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Elephant Orphanage Visit - Meet Sri Lanka Wild Life

Duration: Half Day

elephant orphanage visit - meet sri lanka wild life

The beautiful tropical island of Sri Lanka is renowned for its spectacular wildlife, and the elephant is undoubtedly one of its most popular animals. This tour will enable you to get close to these magnificent gentle giants at the Elephant Orphanage on the Pinawella estate, where you can watch them eating, bathing and playing in natural surroundings.

After an early start, you will reach the Elephant Orphanage at Pinawella just in time to see the baby elephants being bottle fed by their mahouts (keepers) before being guided down to the river to wash and play. The orphanage was set up by the Department of Wildlife in 1975 to protect elephants in Sri Lanka from the threat of extinction and to protect and care for baby elephants found orphaned, injured or abandoned by their mothers.

The orphanage has successfully continued its wonderful work ever since and more than 70 adults and baby elephants are cared for on this 25-acre coconut estate today. This is 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.

What makes Pinnawela so special is the way that every effort has been made to enable the elephants to function just as they would in the wild, including encouraging these sociable animals to develop their own herd structure. The elephants roam freely amongst this vast parkland, which is fringed by lush palms and coconut trees.

The May Oya River is also close by, so the elephants can bathe here daily after feeding. Visitors can watch these gentle giants wallowing and frolicking in the water from the river banks, which is a magical experience you will never forget. The babies are particularly entertaining as they spray each other and hose themselves down. Get your camera ready to capture their playful antics.

Aside from bathing time, one of the highlights of the tour has to be bottle-feeding the baby elephants. It’s amazing to watch these cute animals guzzling down enormous quantities of milk in such a short amount of time.

Afterwards, enjoy a refreshing drink in the tearooms before we continue onwards to the historical city of Kandy, the cultural capital of Sri Lanka and an UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will stop on route for a light lunch. This memorable tour will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your holiday in Sri Lanka.

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