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“Total rip off” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Colombo-Kandy Road | 90km from Colombo, Pinnawala, Sri Lanka
+94-35-2-26-52-84
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Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Pinnawala
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Scotland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Total rip off”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

I visited this commercial enterprise and was amazed at the poor management of the elephants.
The feeding of the baby elephants was a disgrace and something of a cruel circus.
I wouldn't recommend anyone to visit

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Peterborough, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Elephants close up”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

What an amazing experience. Seeing elephants so close, feeding baby elephants milk and adult elephants fruit, watching them feed and learning about the orphanage/breeding program. It is seeing to believing because you stand in front of a large herd feeding and then going down to the river to bathe. Unfortunately due to heavy rain the previous day it wasn't possible to see them in the river, however a DVD I purchased shows what it was like. A fantastic morning and well worth the visit.

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Top Contributor
273 reviews 273 reviews
121 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
137 helpful votes 137 helpful votes
“Worth a visit!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

Well worth a visit on your way to Kandy. Its lovely to see the elephants bathing and you also get to feed them in the evening at a specific time. Feel that the elephants could have been looked after better at times. Much enjoyed by children and a must see on your way to Kandy.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“commercial circus: don't go”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

We visited Pinnawala with our two children and our impression is that this has little to do with an orphanage. The main goal is to shake out tourists as much money as possible. The day we were there, the river was too high to bath the elephants. Although this is the main attraction, the admission price of 2.000 SR per person was the same. For this money you can see a zoo with some elephants standing around. If you want to come closer to them, you have to pay extra. If you want to take picture, you have to pay. If you want to feed bananas, you have to pay. For 250 SR they offer you to give a bottle of milk to a baby elephant. This is also a misunderstanding, as the staff gives this bottle and you may also touch the bottle, which is finished in 3 seconds. The staff is unfriendly and hardly communicates with visitors, other than harsh orders. They just can't care less don't wether you are satisfied with your visit or not.

If you want to see elephants, there are plenty opportunities to do so in Sri Lanka. If you want to see them and leave with a very unsatisfied feeling, this is your place to go!

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Brighton, Canada
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Exciting to watch at the river”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

We took visitors from Canada to the elephant orphanage last week-end. The location is about 5kms off the Colombo - Kandy Road at marker 60kms. Admission is $20 for tourists and $2 for locals. Best time to get there is either 09:30 or 13:00 as the 50 or so elephants are paraded from their compound, across the road and 200 m to the river at 10am and 2pm. You can first go to the compound for a walk to see them roaming about and visit the 'baby' area. You can even feed the babies (for a small fee) if you wish. Also a mahood (trainer) will offer to take your picture beside an elephant (small fee). The best place to see them is at the couple of restaurants down by the river. Sit, have a snack or a beverage and just watch the antics of the elephants, especially the younger ones. You can ask a mahood if you can feed an elephant (small fee) but it is quite the experience. A well worth visit if in Sri Lanka.

Visited May 2013
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