Call us today on 020 7644 1755

Pinnawela Tour

Duration: Full Day

pinnawela tour

Spend an unforgettable day at the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage during your holiday in Sri Lanka, which is an easy day drip from Colombo. This is one of the country’s most popular attractions and one of the best places in the world to get up close to a large and healthy herd of elephants. Watch them feed, bathe and play happily in the river. This tour is a wonderful experienced not to be missed.

After an early breakfast we will drive through scenic countryside to the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, which was set up by the Department of Wildlife in 1975 to protect elephants in Sri Lanka from the threat of extinction. At the beginning of the 19th century an estimated 35,000 elephants lived on the island, but by the 1960s the elephant population was close to extinction. Young elephants found orphaned, injured or abandoned and in need of care and attention were tamed and looked after on the Pinnawela estate (which was generously donated) and the orphanage has successfully continued its wonderful work ever since.

Among the elephants is Sama, who lost a foot after stepping on a mine, and Raja, who is blind and totally reliant on humans. Just five baby elephants where originally brought to Pinnawela with the hope of attracting local and international visitors to help fund and develop the organisation, and now the orphanage is home to over 70 elephants, the largest captive herd of elephants in the world. They range in age from newborns to elderly adults, and approximately one baby elephant is born and successfully reared here every year.

The elephants roam freely in a twenty-five acre parkland, fringed by palm and coconut trees, and they are well looked after by their mahouts (keepers). One makes Pinnawela so special is the fact that every effort has been made to allow the elephants to function just as they would in the wild, including encouraging these sociable animals to develop their own herd structure. Twice a day at feeding time, the babies are herded into their stalls and bottle-fed by their keepers or fed by the adult elephants.

You will get a chance to feed the babies on the tour, watching them guzzle down enormous quantities of milk. This is a wonderful moment to capture on camera, but the highlight of the day is watching the elephants bathing. After feeding, the elephants are transported 400 meters to May Oya River for a bath. From the river banks visitors can watch these gentle giants bathe, wallow and frolic in the water. The babies are particularly entertaining, often spraying each other and hosing themselves down. Get your camera ready to capture their playful antics. This is a magical experience you will never forget.

 

Sri Lanka Holidays Browse all

Best Value

From £859 per person
mermaid hotel and club + rove downtown dubai

Mermaid Hotel and Club + Rove Downtown Dubai

This resort is spread across two acres of lush coconut groves and tropical gardens by the golden sands of Kalutura...

From £879 per person
tangerine beach + sheraton jumeirah beach

Tangerine Beach + Sheraton Jumeirah Beach

The place where "space meets light", the Tangerine Beach Hotel is a heavenly fusion of modern and ancient elegant...

From £899 per person
jetwing beach + hyatt regency dubai

Jetwing Beach + Hyatt Regency Dubai

Jetwing Beach Resort sits beside a beautiful sun kissed stretch of beach, just outside the coastal town of Negombo. The...

From £929 per person
jetwing blue + grand hyatt dubai

Jetwing Blue + Grand Hyatt Dubai

Experience a warm Sri Lankan welcome at the Jetwing Blue Hotel. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens & a golden sand...

From £939 per person
avani kalutara resort + traders - qaryat al beri

Avani Kalutara Resort + Traders - Qaryat Al Beri

With the most strikingly beautiful of settings, amongst green coconut groves and facing the golden sands just at the...

From £959 per person
avani kalutara resort + rove downtown dubai

Avani Kalutara Resort + Rove Downtown Dubai

With the most strikingly beautiful of settings, amongst green coconut groves and facing the golden sands just at the...

Talk to a specialist

shyama

Call 020 7644 1755 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.

Opening hours 09:00 - 20:00 GMT

Related articles for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka News

Browse all Sri Lanka News

Shangri-La, Colombo in Sri Lanka launches urban safari experiences for guests

The luxurious Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo in Sri Lanka has announced the launch of its urban safari experiences. The unique bespoke experiences have been created to take guests off the beaten path, and include tuk-tuk rides through Colombo, gemstone sessions with a local expert, a tour of four Buddhist temples, and walking tours of the city at sunset.

Movenpick Hotel Colombo, Sri Lanka appoints new General Manager

The Movenpick Hotel Colombo in Sri Lanka has appointed a new General Manager. George Koumendakos has taken over the role at the luxury five-star hotel in Colombo city centre, and he brings more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality sector to the position. The hotel opened in January 2016 and has 219 guest rooms and suites, a spa, a rooftop bar, themed restaurant and an infinity pool.

Vogue publishes detailed guide to Sri Lanka’s tea country

In an attempt to provide avid readers with a comprehensive guide to Sri Lanka’s stunning tea country, Vogue has recently published an article on the must-see locations when visiting the region. Writer Michaela Trimble from the fashion magazine gives readers insight into the best tea-related experiences in the island.