A visit to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage – Get up close to the gentle jumbos!

If you have an interest in elephants or simply are an animal lover, make sure that you visit Sri Lanka’s splendid Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Here are some facts about this wonderful place.

Image result for Pinnawala

Bernard Gagnon, Pinnawala 01, CC BY-SA 3.0

About
The Orphanage has the distinction of featuring the world’s most numerous herds of tame elephants. You will find more than 80 elephants here including males, females, and calves. The Orphanage was created to provide protection and care for the many baby elephants who are lost, orphaned or abandoned by their mothers. These orphans, usually still dependent on milk, would otherwise not survive in the wild.

Getting there
The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage located close to Kegalle plays a significant role in rehabilitating and ensuring a safe future for elephants that have been badly affected by the human-elephant conflict. If you plan to travel from your hotel accommodation the likes of Birds Park Polgahawela you are sure to be at the orphanage within two hours, making it one of the best things to do in Kurunegala.

What to see
Around eighty elephants roam freely in the premises. They are guided by their mahouts who seem to know the art of communicating with them. The elephants are fed and bathed at specific times. You could be part of these daily rituals. As the elephants comfortably splash around and play with each other, you can watch, a safe distance away and hope those sprinkles of water reach you.

Get personal with jumbos
The jumbo bath times are 10am-12 noon and 2-4 pm. Make sure to perfectly time your visit, so as to be a part of this memorable experience. Endearing and huggable, baby elephants are the centre of attention at the orphanage. Bottles and bottles of milk are gulped down by these precious beings.