shops was particularly interesting because they made products out of dried elephant dung. They had a little processing plant in the back of their shop.
Written 31 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A fantastic day from PEO, First of all, thank you very much for visiting PEO and taking the time to share your lovely experience with us on TripAdvisor. We would like to express our gratitude for making your comments interesting to those who wish to visit PEO. Indeed PEO is the most famous tourist destination for visitors, who want to see a large herd of Asian elephants in close proximity. Further, this place is the only venue of its land around the globe with its unique deposition as a safe–haven. Currently, we are home to 81 elephants in the facility and taken to the river twice time a day for a swim and get their bath. As you said it is one of the most fascinating and highlighted scenes of PEO. If you want to see how they get their daily bath, you need to reach the river Ma-Oya and which is located within walking distance of the institute. Additionally, we would like to mention that our main herd will be in the river from 10.00 am to 12.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm. During the heavy rainy season, they will not be there because the water level in the river Ma-Oya rises. The small shops are run by private owners and they sell local community products for foreigners and we thank you for your high response in our institute. We welcome you once again to gather wonderful experiences with elephants. We wish you the best of luck. Thank you. From, PEO Team.
Written 13 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Eruvana S
Anuradhapura3 contributions
May 2020 • Family
Amazing place. Hundred of elephants. Was interest to see how they are taking the bath. And feeding is the main attraction.
Written 24 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear visitor, A fantastic day from PEO, Thank you very much for visiting PEO and taking the time to share your feedback on TripAdvisor. The primary purpose of this institute is to provide shelter to orphaned elephants, who were stranded in the wild due to many reasons. At the present, we are home to 81 elephants. Actually, the elephant bathing event is at the river is the most famous and attractive event at PEO. In addition to that event, the fruit feeding event is available at PEO for the visitors who like to feed and get close to the elephants. An only selected group of elephants takes part in that event and they are recommended to receive extra nutrition under their multiple health conditions and veterinary recommendation. Once again thank you for your valuable review hope to welcome you back to the PEO for a memorable visit. Thank you, From, PEO Team.
Written 13 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ken Pearce
3 contributions
Feb 2020
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the orphanage. It was a positive experience and seeing the elephants enjoy themselves, both in the park and in the river, I wondered how anyone could find fault with the place.
Written 14 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A fantastic day from PEO, Thank you for visiting Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and sharing your lovely experience on TripAdvisor. It is happy to see the persons who understand our effort. The primary purpose of this institute is to provide care and shelter to orphaned elephants that were stranded in the wild due to many reasons. They are living under our institution with the highest quality of animal welfare facilities and we are committed to providing them a natural environment as much as possible. Again thank you for your perfect rating and welcome you once again to gather wonderful experience with elephants. Thank you. From PEO Team.
Written 13 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Niranjan P
Dubai, United Arab Emirates31 contributions
Jul 2020 • Family
This time we visit was 4 of Us and 2nd visit for my daughter and first for the Son.. The place is so quiet and peaceful with very few local visitors..Best time to visit the place is now..kids enjoyed the elephant shower...
Written 27 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear visitor, A fantastic day from Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage! Thank you very much for visiting Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and taking time to comment us on tripadvisor. It is happy to hear that this was your second visit and we are so happy to give you a happy visit this time too. Absolutely kids are fond of looking elephant bathing event at the riverside and we welcome you again for more wonderful experiences at PEO. Again, many thanks for your perfect rating we wish you a happy day! From PEO Team.
Written 2 August 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

snacky_sterlittos
Panchkula, India9 contributions
Aug 2019 • Friends
Must visit attraction in Sri Lanka...it is the place where you can feed ,bath and play with elephants ....must must visit
Written 9 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear visitor, A fantastic day from Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage! Thank you very much for visiting Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and sharing your lovely experience & admiration with us. We look forward to the pleasure of welcoming you back to the PEO soon. From PEO Team
Written 2 August 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

robiwatts
Seaford, UK552 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
I was initially worried about going to this place. A lot of reports talk about the elephants being chained up which seriously could prevent any form of enjoyment. We did not actually go into the actual orphanage but merely paid (the full admission price) and watched them crossing the road and bathing at the bottom. Yes, the bull elephants were chained I guess for their and my safety. These were big animals that you would not wish to charge you. The younger and better behaved marched down the road and seemed well looked after and showed no discomfort that I could see. Ok far better that they are free totally in the wild and this would really be the way I would like to see them. They seemed to enjoy their trip and bathe and we did not see any rough handling by any of the Mahoots . All in all a wonderful morning. I would return if I ever get back to Sri Lanka.
Written 17 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear visitor, A fantastic day from Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage! Thank you very much for taking time to write us and sharing your experiences following your visit. We are sorry about not attending the institution. However, we highly appreciate seeing how our institution works for the animals and giving an important and accurate interpretation of it. As you mentioned in your review, certain bull elephants are chained to provide protection for the other elephants as well as visitors. It is important your understanding that elephants are extremely powerful animals many times the size of humans. Thus, it is not an easy task to control such large creatures in the facility. However, our mahouts look after them in the best possible way. Further, as a dedicated institution for the elephant welfare, we bare a huge cost for their welfare specially their food, medicine and all the facilities of them. We provide utmost comfort for them and we are striving here to protect this endangered species for ensuring future existence. Next time we invite you to visit the institutions and we welcome you for a more memorable stay. Thank you. From PEO Team.
Written 15 May 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 3,000
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing