pinnawala elephant orphanage

Elephantastic – Travel to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Sri Lanka

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It’s easy to be astounded when you’re a youngster, but Sri Lanka blew me away in a way that few countries have since. It was my first ever trip that took me out of the continent, and the first trip that really showed me the vast, vast differences between cultures and economies around the world. As I get older and my references for comparison become broader, these kinds of eye-opening, life-changing experiences are unfortunately few and far between. So it’s always with a great smile that I look back on my trip to Sri Lanka – the trip that truly made me fall in love with travel.

One place that made a particular mark on me was the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. As a boy from London I’d get excited if I saw a fox in the wild, and so you can imagine my reaction to seeing real, live elephants out in the wild.

pinnawala elephant orphanage sri lanka

Elephant goes a-roamin’. Photo by Ron Saunders.

In the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage you can feed baby elephants with huge milk bottles (careful, they’re thirsty!), watch them roam out in the open and even wash them – all while donating to the foundation itself.

The foundation was established by the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation in 1975. The idea was to provide care and sanctuary to orphaned baby elephants in the wild. Most grow up to be healthy adults and live happy lives. Some, unfortunately, are released into bad situations, which is a topic under investigation.

pinnawala elephant orphanage tour

Washing the elephants. Photo by S J Pinkey.

How to Get to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Since Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is located between Kandy and Colombo, it’s also a perfect opportunity for a day-trip that breaks up your journey.

How to get to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage from Kandy: Catch the bus from Kandy at the Bus Shed Station to Udamulla. From there you take another bus to Rambukkana and get off at Pinnawala.

How to get to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage from Colombo: It’s best to take a train heading for Kandy, which stop at Pinnawala.

Remember, the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage costs around 2,000 LKR, so come prepared!

pinnawala elephant orphanage walking

Beautiful scenes at the Pinnawala National Park. Photo by R Barraez D´Lucca.

Have you been to Sri Lanka? What are your favorite memories? Let us know all about them below!

Travel to Sri Lanka and Pinnawala with one of our incredible Sri Lanka tours!

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