Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Sri Lanka- A Helpful Caring Home For Abandoned Elephants!

Among all the natural resources Sri Lanka owns, the elephant resource is one of the best things that the country has had for a very long time. So, this episode will bring you some interesting information about the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage which is a place you must visit.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is located in the Pinnawala village in Kegalle. It is Sri Lanka’s first and only conservation institute and captive breeding center for wild Asian elephants. You’ll spot many beautiful elephants, baby elephants, and tuskers at this place, taken care of and allowed them to stay free as they would live in the jungle.

Read along to learn everything you need to know about this interesting place and why you shouldn’t leave Sri Lanka without visiting here!

What is Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and Where is it Located?

The elephant orphanage in Pinnawala is one of the most important places in Sri Lanka which is established to protect the elephant resource in the country. It is the country’s first and only captive breeding center and conservation institute for Asian wild elephants.

It is not a zoo and something more than a sanctuary that is bigger and more interesting that serves as a wonderful home for abandoned elephants. Many local and foreign visitors come each day to see the magnificent animals and is especially favored by families with small children.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Sri Lanka - CeylonPulse

Here, you are allowed to touch and observe these glorious elephants more closely, connecting you more with nature and wildlife. Tuskers, herds of elephants, and cute little baby elephants have been taken good care of where they have been cleaned, showered, and fed while allowed to live in a stress-free atmosphere.

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is not difficult to find as it is located in the Pinnawala village, which is about 6 miles northwest of the main town of Kegalle in the Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. It is situated about 60 miles from Colombo and 25 miles from the city of Kandy.

The History of the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

The precious elephant resource in Sri Lanka was in danger when young and baby elephants tended to die in the wilderness without their mothers, wounded or out of starvation. Thus, in 1975, the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation decided to establish an orphanage with an experienced staff to take care of them.

First, this orphanage was located in the Wilpattu National Park which was then shifted to the tourist complex at Bentota and then to the National Zoo in Dehiwala. But later on, considering the location and the favorability of the layout in Pinnawala, the orphanage was moved to its current location which now extends over 25 acres of land.

Soon this place became a top tourist attraction and in 1978 this was taken over by the Department of National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka. The breeding program of the elephants was launched in 1982 and the facility has been running well under the guidance of the Government authorities ever since.

How Can You Get to The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage?

This famous place is relatively easy to access. You can either use public or private transport to get to the elephant orphanage in Pinnawala. The time and distance depend on your current location in the country and it is easier to get to this place if you are already in Kandy.

If you mean to take the bus, there are direct buses to Pinnawala from Kandy. And if you are taking the train, the nearest train station to Pinnawala is Polgahawela. You can get down at the Polgahawela station if you come from Fort or from the Kandy railway stations. From Polgahawela, you can either take a tuk-tuk or reserve a private taxi through a local taxi service such as PickMe or Uber.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Sri Lanka - CeylonPulse

However, things are much easier if you travel by a private vehicle since you can get directly to the entrance of the orphanage. You can hire a vehicle or rent a tuk-tuk to get to this place. While public transport will cost you a very little amount, private transportation may cost a few dollars more.

If not, you can count on domestic flights for a more delightful experience. As long as we know, the domestic air service is only functional to Kandy as the nearest point to Pinnawala. Therefore, you might have to take a private vehicle to reach your destination. You might have to book the flights ahead of time by contacting the relevant service providers.

What Kind of Experience Can You Have in The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage?

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is the ideal place for anyone who wishes to catch a closer glimpse of the majestic Sri Lankan elephants.

You’ll spot these animals in almost every national park in the country but still, you will not be able to get closer to them and observe their behavior. But in this place, the visitors get the rare opportunity to spend some quality time with the elephants.

You will have the chance to see the various activities of these animals including them getting fed, baby elephants getting bottle fed, and the amazing scenery of them getting bathed in the neighboring Ma Oya. You will have to obtain the tickets at the ticketing counter and the facility includes the following sections:

  • The Elephants’ Free Land
  • Fruit feeding place
  • Milk feeding place
  • Bathing place
  • Education section
  • Cafeteria
  • Information Office
  • Toilets

Make Lifetime Memories …

You are allowed to roam around and visit from place to place to see how these elephants are being taken care of. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll even find playful baby elephants and you’ll even be allowed to touch and play with them. We are sure this will make one of the best and once-in-a-lifetime memories, especially for your kids.

Your visit to PInnawala Elephant Orphanage is also rather educational and inspirational as you get the amazing chance to interact with these wild animals. You can also talk with the well-educated and experienced staff if you’re more inquisitive about learning the behavior of these elephants. They will also allow you to feed them, which will undoubtedly become an unforgettable memory in your travel itinerary. 

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Sri Lanka - CeylonPulse

Spot Some Unique Behaviors Of The Elephants!

The most amazing thing to watch is how these elephants are getting into the water for their regular shower sessions. The local staff who take care of them will guide them to the nearby waterbody which is known as the Ma Oya. It is truly fascinating to watch how tame these gigantic creatures are while walking their way to the water.

They will calmly go to the stream and slowly step into the water and lie down, allowing their masters to scrub and wash them. There is a viewing platform for the visitors to see how the elephants are getting their showers done. Here, you can click as many photos as you want, making the beautiful Ma Oya the perfect backdrop for your photographs.

Some elephants will even take a huge amount of water into their trunks and spray the water all around cheerfully and playfully. The beautiful elephants at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage are well-fed and live in a stress-free environment. Above all, their lives are protected and most of them are united with an introduced family, allowing them to live happily for the rest of their lives without dying in vain in the jungle.

General Information About the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

If you wish to visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, here is some important information that you might need to know.

Opening Hours: Daily from 8.30 AM to 5.30 PM

For updated information about the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, you can log onto their official website and make an inquiry: https://nationalzoo.gov.lk/elephantorphanage/

What Are The Nearby Attractions To the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage?

Once you are done visiting the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, you can head off to Kandy, where you will find plenty of places to visit and things to do.

And before going to Kandy, you can also take your way to Gampola to see the amazing Ambuluwawa Tower. After visiting the Ambuluwawa Tower, you can come across Peradeniya and get to Kandy to see the most wonderful places it has to offer. Here are some places that you can see in Kandy:

  • The Royal Botanical Garden of Peradeniya
  • The Sacred Temple of Tooth Relic
  • Hanthana Mountain Range
  • Udawatta Kele Sanctuary

If you’re interested in learning more about Kandy and discovering more interesting things to do in this heritage hill city, click here and follow up on this link to find our detailed article about the magic of Kandy!

And, if you need to spend more time feeling the favorable climate of the hillside of Sri Lanka, you can also take your way to Nuwara Eliya and Ella to have some of the best experiences in life.

Things You Need To Know Before Visiting the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is a great place to go and enjoy with your whole family. But still, there are things you should remember when visiting this wildlife site.

  • Elephants here are rather tamed and used for human interaction but it is critically important to be at your best behavior when dealing with animals.
  • You must always keep in check with your kids and not allow them to move too near the elephants. If they need to touch the creatures, it should only be under your guidance.
  • These elephants are taken good care of and they are only fed with the food given by the orphanage. So, if you need to feed them, you can ask for the food from the staff.
  • Act quietly around the elephants and do not try to tease them.
  • No smoking and liquor are allowed inside the orphanage.
  • Look out for restricted areas and only visit the open areas for visitors.
  • If you mean to click photos and videos, remember to take harmless measures not to disturb the animals.
  • If you wish to make any donations for animal welfare in Sri Lanka, you can visit the office and proceed with the relevant documentation work.

Pay A Definite Visit To The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage To See The Wonder of Wild Asian Elephants!

Out of the most unique experiences you can have in Sri Lanka, visiting the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage will undoubtedly be one of the most iconic memories you take home. Although you can see wild elephants in many places in the country, it is only at this place you will get the rare prospect to interact closely with this magnificent creature. So, this is why one should not miss out on their chance of getting the experience to feast your eyes on the beautiful scene of these giants!

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