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Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Colombo-Kandy Road | 90km from Colombo, Pinnawala, Sri Lanka
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Ranked #1 of 1 Attractions in Pinnawala
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas
Useful Information: Activities for older children
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882 reviews from our community

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Dublin, Ireland
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
28 attraction reviews
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2014 NEW

Our misguided guide brought us here. It was hugely expensive and all we saw were elephants chained up and keepers looking for tips every time you turn around. Even the kids did not enjoy this experience. If you love elephants go to the Perahera in kandy and see them for free in a far more positive atmosphere

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2014 NEW

I had read several review about the orphanage and with concern advised my fellow travellers what we might be seeing. A vote was taken and the decision was made that we would not visit or fund this orphanage as there are several other was of saving orphaned elephants. For some strange reason our driver did take us to the attraction,... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Brighton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2014 NEW

There is a separate ticket purchasing counter for foreigners. If you are a foreigner please ask your guide to use that counter and respect the locals by NOT abusing their power to purchase your tickets thought the counter for locals.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014 NEW via mobile

This is not an orphanage. It is a disgusting, moneymaking zoo. Firstly, Sri Lankans go for free. 'Foreigners' (as written at the entrance) must pay approx £13. We were disgusted to see all elephants with chains around their legs, unable to walk around. There were no barriers in places, just single elephants standing alone, chained up. By the river, elephants... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Panadura, Sri Lanka
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
54 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014 NEW via mobile

The only attraction in Pinnawala.There are several decent hotels to stay if you wish but there no attraction or things do there. One can visit from Kandy. Best time to go is the morning and watch elephants are taken for a bath at the near by river . Nothing much to see and the orphanage except feeding of elephants etc.... More

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Newbridge, Ireland
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014 NEW

Visited March 2013. Only good part was watching the elephants bathe in the river, otherwise very upsetting watching them being chained (esp when the tourists can 'buy' a bottle of milk and feed the orphans) some getting more than others. Just didn't like the experience.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
31 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014 NEW

We went there expecting an orphanage for baby elephants and sort of a conservation project and rescue centre for disabled elephants. What we found was elephants chained and lined up as a tourist attraction. They are trying to get more money out by people feeding the baby elephants with milk and adults with fruits and also taking pictures close up.... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2014

I am an animal lover and was excited to see a place where animal welfare would be put first - but when we got to the 'orphanage' I was a bit upset and disappointed to see that it didn't seem to be a wonderful place for elephants. Some were in isolation and seemed to be exhibiting boredom behaviours and many... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2014

We'd saved this till last on our trip as we expected it to be the highlight of our holiday - but what an unpleasant experience! It's run by the Sri Lankan government and we expected a conservation project raising money for elephants by offering visitors opportunities to see elephants up close and learn about them. What we saw was upsetting... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2014

I recently visited Sri Lanka and the orphanage was a major low point of my trip. The workers are interested in their own financial gain at the expense of the helpless mammals. There were many distressing sights including elephant's chained to trees and kept in isolation for indefinite periods - I would urge anyone thinking of visiting the orphanage to... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 5

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