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Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Discover the Gentle Giants of Sri Lanka at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Nestled in the verdant landscapes of the Sabaragamuwa Province, the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage stands as a testament to Sri Lanka’s enduring commitment to wildlife conservation. Established in 1975, this sanctuary has become a beacon of hope and a home for elephants orphaned in the wild. A visit to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage offers an unparalleled opportunity to witness these majestic creatures up close, learn about their behaviors, and contribute to their well-being.

Essential Visitor Information

  • Location: Pinnawala, Rambukkana, Sri Lanka
  • Hours of Operation: Daily, 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Entrance Fees:
  • Adults: LKR 2,500 (Approx. USD 7)
  • Children: LKR 1,250 (Approx. USD 3.5)
  • Prices are subject to change, so it’s advisable to check the official website or contact the orphanage directly for the most current information.

Highlights and Experiences

Visitors to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage can look forward to a variety of engaging experiences:

  • Feeding Time: Witness the heartwarming sight of baby elephants being bottle-fed by the caretakers. It’s a not-to-be-missed event that showcases the care and dedication involved in nurturing these young giants.
  • River Bathing: Twice a day, the elephants are led to the nearby river for a bath. Watching the herd play and splash around in the water is a truly enchanting experience.
  • Elephant Walk: Observe the elephants as they roam freely around the premises. It’s a unique opportunity to see their social interactions and behaviors in a semi-wild environment.

Conservation Efforts

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is not just a tourist attraction; it’s a center for conservation and education. The orphanage plays a crucial role in raising awareness about the plight of elephants in Sri Lanka and the challenges they face, including habitat loss and human-elephant conflict. Through its breeding program, the orphanage also contributes to the preservation of these magnificent animals.

Planning Your Visit

To make the most of your visit to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, consider the following tips:

  • Best Time to Visit: The river bathing times (10:00 AM and 2:00 PM) are particularly popular with visitors, as they offer a chance to see the elephants enjoying their time in the water.
  • Photography: Bring your camera! The orphanage presents countless photo opportunities that capture the beauty and grace of these gentle giants. However, remember to respect the animals’ space and follow any guidelines provided by the staff.
  • Support the Cause: Consider adopting an elephant or donating to the orphanage. Your contribution helps ensure the continued care and protection of the elephants.


Q: Can I interact with the elephants?
A: Interaction is limited to ensure the safety and well-being of both the elephants and visitors. However, there are designated areas where you can closely observe the elephants under the supervision of the staff.

Q: Is the orphanage accessible for visitors with disabilities?
A: Yes, the orphanage is accessible, but some areas may be challenging to navigate. It’s recommended to contact the orphanage in advance for specific arrangements.

Q: How can I get to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage?
A: Pinnawala is accessible by road from Colombo and Kandy. Public buses, trains, and private vehicles are common means of transportation. For a hassle-free journey, consider hiring a taxi or joining a guided tour.


The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is more than just an attraction; it’s a haven for elephants and a symbol of Sri Lanka’s dedication to conservation. A visit here not only offers an unforgettable experience but also an education on the importance of protecting these noble creatures. Whether you’re an animal lover, a photography enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique adventure, Pinnawala promises a day filled with awe and inspiration.

For those planning their Sri Lankan adventure, remember to explore more attractions and hidden gems at Sri Lanka Listings. Discover the beauty, culture, and spirit of Sri Lanka as you embark on an unforgettable journey through this island paradise.



Google Reviews

2,848 reviews
  • Kasun S
    Kasun S
    a week ago

    Great place to see Asian Elephants. one of the largest elephant orphanages in the world. It was established in 1975 to care for abandoned and injured elephants found in the wild. The orphanage is home to a large number of elephants, both adults and calves, and visitors can observe them up close as they are bathed in the nearby river or fed. It's a popular tourist attraction and also serves as a breeding and conservation center for elephants.

  • Shanishka G3MBA
    Shanishka G3MBA
    2 weeks ago

    Only Few elephants on ground to see and most of bunch of elephant can see taking bath other side on river. That was cool part. But no milk feeding for baby elephants now. There tickets to buy entrance and special tickets for feeding fruits for elephants and bathing elephants.

  • Tao Mihiranga
    Tao Mihiranga
    in the last week

    The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is a sanctuary for orphaned, abandoned, and injured elephants. It was established in 1975 and is now home to the largest herd of captive elephants in the world. Visitors can observe the elephants, watch them bathe in the river, and even bottle-feed baby elephants.

  • Nirmani Samarakoon
    Nirmani Samarakoon
    3 months ago

    It was one of a kind unique experience to visit the elephant orphanage. By the time we visited, all the elephants were taken to have a bath. So with the same ticket we were allowed to go to the bathing site to watch them. The elephants were having a lot of fun and my little one enjoyed it a lot. Better to check the time schedule of the elephants before visiting so that you can enjoy and observe them being fed. Prices are also reasonable for the experience you get. If you want to bring a memory home there are lot of souvenir shops around. Don’t forget your hat and the sun screen.

    2 months ago

    I had the incredible opportunity to visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka. I witnessed something truly special, the first twin elephants born in Sri Lanka. It was an unforgettable experience to see these adorable twins alongside the other majestic elephants. Despite the crowds of tourists, the staff ensured a safe and enjoyable environment for both visitors and elephants. Watching these gentle giants interact and play was truly heartwarming. The highlight of the visit was undoubtedly the bath session, where I watched elephants joyfully splash and play in the water. Additionally, I had the chance to observe them eat, which was a fascinating sight. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is definitely a must visit destination for anyone traveling to Sri Lanka. 🐘❤️

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