If you ever want to be surrounded by a herd of elephants, and admire their magnificence, there is no better place than the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka. The elephant orphanage spans across a massive 24-acre land, where elephants wander freely for you to admire and learn. This is also a breeding place for these majestic elephants. If you are like me, you are amazed by these giant wild animals. You can see close to 100 elephants at one place when you visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Sri Lanka
About Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage had begun in 1972, and has the greatest herd of elephants in protective captivity in the world. It is now the home for about 84 elephants (and growing) who have been saved from various situations and places in Sri Lanka. The orphanage is designed to care and protect many baby elephants found in the jungle without their mothers. In most of these cases the mother had either died or been killed. In some instances the baby elephant had fallen into a pit, and in others the mother had fallen in and died. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is also made to simulate the conditions in the wild. Elephants roam around freely during the day with the supervision of trained staff at the orphanage. You can see baby elephants playing and wandering behind their mothers. The orphaned elephants at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage are accustomed to thousands of human visitors from around the world. Like the visitors, these elephants are harmless. Therefore it is a real treat, if you like to interact with these majestic animals.
Daily Activities At The Orphanage
Besides admiring these amazing animals, there are a few activities that you, as a visitor can engage yourself in, to get the full experience with the elephants.
- At 8:00am the baby elephants are fed milk and allowed to range freely on the large grassland
- At 10:00am and 2:00pm the elephants are walked to the river Maha Oya for a two-hour bath
- Between 4:30pm and 6:00pm the elephants are taken to their stalls and tethered for the night
- You can feed milk to baby elephants at scheduled times
Sama The Blind Elephant
While most of the elephants are healthy, one is blind named Sama. She has also lost her front right leg to a land mine during the war time. Since then, she is walking on three legs. All such orphaned elephants have been rescued and now call Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage their home.
If you would like to help Sama the blind elephant, you can do so through “Project Lucky Sama”.
Getting To The Elephant Orphanage
Pinnawala (name of the town) is located on northwest of Kegalle. You can get to Kegalle from Colombo or Kandy on Colombo-Kandy road. When you come from Colombo, once you pass Kegalle town and come towards Kandy, you will come to a small T junction where you need to get off Colombo-Kandy road and take the Rambukkana Road. There is a large sign board to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage so you won’t miss that junction. This road (Rambukkana Road) leads directly to Pinnawala, where the elephant orphanage is. It is most easiest, if you travel by a vehicle. If you would like to take a bus, you can do so either from Colombo or Kandy and get off at Kegalle. Then take the Rambukkana bus from Kegalle to Pinnawala. Alternatively you can hire a taxi, which is most common among tourists, and is most enjoyable as well.
Extend Your Elephant Adventure
If you’d like to extend your elephant adventure, don’t miss the opportunity to stay at Elephant Corridor Hotel. It is constructed on an actual elephant corridor between Minneriya National Park and Sigiriya National Park. Built with minimal disruption to the ecosystem, wild elephants find it natural to walk up to the hotel Lobby. You can find ultimate relaxation and privacy in this luxury boutique hotel in one of its only 21 suites available. En-suite accommodation, fine wine and refined dining in the magical atmosphere of the restaurant, private plunge pool, variety of activities and sports, and Ayurveda massage at the Om Wellness Spa are some of the features. Most of all, you can dwell in the habitat of these majestic animals.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is a place you will really enjoy and never forget, guaranteed! If you love elephants, don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family.