Pinnawala, with its luxuriant plantation surroundings and generously flowing river, is a welcome sight for nature lovers. Its stunning population of Asian elephants, rescued from harsh realities, effortlessly captures the hearts of visitors regardless of their age or wildlife affinity.
A Historic Wildlife Sanctuary
Now comprising 93 gracefully gigantic inhabitants, this true-to-nature refuge – the world’s largest sanctuary for Asian elephants – was established in 1975 to provide a safe space for young elephants left injured or abandoned in the wild.
Bonding with Gentle Giants
Spanning ten to thirteen feet in height and weighing up to twelve thousand kilograms, the size of these mammals may intimidate you at first, but their wise, gracious, and playful ways will soon put even a child at ease. Pinnawala gives you an intimate glimpse into a day in the life of a Sri Lankan elephant – from feeding a sweet baby elephant from a milk bottle to watching these massive creatures splash each other as they bathe in the river and gambol together in the nursery.
When to Visit?
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is found approximately an hour’s drive away from the UNESCO-listed heritage jewel of Kandy, Sri Lanka. Make sure to head to the iconic wildlife oasis in time for breakfast at 9:15 am or lunch at 1:15 pm and swim time at 10 am and 2 pm. Travel to Kandy for enriching experiences like this, and enlist the expert guidance of travel blogs such as Kandy Escapes.
Safe and Savvy Tips
While it’s easy to be swept away by the gentle approachability and charming antics of these gargantuan animals, it’s also important to treat them with respect and consideration, keeping to the guidelines instructed by the trained staff.