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Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

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Address: Colombo-Kandy Road | 90km from Colombo, Pinnawala, Sri Lanka
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Most recent review
Up very close with the elephants

Unsure what to expect after reading all the reviews, so after some thought decided to go and see for myself. When we arrived we were met by touts offering to sell us fruit for... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed January 27, 2015
Linda D
,
Liverpool
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1,145 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Liverpool
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
11 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2015 NEW

Unsure what to expect after reading all the reviews, so after some thought decided to go and see for myself. When we arrived we were met by touts offering to sell us fruit for the elephants which we declined. The majority of the elephants were wondering around freely in the river, with the handlers watching. We sat in a restaurant... More 

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3 reviews 3 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2015 NEW

Went to the orphanage at 3pm paid 2500rupees per person, saw the elephants in there bathing place, very nice site and amazing to watch!! Care full of the elephant guides they offer you to take pictures with the elephants and then demand heavy prices up to 5000 for this service!!!!! The road to the bathing place is full of shops... More 

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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2015 NEW

I have mixed feelings about my recent visit to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. I am an animal lover and therefore cannot deny that I loved going to see the elephants. There are many elephants, adults and their young and you can do everything the pictures and the brochures suggest; petting, feeding, washing etc. However, although the animals are clearly well looked... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Norwich, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2015 NEW

I have worked with elephants in the past so was looking forward to have a look at the elephants at the park . I was firstly a little cross at the cost of entry 2.5k to get in and all you see is poor baby elephants stressed and chaned being fed by any one willing to pay and the keepers... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2015 NEW

So sad to see elephants in chains. I've been to places where they treat elephants in a nicer way. (I recommend Minneriya National Park.)

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Norwich, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2015 NEW

An organisation that takes in orphaned baby elephants and rears them to maturity. You can bottle feed the babies, and help to wash them when they are taken over the road to their twice daily wash in the local river

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Lincoln, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
194 reviews 194 reviews
103 attraction reviews
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2015 NEW

This was pretty much our introduction to Sri Lanka after arriving at Colombo airport 4 hours earlier on an overnight flight from Dubai and it was raining, which was a bit of a shock not that the Elephants appeared to mind. But site of the elephant heard in river is one we'll never forget. It was a great start to... More 

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Prague - Czech Republic
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
7 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2015 NEW

Did not know what to expect as some of the reviews were about the cruelty topwards the elephants. I personally think that the place is great to see. The elephants are treated well. Yes, some of them are on the chains BUT 90% of the elephants do not have any chains and I suppose only the agressive or dangerous ones... More 

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Copenhagen, Denmark
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2015 NEW

I am not an expert on elephant welfare. And I hope this apparently exploitative exposure to tourists finances a way to give these elephants a better life than what they have supposedly been saved from. But it does not look like it is what the elephants would want. Maybe that's why some of them were shaking their heads all the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Marlborough. UK
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
24 attraction reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2015 NEW via mobile

in UK I'm not sure this would be allowed. The elephants are there to entertain the people and I found it all a little sad. At the margins there were animals swaying to and fro looking stressed. Left after 30 minutes, lots of people seemed to enjoy it, but not me.

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and other visitors
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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?