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“Mixed feelings” 4 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
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Useful Information: Activities for older children
Manchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Mixed feelings”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

When we visited the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage I had mixed feelings. We watched the elephants take a bath (I think it's from 11:00 - 13:00). You can take a picture with them for a tip (we didn't do it because elephants are forced into position). When you sit and watch the elephants bathe it is a really nice experience. However it is made for tourists and people really want to sell you different things (statues, pictures, bananas). We just sat in the back and enjoyed the view!

We walked back to the orphanages and saw the old elephant that stepped on a landmine. He can barely walk and doesn't look happy. I think they should end his misery and not let him live to enjoy the tourists.

Some of the elephants are free to walk within their space and some are chained, not very tight and they can walk a couple of meters. The watchers are taking good care for the elephants!

Visited July 2014
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Montclair, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Concentration camp for elephants. Do not go”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

I was in Sri Lanka for a month with 15 kids trying to help wild elephants. We went here to see what it was like and though we were warned about the terrible treatment of the elephants we were appalled at the active abuse that is leveled at these elephants! The mahouts scream at them and poke them with sharp Steele pokers. The chain them on short chains for hours at a time. This is unnecessary. Elephants are lovely and can be treated with kindness in order to co operate. There are no real elephant behaviors left in these poor creatures. They have been trained to beg only. Please don't go here! Riding elephants is a terrible abuse of these lovely creatures! If you want to see elephants go on a safari and see them in the wild. If you go here you are actively participating in animal abuse.

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mahe Island, Seychelles
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“An unforgettable experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014

In April, my family and i had the chance to visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage while on holiday in Sri Lanka. It took us three hours from Colombo 3 to reach the site by Kangaroo taxi. We were guided by our chauffeur Mr.Sanjiva who was a very courteous person. We visited the elephants when they were bathing in the river and my husband and daughter had the pleasure of riding Sita, a very friendly elephant. We also experienced the process of recycling elephant dung into paper. It is really interesting and it is a must see for visitors. We had a memorable experience and we will surely visit this place next time we are in Sri Lanka.

Visited April 2014
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Bandung,Indonesia
Top Contributor
421 reviews 421 reviews
300 attraction reviews
Reviews in 97 cities Reviews in 97 cities
283 helpful votes 283 helpful votes
“NIce effort to save the elephants , 2 thumbs up!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014

Visited Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage ,on early July 2014, the tour was organized by BlueLanka tour ,our guide/driver was Mr.Janeke.Took about 2 hours + from Colombo 03 Colpetty to reach Pinnawala.Entrance fee was Rs 2500 per person.Near the ticketing booth ,there's a souvenir shop.
The elephants , including the juvenile , old and crippled are kept on a huge shelter .We saw several elephants are disabled , and old .These elephants are rescued from the jungle, because of human activities destroyed their habitat.
Later we proceed to the bathing site.The view was stunning. We manage to hand feed the elephants , with bananas , for Rs 100 , then we give gratitudes for the keepers ,Rs 100.Overall it was a nice experience .Worth to be visited !

Visited July 2014
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Calicut, India
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Interesting Place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

I would definitely recommend a visit to this place even if you are used to seeing Elephants. They have done quite well to make it interesting and seeing over 40 elephants being herded through the park to the river is a sight to behold.

Try and make it to see the feeding of the baby elephants. The little rascals are adorable.

Visited April 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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