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“More a zoo than an orphanage”

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Pinnawala
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Level Contributor
28 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“More a zoo than an orphanage”
Reviewed July 15, 2013 via mobile

We visited expecting an orphanage but found this more like a zoo. There seemed no attempt at conservation and they are breeding animals. Many elephants were chained up and looked miserable. When questioned the staff told us these were dangerous. Highly recommend giving it a miss and going on a safari to see them in the wild instead.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank 1987fran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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India
Level Contributor
86 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Dedicated elephant orphanage”
Reviewed July 13, 2013 via mobile

On our visit to Sri Lanka we made it a point to visit this place.
It has all wounded, injured or small baby elephants who are taken care of so well.
It felt so nice to see man attached to them so emotionally when rest are all just finishing their chances to survive

Salute the selfless people who spend non stop hours to rake care of them.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Vinesh M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Level Contributor
85 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Enjoyable morning watching the elephants bathe”
Reviewed July 13, 2013

It is about an hour's drive from Kandy so plan to arrive around 10am which is when the elephants are taken down to the river to bathe.

There is a nice hotel right on the water so we got front row seats in return for spending some money on a pot of tea for the four of us.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ian F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A well developed tourist attraction”
Reviewed July 13, 2013

If you don't go there in a Sri Lankan trip,
you feel you missed something

If you go there,
you feel it's touristy and it's the place sucking up foreign currency.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank f6heymans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sussex
Level Contributor
194 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“A highlight of the trip !”
Reviewed July 12, 2013

We saw the elephants at the river having their baths!! They are fabulous to watch ... Playing with each other in the water, they all look as though they are having such fun! I also got the opportunity to bottle feed a baby elephant which was fun!
You see the elephants roaming around without tethering which is a great experience to see as they are in their natural habitat. Definitely need a visit!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank KatiebrightonSussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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