Udawalawa Elephant Orphanage

Udawalawa Elephant Orphanage

Udawalawa Elephant Orphanage
4.5
8:45 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
8:45 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
8:45 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
8:45 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
8:45 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
8:45 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
8:45 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
8:45 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Duration: 1-2 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • darrenaforster
    Milton Keynes, United Kingdom39 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing experience - no abuse as per other reviews!
    We had a great time visiting the Udawalawa Elephant Sanctuary. They care for baby elephants that are orphaned and look after them until they are old enough to be released into the wild. The sticks they use are to avoid human contact and so the greedy elephants do not eat all the food. This helps them to adjust to life in the wild. We saw no abuse as per other reviews - quite the opposite, lots of very happy endangered elephants that would probably not be alive if it were not for the work done by the sanctuary. People simply do not bother to read the signs to understand why sticks are used and assume this is abuse. I would highly recommend this excursion if in Udawalawe. Entry price is only $5USD plus tax of 15% (note, this is charged in LKR when buying tickets so bring this currency with you). There is a shop next door where you can also buy formula milk as food for the baby elephants - this is also recommended as the centre relies on such generosity and visitors to continue rehoming orphaned elephants.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 20, 2023
  • Matthew P
    Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom783 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing Place
    Fantastic place providing sanctuary for a huge number of baby and young elephants who have lost their parents. The place is open for peple to come and see the elephants being fed 3 times a day and once they've had their milk the refreshed elephants undertake all manner of antics playfully jostling with each other over the grain food that's left out for them. Essentially by visiting this place you are helping to fund this much needed facility and you'll certainly leave with a huge smile on your face.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 23, 2023
  • Thushara Senarathna
    Balangoda, Sri Lanka12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best Naturalist Safari at Udawalawa
    I will be the happiest to share my experience. Prasad Ruwan Kumara, a Naturalist who possess over fifteen years practical experience in actively working in the department of wild life in Sri Lanka. he help us and providing safest transportation and all other necessary facilities including experienced naturalist from the beginning to the end of the jungle safari.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written January 12, 2024
  • LightPacker556676
    36 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful characters
    We rocked up 10 minutes before feeding time and managed to find a space to watch. The feeding took about half an hour but by golly we laughed seeing all the little characters, those wanting more than one feed of milk and trying to sneak back in, those racing to be first and some more grumpy who wanted to be left alone. Was happy to pay 7,500 rupees knowing this was going to this worthy cause.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written February 6, 2024
  • Nik_sing
    Hong Kong, China73 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Heartwarming Experience with baby elephants
    Visiting the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home was an unforgettable experience, thanks to the adorable baby elephants stealing the show. Their playful antics and endearing curiosity melted my heart. Watching them interact with each other and their caretakers was a joyous reminder of the beauty of nature. Seeing the orphaned and injured baby elephants being cared for and bottle-fed by dedicated staff was truly inspiring A must-visit for anyone traveling to Sri Lanka
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written February 27, 2024
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

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles293 reviews
Excellent
175
Very good
76
Average
23
Poor
8
Terrible
11

TaraKirkland
Sawtell, Australia26 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
This is a great short self-guided activity. The baby elephants are very cute and it was adorable when they would get angry that the milk was all gone (they have to limit the milk so the babies will also eat leaves). The tourist price is much more than the local price, but I am more than happy to support this organization. Arrive early to get a good seat!
Written March 14, 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.

Lucy S
London, UK22 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
Left after about 15 mins…felt very uncomfortable.
Why is there so many orphans?
They were moved on from milk zone very quickly to stand infront of tourists. Felt like they were trained to this this which felt a little circus.
The man inside the enclosure with the stick was grabbing and twisting the tails of the beautiful animals. His manner was terrible and should not work there.
Written June 12, 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.

darrenaforster
Milton Keynes, UK39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Couples
We had a great time visiting the Udawalawa Elephant Sanctuary. They care for baby elephants that are orphaned and look after them until they are old enough to be released into the wild. The sticks they use are to avoid human contact and so the greedy elephants do not eat all the food. This helps them to adjust to life in the wild. We saw no abuse as per other reviews - quite the opposite, lots of very happy endangered elephants that would probably not be alive if it were not for the work done by the sanctuary. People simply do not bother to read the signs to understand why sticks are used and assume this is abuse.

I would highly recommend this excursion if in Udawalawe. Entry price is only $5USD plus tax of 15% (note, this is charged in LKR when buying tickets so bring this currency with you). There is a shop next door where you can also buy formula milk as food for the baby elephants - this is also recommended as the centre relies on such generosity and visitors to continue rehoming orphaned elephants.
Written September 21, 2023
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.

Jayasinghe N
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022 • Friends
I could see various age of elephants one place.As well the way of their feeding cought my heart.Everyone who wish to see elephant,recommend to come to see Elephant transit home.
Written January 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.

Nik_sing
Hong Kong, China73 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
Visiting the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home was an unforgettable experience, thanks to the adorable baby elephants stealing the show. Their playful antics and endearing curiosity melted my heart. Watching them interact with each other and their caretakers was a joyous reminder of the beauty of nature.

Seeing the orphaned and injured baby elephants being cared for and bottle-fed by dedicated staff was truly inspiring

A must-visit for anyone traveling to Sri Lanka
Written February 28, 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.

DuncanTCH
East Greenbush, NY1,499 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022
A visit to the Udawalawa Elephant Orphanage is not only completely entertaining and delightful, it also supports the excellent work that the orphanage does. This venue is exceptionally popular with the locals, so make sure that you arrive 30+ minutes before feeding time if you want to get a seat closest to the enclosure. There are about 30-40 younger elephants that attend the feeding and it's amazing to see how they all interact with each other...just like humans...some pushy, some quiet and waiting their turn, some demanding, some vocal. Completely entertaining. Also spend some time viewing the exhibits before/after the feeding show to see all of the great work this organization does. NOTE: you will not get to feed the elephants yourself as some other reviews have implied. Instead, you watch the professional handlers care for and feed elephants in various groups (based upon age/size). Definitely a must see experience!!
Written January 3, 2023
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.

LightPacker556676
36 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
We rocked up 10 minutes before feeding time and managed to find a space to watch. The feeding took about half an hour but by golly we laughed seeing all the little characters, those wanting more than one feed of milk and trying to sneak back in, those racing to be first and some more grumpy who wanted to be left alone. Was happy to pay 7,500 rupees knowing this was going to this worthy cause.
Written February 6, 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.

Ine F
Huissen212 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022
Nice place where they do a really good job in rescueing young orphan elephants. I visited one that my daughter adopted 4 years ago. With all the details I had, the caretaker got permission to show her to me from a distance ofcourse, but I got all possible moments to make pictures and videos from her. It is always fantastic to see them grow and develop so that the can be released when the time is there to do that in a safe way.
Written February 9, 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.

J&R
Scotland, UK53 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
Absolutely disgusted by the behaviour of staff today. Witnessed this man in blue punch a baby elephant in the face and later hit another face with metal jug.

I also would question why there are so many elephants, some very large in their care?
Written March 14, 2023
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.

Matthew P
Brighton and Hove, UK783 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
Fantastic place providing sanctuary for a huge number of baby and young elephants who have lost their parents. The place is open for peple to come and see the elephants being fed 3 times a day and once they've had their milk the refreshed elephants undertake all manner of antics playfully jostling with each other over the grain food that's left out for them. Essentially by visiting this place you are helping to fund this much needed facility and you'll certainly leave with a huge smile on your face.
Written November 23, 2023
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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Udawalawa Elephant Orphanage - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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