The ultimate guide to Pinnawala elephant orphanage

A day at the elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka with the giants on the earth. Love to visit them? Keep reading to learn more about the experience.

A kiss?

It was at about 10.00 am.Wow!I saw them at the distance, as a dark ash patch. I felt how the ground shook. The patch came nearer and nearer and became more detailed. 

A heard of wild (but not that wild)elephants was running to the river to take their morning bath.

Heading to the river to take the morning bath
There were several really adorable baby elephants who were guarded by their elders! And there were few, who was refusing to take a bath too.Lolz!

Bathing at the river

Watching them bathing, playing with water and showing themselves with their trunks was a really joyful sight anyone never gets fed off. Some of the elephants seemed lazy. Some seemed so playful. Some were competitive while some seemed bit angry. 

The herd of elephants bathing in the river

Pinnawala elephant orphanage is a place established in 1975 to protect and breed elephants. It's a home for orphan baby elephants, elephants who lost in the wild and injured elephants until they get confident enough to live alone in the wild.

Click here to learn more about Pinnawala elephant orphanage and their breeding programme.

This little one still refuse to take a bath.Seems it doesn't want to bathe his upper half.Lolz

The beautiful river flows with turbulent water and small rocks have become a perfect playground for all the elephants for  40 years.All the elephants are taken to take a bath to the river, twice a day to avoid the harmful causes of the heat. Except for the ones who've been receiving a special care.

It took 2 hours for the whole process. WHAT A LONG SHOWER!!

Next was the feeding time!!

I missed the morning bottle feeding time of baby elephants. But I got the chance to feed an elephant with fruits just after their bath which was also great!

Fruit baskets for the elephants
It was not my first time seeing the elephants. But was the first feeding elephants. The stage made to fit the height of an elephant made the things easy. You can buy a fruit plate near stage which has pineapples banana and few other fruits!.

An elephant with its trunk on the stage is waiting for fruits

There, you don't get the chance to feed a lot of elephants. There were only two elephants got the stage fruit feeding chance. Maybe the good boys of the week!;).The one I feed just wrapped one of his back leg round other and enjoyed his meal after his bath was soo adorable!

Adorable baby elephant with its mum
Photo credit-

Cute babies

The most adorable sight was the small baby elephants who was playful and funny. I love their hair which disappears when they grow old. I don't know this is a good scale or not. But as I figured it out more hair means younger the elephant is.

Two baby elephants at Pinnawala
See this  them...

The success of the programme has attracted lot tourists, locals to the place and, of course, has been a rich sample for scientists, researchers and animal professionals all over the world.

Let me tell you something

I must tell you here, sometimes you'll feel people are been rude to the elephants there. I 've seen people saying that the elephants are chained, workers hurt them and try to control them and blah blah...

Elephants eating jack leaves.did you notice that leaf on its head?

Hurting animals is not good at all. If you are someone read my posts for while you must know that I'm a strong animal lover. I hate people who hurt animals without  a good reason)

But I must tell you this(I'm not getting paid for telling this)

Please don't judge the huge work, the risk and the dedication of the workers there. An elephant needs only a few seconds to crush a man. All those animals have come from the wild and controlling them and raising them is not easy at all. And taking care of a heard of them without controlling them is impossible.

Feeding an elephant

Interest to visit? here is all the information... 

Anyways, if you are interested in visiting elephant orphanage in Pinnawala here are some useful information for you.

Pinnawala is a small village situated halfway between Colombo and Kandy.(90km away from Colombo).You can reach there via Colombo - Kandy road (A1)or E1 road as shown in the image.Or you can reach there by train to Rambukana and reach Pinnawala by a tuk-tuk.(10 mins).

Entrance fee to the elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka -USD 20.

Left-bus routes from Colombo to Pinnawala.Right-route from Rambukkana to elephant orphanage if you are traveling by train 

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Opening Times(hours)

Pinnawala elephant orphanage is open for visitors from 8.30 am -6.00pm.This is the timetable of the elephants.
09.15 hours – Bottle feeding
10.00 hours – Herd leaving to the river
12.00 hours – Return from the river
13.15 hours – Bottle feeding
14.00 hours – Herd leaving to the river
16.00 hours – Return from the river
17.00 hours – Bottle feeding
If you are visiting Pinnawala soon or have visited there already, don't forget to share your experience in the comments. Also, if you have any questions leave them in the comments I'll try my best to help you.

If you are staying in Pinnawala book your accommodation from I earn a small commission without an extra coast to you).

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  1. Thank you for pointing out that some people have been rude to them. I have been getting a lot of those stories as well. I first visited the orphanage in 1988 and not much has changed there except for the admission price.

    1. You are welcome Doria!:)I completely agree with you about the admission price.

  2. I could sit and watch elephants all day. I bet this is an amazing place to visit!!

    1. Completely agree with you Lucy!

      I too love watching them.If you are an elephant lover,I think this is an awesome place to catch some Asian elephants..

  3. Great article bro. I am going to visit this place next week. But i am wondering if there are any bus to go to Puttalam?

    1. Hi there!
      Thanks!Sorry for taking so long to respond you.
      If you couldn't find the answer for your question yet, please let me from where you want to travel to Puttalam,I'd love to help you


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