Elephant Freedom Project
Elephant Freedom Project
5
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
About
Visit us and experience a special elephant encounter which is suitable for young and old, families, couples and single travelers. This is your chance to get a memorable impression of a day in the life of 2 Sri Lankan captive elephants who are not being used for working nor riding. The small family run Elephant Freedom Project offers refuge, freedom from work and hardship to the 2 elephants both named Kumari. At the project they are free from working in the riding industry and the wood logging. The Elephant Freedom Project aims to give them a good and safe home, which is made possible thanks to your visit! Booking in advance required.
Duration: More than 3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • Evelyn
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing experience
    One of the best experiences we’ve had in Sri Lanka! The Family and staff are really knowledgable on everything to do with elephants and their welfare. These are rescued elephants and you can really tell they have the passion and care to change these elephants life. You get to walk the elephants up the jungle, bathe them as well as feed them and enjoy their company. We had an amazing time and would definitely recommend it!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 17, 2023
  • Faye Greenwood
    Liverpool, United Kingdom1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don’t miss this amazing opportunity!
    Everything about the project is memorable from the respect and bond between the elephants and their mahouts to the welcoming family and the delicious food freshly prepared daily by the lovely ladies in the kitchen. The project is ethical and always prioritises the elephants which was crucial for me when choosing a place to visit in Sri Lanka. To be able to walk alongside, watch and wash these incredible animals was an unforgettable experience and I would not hesitate to recommend it to others!
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 18, 2023
  • Sam H
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Elephant loveliness
    Wanted an experience which was about supporting, rather than exploiting these beautiful animals. The family here support the lives of two elephants rescued from logging and tourism duties. There are hands-on opportunities for bathing and feeding the elephants, alongside wonderful local food to enjoy for lunch. We had a fantastic time - thank you so much for your hospitality.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 21, 2023
  • Jacqui M
    10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing experience
    Our visit to this project was an amazing unforgettable experience. All the staff and guides were knowledgeable and helpful and it clear to see that the elephants were well cared for and happy. The visit was rounded off by a delicious lunch provided by the hosts. Would highly recommend a visit if you are traveling through the area. Jacqui & Antony
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 22, 2023
  • Youthgroup2018
    Orpington, United Kingdom20 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An immersive elephant experience!
    What an amazing place! The staff treated us like family and went above and beyond to make our stay the best possible. It surpassed my expectations! In our two days here we went walking with the elephants twice, washed them in the river twice, helped out at a local English language club, visited a local factory making paper from elephant poo and had a home cooking tutorial from our hosts. Wow! It has been such an immersive experience hosted by a delightful family and rest of the team. The two elephants we spent time with were so calm, friendly and well loved.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 5, 2023
  • Stan H
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing
    Without a doubt the best elephant experience in Sri Lanka that prioritises the physical and mental welfare of the elephants. The mahouts genuinely have a special bond with the elephants and seem to be invested in wanting the best future for Kumari and Menike. Would definitely recommend for an ethical and special experience of the elephants who are loved and cared for by everyone at Elaphant Freedom Project.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 10, 2023
  • Marion S
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    So glad we choose to visit
    We had an amazing time at the elephant freedom project. The walk was slow and Mahmoud was full of information. We had lunch before we started in the family home along with other walkers and it was delicious. The freedom project also hosts students interested in Elephant welfare. I can imagine it’s a lovely environment to work in. Whilst we were there our daughter lost a bracelet , Shashini kept us informed about the search as we had left. It wasn’t found but we appreciated their effort. 5 *
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 15, 2023
  • bexiwilliams
    London, United Kingdom16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Elephant freedom project
    Amazing experience! My son who is 8 adored washing the elephants. The guides are very knowledgeable and it was so nice to see the elephants treated so well after seeing elephants in other places being mistreated. We opted for the afternoon session as we had to travel 3 hours to get here from our hotel. We were provided with a delicious home cooked meal of Dahl and various other dishes, everything was amazing.I would definitely return
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 26, 2023
  • Ben C
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing day at The Elephant Freedom Project
    Myself and my friend came to see the elephants today for her birthday and what an experience it was. Booking was so easy and Tim helped me through the process and kept me fully up to date throughout, transport was organised and the driver was excellent. When we arrived we were greeted with a refreshing drink and a lovely Sri Lankan meal by the family. We then made our way to meet the elephants and what an amazing time we had, the mahouts were so attentive to the elephants and my friend and I. These elephants are clearly loved and cared for very well by the mahouts. This was an extremely ethical project and other elephant programmes should strive to take a leaf out of their book!
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 8, 2023
  • Evi H
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must do activity in Sri Lanka!
    Amazing experience! Everybody was very kind and we felt very welcomed. We stayed the night in the house of the family, room and food perfect. The activity with the elephants was a highlight of our trip to Sri Lanka! They treat the elephants very kind like they are part of the family! We recommend it to everybody!
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 13, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles788 reviews
Excellent
722
Very good
40
Average
9
Poor
7
Terrible
10

peterc0lvin
London, UK55 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
We did the half day morning tour and it was fantastic. The guides who walk around with you are so friendly and boy did the young guy know his stuff. Kumari the elephant was gorgeous and so friendly. The highlight was bathing her in the river but to be honest the whole experience is mind blowing especially of tou live in a big city as I do. We took a short 2 minute bus ride to the dung factory where they make paper and that in iself could be it's own tour as gives real insight into working life in Sri lanka. Finally big shout out to whover cooked the food for lunch as it was delicous, especially the sausage chicken.🤤
Written January 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lora M
Amsterdam, The Netherlands52 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We visited the lovely elephant Kumari with our 4-year old and 6-month old and stayed overnight with the family. My son loved feeding Kumari her bananas and we went for a short walk, but had to return because the heat was so bad. The tour guide was informative and fun and they were really helpful with our children. We did not continue onto the dung factory part of the tour. I would recommend for families with small children, but be aware the heat might be a lot, especially if you’re carrying a baby. We pushed ours in a stroller, but the walking areas are rugged.
Written February 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mary M
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022 • Couples
I can not say other words than HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
This was without a doubt one of our favorite exeperience in Sri lanka. We have been always very reluctant to go to any elephant sanctuary due to the horror stories of chains and beatings to keep the animals in control. We also refused to go to anywhere that condoned elephant riding but then we found the elefant freedom project, who rescue elephants from captivity and actually care for them. We liked that the sessions accept only a maximum of 8 people so the animal does not feel overwhelmed and people have the opportunity to connect with the animal. In ours, we were the only ones that evening, which made our experience even more special. The guys were amazing, they introduced us first with a very nice lunch followed by a bath session with the elephant, a long walk with her where we were able to feed her along the way, and we finished with a visit to the elephant paper factory and a sri lankan tea. We created a very special connection no only with Kumari but with the people that run the project, we are feel very proud and happy to have been able to contribute to such a beautiful cause and made friends on the way!! Thank you elephant freedom project!!
Written January 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wrighty
Gold Coast, Australia8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Family
We were lucky enough to be able to spend a week with this amazing family caring for Kumari (the amazing elephant) and getting to be part of the family. Ananda and Mali made us feel part of the family - teaching us amazing Sri Lankan cooking, language and traditions. Our lovely guide Kasun took our boys under his wing and was amazing with them! He gave them special experiences that they’ll never forget! The commitment to making life better for these majestic creatures was clear! A wonderful experience all round! Hope we can return soon!
Written February 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tammyvdb
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Family
What an incredible place. This experience was just amazing. Our daughter is 7 and she has had an amazing time feeding, washing and walking with the two elephants The two 'girls' are so gentle and appear very happy and content. The handlers treat them with so much respect and love and they are truly loved. Please don't go to the big commercial elephant place down the road where they chain the elephants under the water for the tourists. Please don't ride them, their backs are not flat and actually not suitable to have the weight of multiple people on them all day. Please think about this before booking and take this option, you will not regret it.
Written December 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Danlassen
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates136 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Solo
A very lovely project, beautiful location and sweet elephant! Had a lovely day!
But a bad beginning!

Don’t order their pick up they offer!

I ordered a Pick up from my hotel to the project.
(Gateway Hotel Airport Garden).

I got a confirmation mail that the pick up would be around 06:30 am.
I came down to the reception at 06:20 am. In the morning and even skipped my breakfast.
I waited to 07:50 am! More than a hour.
No one ever came to pick me up, even tried to contact the number provided by Shashini (elephant project management) without any answer! No one ever contacted me!!!!!

The hotel staff were so kind to help me with the transportation to the project, which I almost was going to miss as well at 09:00 am.

I was really disappointed with this kind of service! And I don’t want any future customers to book transportation with the Elephant freedom project! As they don’t keep what they promise!
So bad!

I also had to share this experience with all of my 7000 colleagues in my airline, which regularly goes to Colombo. And this is sad.

Otherwise, I reached the project! And had a lovely day!
A lovely project and a lovely Elephant and project!

Just such a bad beginning when you have booked a tour and looked forward!

Daniel Lassen
Denmark
Written May 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
I remember this situation very well since it was the first and only time this happened. I arranged the transport the day before. When you called us and we found out that you didn't get picked up we were very surprised! I quickly arranged another driver however the harm was already done. Needless to say, we never used that driver again.  I am very sorry for the inconvenience caused to you but happy to read that you did enjoy your time at the project. Thankfully we could arrange it so that you didn't have to miss any activities. We hope to see you again in the future. Thank you, Shashini.
Written May 25, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Neenyboo
Philadelphia, PA30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family
We did the whole day visit and it wasn’t short of amazing. Buddi our guide was very friendly and knowledgeable about the elephants. We walked Kumari for a coupe of hours and it was 10 people on the group. We all got our share of feeding and petting and it was plenty of time. The trainer was very good with the elephant and we felt safe. We then got a Sri Lankan cooking lesson and helped with the preparation of the meal. It was fun and we learned a lot. We then bathed Kumari in the lake which was again a fun experience for all. We then ate the delicious meal that we helped prepare. Lastly we went to rye dung factory and that was an enlightening experience. I highly recommend this experience. I had no concern about the elephants care and felt it was a loving and safe environment.
Written February 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sarah G
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
I would recommend this experience to anyone!!

We had an amazing time here feeding, bathing and walking with 2 rescue elephants. The whole tour was around 3.5 hours which was plenty of time for cuddles, walking together, bathing/washing in a nearby lake and photos. It was very warm so I recommend lots of suncream/water and water shoes for the lake, they do have a few spare if you forget though. The guides are really informative, answering all questions and giving little facts along the way about the elephants. The guides are also happy to take lots of videos and photos.

The relationship between the elephants and the mahouts is wonderful to see, abit like a dog and owner in the UK! They are so loving and trusting of each other and seemed very relaxed.

Overall a lovely morning, followed by an authentic Sri lanken lunch (included in price of £75 for two people). There is also the option to stay the night and volunteer.
Written March 11, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jonas
11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022 • Couples
We spent 3 weeks volunteering at EFP and it was an absolutely outstanding experience. We got to help carry out various meaningful projects and also got to propose and create our own. The loving family, the sweet coordinators and the rest of the team took great care of us every day. It is THE best place to meet, care for and learn about elephants, but also to gain insight in the sri lankan culture through family dinners, cooking classes and day trips. The way the former working elephants are treated at this place is unique and all the effort pays off when you see and feel how happy they are. You will quickly fall in love with their two elephants named Kumari. We would recomend staying here at least a week to experience the bonds being created between you and the elephants. Also, once you get to know the house dog Leo he is simply the sweetest dog - just remember treats! We will definitely return to this place! Thank you!
Written March 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Daniel C
Brasilia, DF42 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Couples
I absolutely recommend this place as the most responsible and ethical a Elephant business oriented can be. You can clearly see for the whole day how not only the Elephants are well treated, but also respected and roam freely and on their own pace. The manhouts are passionate for the Maneki and Kumari and they are loved back. After so long searching for such a place, be it on Cambodia, Thailand, India or the rest of Sri Lanka, I really found a great place in The Elephant Freedom Project.
Written December 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Elephant Freedom Project - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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