Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage: Hours, Address, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Reviews: 3.5/5

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
3.5
08:30 - 18:00
Monday
08:30 - 18:00
Tuesday
08:30 - 18:00
Wednesday
08:30 - 18:00
Thursday
08:30 - 18:00
Friday
08:30 - 18:00
Saturday
08:30 - 18:00
Sunday
08:30 - 18:00
About
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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3.5
4,018 reviews
Excellent
1,164
Very good
1,194
Average
703
Poor
347
Terrible
610

dilan m
Sri Lanka31 contributions
Excited
Apr 2021 • Couples
We visited this awesome place during the beginning of covid 19 pandemic situation. Place was less crowded and very quiet. We were comfortably seated and watched elephants are enjoying natural river bathing. Hope to visit again
Written 28 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear visitor, A fantastic day from PEO, Thank you very much for visiting PEO and taking the time to share your valuable feedback on TripAdvisor. You have mentioned that you visited here during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka. We have provided all the facilities to the visitors as per the health guidelines to come safely to the Elephant Orphanage in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time of your visit, we have provided all facilities for visitors according to the health guidelines of Covid-19 for a safe visit to the Elephant Orphanage. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of visitors to the Elephant Orphanage has dropped dramatically during this time. Otherwise, on days this is a place full of visitors. The elephant bathing at the river is the most famous and attractive event at PEO. In addition, we provide opportunities to visitors who like to feed and get close to the elephants to feed and bathe the elephants in the river. But at present, those opportunities have been temporarily suspended for tourists due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Once again thank you for your review. Hope to wish welcome you back to the PEO for a memorable visit. Thank you. From, PEO Team
Written 4 June 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Alan G
Morecambe, UK19 contributions
Sad
Mar 2020
Billed as a sanctuary for orphaned elephants, commercialism has taken over and it is no more than a glorified tourist attraction zoo. Not a pleasant site to see these majestic creatures chained up and being proded with spiked staffs.
Written 9 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
A fantastic day from PEO, Thank you so much for visiting PEO and sharing your experience with us on TripAdvisor. We are deeply distressed to learn that you did not have a positive attitude toward us. The Elephant Orphanage under the Department of National Zoological Gardens in Sri Lanka, and currently, we are home to 81 elephants in the facility. We bear a sum of money to protect these creatures in the facility and the cost of food for one elephant is about LKR.10,000 per day. Therefore, we need an income to run the company. However, despite the collapse of our income in the wake of the Easter attack in 2019 and the Covid-19 pandemic since 2020, we continue to run the institute successfully. Therefore, we are not giving priority to commercial activities in the PEO. Additionally please note PEO is a well-organized institute under the Sri Lankan government, we occasionally use chains and elephant keepers with bullhooks just to manage certain aggressive bull elephants in the facility. We should bound to ensure the safety of visitors and elephants as a responsible government institute. It is happy to say that we have already taken many steps to remove their chains as much as possible and we aim to control them in a proper way in the facility. The “Chain free-born free” project is one of the main ongoing projects at PEO, which focuses on their freedom in the facility. Therefore, we hope you understand our efforts and we welcome you back to the PEO in the future for a memorable visit. Thank you. From PEO Team
Written 13 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kekin2011
Mumbai, India302 contributions
Happy elephants being bathed in a lake
Feb 2020
Entry charges were LKR 800 (for SAARC adults), LKR 3500 (foreign adults). We enjoyed the place a lot because it lets you be quite close to the elephants. It's not every day that you see elephants being bathed in a river. In fact, there were more than 20. There were elephants of all sizes. While some elephants were returning to the orphanage, we witnessed them passing on the road leading to the river. We were less than 6 feet away from them! It was amazing! Make sure you check the timings before you go. You don't want to miss the bathing time.

There was a small little street with some elephant themed handicraft and boutique shops as well. Mainly for souvenirs. One of the shops was particularly interesting because they made products out of dried elephant dung. They had a little processing plant in the back of their shop.
Written 31 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
A fantastic day from PEO, First of all, thank you very much for visiting PEO and taking the time to share your lovely experience with us on TripAdvisor. We would like to express our gratitude for making your comments interesting to those who wish to visit PEO. Indeed PEO is the most famous tourist destination for visitors, who want to see a large herd of Asian elephants in close proximity. Further, this place is the only venue of its land around the globe with its unique deposition as a safe–haven. Currently, we are home to 81 elephants in the facility and taken to the river twice time a day for a swim and get their bath. As you said it is one of the most fascinating and highlighted scenes of PEO. If you want to see how they get their daily bath, you need to reach the river Ma-Oya and which is located within walking distance of the institute. Additionally, we would like to mention that our main herd will be in the river from 10.00 am to 12.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm. During the heavy rainy season, they will not be there because the water level in the river Ma-Oya rises. The small shops are run by private owners and they sell local community products for foreigners and we thank you for your high response in our institute. We welcome you once again to gather wonderful experiences with elephants. We wish you the best of luck. Thank you. From, PEO Team.
Written 13 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Eruvana S
Anuradhapura3 contributions
Worth to visit pinnawala.
May 2020 • Family
Amazing place. Hundred of elephants. Was interest to see how they are taking the bath. And feeding is the main attraction.
Written 24 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear visitor, A fantastic day from PEO, Thank you very much for visiting PEO and taking the time to share your feedback on TripAdvisor. The primary purpose of this institute is to provide shelter to orphaned elephants, who were stranded in the wild due to many reasons. At the present, we are home to 81 elephants. Actually, the elephant bathing event is at the river is the most famous and attractive event at PEO. In addition to that event, the fruit feeding event is available at PEO for the visitors who like to feed and get close to the elephants. An only selected group of elephants takes part in that event and they are recommended to receive extra nutrition under their multiple health conditions and veterinary recommendation. Once again thank you for your valuable review hope to welcome you back to the PEO for a memorable visit. Thank you, From, PEO Team.
Written 13 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ken Pearce
4 contributions
Must See in Sri Lanka
Feb 2020
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the orphanage. It was a positive experience and seeing the elephants enjoy themselves, both in the park and in the river, I wondered how anyone could find fault with the place.
Written 14 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
A fantastic day from PEO, Thank you for visiting Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and sharing your lovely experience on TripAdvisor. It is happy to see the persons who understand our effort. The primary purpose of this institute is to provide care and shelter to orphaned elephants that were stranded in the wild due to many reasons. They are living under our institution with the highest quality of animal welfare facilities and we are committed to providing them a natural environment as much as possible. Again thank you for your perfect rating and welcome you once again to gather wonderful experience with elephants. Thank you. From PEO Team.
Written 13 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Niranjan P
Dubai, United Arab Emirates31 contributions
Second visit
Jul 2020 • Family
This time we visit was 4 of Us and 2nd visit for my daughter and first for the Son.. The place is so quiet and peaceful with very few local visitors..Best time to visit the place is now..kids enjoyed the elephant shower...
Written 27 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear visitor, A fantastic day from Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage! Thank you very much for visiting Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and taking time to comment us on tripadvisor. It is happy to hear that this was your second visit and we are so happy to give you a happy visit this time too. Absolutely kids are fond of looking elephant bathing event at the riverside and we welcome you again for more wonderful experiences at PEO. Again, many thanks for your perfect rating we wish you a happy day! From PEO Team.
Written 2 August 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

snacky_sterlittos
Panchkula, India9 contributions
Good
Aug 2019 • Friends
Must visit attraction in Sri Lanka...it is the place where you can feed ,bath and play with elephants ....must must visit
Written 9 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear visitor, A fantastic day from Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage! Thank you very much for visiting Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and sharing your lovely experience & admiration with us. We look forward to the pleasure of welcoming you back to the PEO soon. From PEO Team
Written 2 August 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

robiwatts
Seaford, UK542 contributions
An amazing spectacle
Jan 2020 • Couples
I was initially worried about going to this place. A lot of reports talk about the elephants being chained up which seriously could prevent any form of enjoyment. We did not actually go into the actual orphanage but merely paid (the full admission price) and watched them crossing the road and bathing at the bottom. Yes, the bull elephants were chained I guess for their and my safety. These were big animals that you would not wish to charge you. The younger and better behaved marched down the road and seemed well looked after and showed no discomfort that I could see. Ok far better that they are free totally in the wild and this would really be the way I would like to see them. They seemed to enjoy their trip and bathe and we did not see any rough handling by any of the Mahoots . All in all a wonderful morning. I would return if I ever get back to Sri Lanka.
Written 17 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear visitor, A fantastic day from Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage! Thank you very much for taking time to write us and sharing your experiences following your visit. We are sorry about not attending the institution. However, we highly appreciate seeing how our institution works for the animals and giving an important and accurate interpretation of it. As you mentioned in your review, certain bull elephants are chained to provide protection for the other elephants as well as visitors. It is important your understanding that elephants are extremely powerful animals many times the size of humans. Thus, it is not an easy task to control such large creatures in the facility. However, our mahouts look after them in the best possible way. Further, as a dedicated institution for the elephant welfare, we bare a huge cost for their welfare specially their food, medicine and all the facilities of them. We provide utmost comfort for them and we are striving here to protect this endangered species for ensuring future existence. Next time we invite you to visit the institutions and we welcome you for a more memorable stay. Thank you. From PEO Team.
Written 15 May 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Les O
Calgary, Canada13 contributions
Terrible
Mar 2020
All elephant chained at night. Most show strong stereotypic behaviours. Many elephants are fat - saw a mahout feeding ice cream to one elephant. Many have chain scars on their legs and must stand in their own faeces all night. The bulls are almost always chained, some not even having shelter. They also sell their elephants to many first and second world zoos. DO NOT SUPPORT!
Written 31 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear visitor, A fantastic day from Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage ! Thank you very much for visiting Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and taking time to write us. It is distressing to learn your review since you have not considered our great task of conserving these problematic elephants in this facility. Further, obviously you did not observe our daily routine trips and their social & family activities in the free roaming area and bathing area. When we focus on your first point, elephants are definitely secured over night at PEO. Elephants are not pets, weight 3-4 tones & are not as peaceful as they often seem to be. The Orphanage is situated in an in habituated area with traffic. This is not a jungle. If even one elephant brakes out, human and his own life are ultimately in danger. However, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage already has paid its main attention to keep them free in the future, even at night under various difficult circumstances. Also in our daily activity programe, the elephants are definitely well provided with high quality checked food in their places depending on their weight under the veterinary recommendation. We pay attention to their health everyday and maintain their body balance by eating and daily exercising. Especially, they have a large yard to walk and participate in trekking or other activities. As well as, most of our elephants chained were males and were directed to us from the Judiciary of Sri Lanka as they have captured illegally from the wild. We are compelled to use chains on them, as they are court productions and are very boisterous in behavior. However, the calm and cool animals are kept apart without chains. The Tusker is under musth period, and it is necessary to keep him in a large shed providing all the requirements with confined mobility. Furthermore, as you said in your review, PEO does not sell elephants to many first and second world zoos. In Sri Lanka, animals are exported to foreign countries in accordance with international convections (e.g. CITIES) only during diplomatic grants and animal exchange programs. This process is approved by the Hon. President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka with the approval of the Minister in charge of the subject. I hope you understand our efforts to keep up the elephants in the facility and please visit us again to see the improvements we are undertaken to set them chain free in three large enclosures already constructed in the Orphanage. Have a nice day! From, PEO Team.
Written 1 June 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tomo
147 contributions
Elephants without Chains
Apr 2019 • Couples
The institution's mission is to provide shelter to orphaned elephants who were stranded in the wild. Although I feel that I only got to see just a glimpse of how the elephants are being treated, it was nice to see them bathing under the sun without any chains. If this institution is doing what they're saying, I hope they continue to do so and save as many elephants as possibile. Also, it's nice to see that the their PR Manager makes an effort to reply to most of the reviews on this page.
Written 25 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear Visitor, A fantastic day from Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage! Thank you very much for visiting Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and writing your humble experience on trip advisor. As you mentioned, our primary purpose of this institute is providing care and shelter to orphaned elephant that were stranded in the wild due to many reasons. They are living under our institution with the highest quality of animal welfare facilities and we are committed providing them with a natural environment. Furthermore, at present, it has expanded our service on breeding and conservation of Asian elephants and it is proud to say 71 elephants have been bred in this facility up to now. Further, our institution does educate both local and foreign visitors about the conservation of Asian elephants as an endangered species and, their welfare facilities, main objectives of this orphanage etc. Finally, we do appreciate your accurate understanding of our task and we do continue this task to save these problematic elephants by saving their lives to ensure biodiversity in Sri Lanka. Further, many thanks to recognizing the efforts of the PEO team who responding to the visitor’s comments on PEO page and we certainly hope to see you with us again. Thank you. From PEO Team.
Written 15 May 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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