Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is an orphanage, nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants located at Pinnawala village, 13 km northeast of Kegalle town in Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka.

Nestled in the District of Kegalle about 90km away from the capital Colombo lies a scenic village called Pinnawala which boasts one of the best tourist attractions in the island Sri Lanka; Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.
Since its inception in 1975 by the Department of Wildlife Conservation in Sri Lanka the orphanage is dedicated to its noble cause of protecting Sri Lankan baby elephants who are abandoned or lost in the forests due to natural and man-made causes. Every year a dozen of elephants fall prey to angry farmers and tusk hunters, shrinking the elephant population in Sri Lanka which is currently about 3000.
The 25 acre land adjacent to the Maha Oya river provides an ultimate shelter to these compassionate giants to grow and freely wander. Apart from nurturing the baby elephants, this invigorating sanctuary provides shelter to adult elephants who are wounded in the forests. The orphanage is not merely an orphanage, but also a nursery and a captive breeding ground operating to conserve the Asian elephant.
The orphanage is home to more than 100 captive Asian elephants and takes pride in owning the world’s biggest herd of them. This never to be missed place has so much to offer if you are looking for acquaintance with the jumbos in the forests.
Reaching Pinnawala
The village Pinnawala lies halfway between the capital Colombo and the majestic Kandy city. If you are travelling by bus or a private vehicle you have to take a turn from the 82km post at Kegalle from the A1 Colombo-Kandy main road to reach Pinnawaala. The nearest railway station to Pinnawala is Rambukkana and you have to take a Colombo-Kandy train from Colombo Fort stationto get there.
Jumbo Bath
Your visit to the orphanage will give you splendid memories to take back home. One of them will be the opportunity to observe the baby elephants splashing and playing in the gliding Maha Oya. From the broad river bank you can witness the herd’s unperturbed interaction. The little elephant calves who are accustomed to daily human visitors will not be hesitant at your presence and their activities will remind you of a natural elephant habitat. The jumbos are taken to the river for their bathing session twice daily; from 10 a.m. until 12.00 noon and from 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m.
Feeding the Jumbos
Observing the baby jumbos being bottle fed by their human foster mothers and fathers is another enthralling experience at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. You can watch as the baby jumbos impatiently gulp the formula fed to them thrice daily; at 9.15 a.m. 1.15 a.m. and 5.00 p.m.
All the visitors are entitled to engage in observing daily caring routines practiced at the orphanage.
Daily Schedule at ETH
08.30 hours Open to visitors
09.15 hours Bottle feeding
10.00 hours Herd leaving to the river
12.00 hours Return from the river
13.15 hours Bottle feeding
14.00 hours Herd leaving to the river
16.00 hours Return from the river
17.00 hours Bottle feeding
17.30 hours Ticket counters close
18.00 hours Close to public

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