09:00 Hrs Depart Pier to Pinnawala. Enroute drive through beautiful Countryside, Rice Paddy Fields and see growing of fruits and vegetables, pineapples, very scenic villages and colourful Towns
11:30 Hrs Arrive at Pinnawala. Witness Baby and Adult Elephants bathing at the River
12:00 Hrs Lunch at Hotel Pinnalanda
13:00 Hrs Thereafter, visit the Elephant Orphanage and witness the feeding of the baby Elephants
14:00 Hrs Depart to Pier. Enroute visit a Spice Garden
17:00 Hrs Arrive at the Pier


Approximate Duration :

08 Hours

Activity Level (Easy, Moderate, Strenuous)


List of Sites Visited :

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and a Spice Garden

Min No of Pax for Excursion :


Max No of Pax for Excursion:


Meals :

Included Western Oriental Buffet Lunch

Refreshment :

Included (Either a bottle of 500ml Mineral Water or a Bottled Soft Drink or a Glass of Chilled Local Beer)

Meal / Refreshment Venue :

Hotel Pinnalanda

Entrance Fee :

Included in Tour Cost

Guide Fee (Any Language) :

Included in Tour Cost

Porterage & Tips

Not included (Optional)


Min Age to Participate –  | Max Age to Participate


Min Height to Participate –  | Max Height to Participate 


Min Weight to Participate –  | Max Weight to Participate 


Medical Restrictions (if applicable) 


Wheelchair Access Notes

Not recommended

This Elephant Orphanage is located at Pinnawala in the Kegalle district. The main access is from the Colombo – Kandy main road on the turn towards Rambukkana.

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was established in 1975 as a place for the shelter and care of wounded Elephants fallen into ditches or abandoned baby elephants found in the jungle.

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is under the administration of the National Zoological Gardens.

The main daily activities taking place in the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage are Feeding of Milk to baby elephants and the river bathing sessions. This area is not a jungle, but a 24 acre garden with Coconut Trees.


Elephants are taken for their daily bath

The elephants are taken for their daily bath in nearby Ma-Oya (a river) at 10.00 am and 2.30 pm in the afternoon. Elephants lie down on riverbeds and allow the Mahouts who look after them to scrub and clean their body. In the bathing time, visitors can see Elephants walk one followed by the other, then cross the road and go down to the river.

The orphanage was established to feed, nurse and house young Elephants found abandoned by their mothers. Young elephants sometimes fall into pits and ravines in their quest for water during the drought. Other orphans have been displaced from their wild habitat by development projects. There are 48 mahouts (handlers) who take care of the elephants. The female and young elephants in Pinnawala roam freely as a herd during the day in an area of a few acres. They are herded about twice a day to drink water and be bathed in the river. At night, the females are individually chained in stalls. Adult males are given some light work such as transporting the food for the Elephants.

The Babies of Pinnawala

Calves born in Pinnawala are not bottle fed, but a few from the Elephant transit home are kept at Pinnawala and bottle fed as a tourist attraction. The elephants are fed in their respective stalls. There is very little food they can gather from the premises of the orphanage except some grass. Large quantities of Jackfruit, Coconut, Kitul (sugar palm), tamarind and grass are brought in daily to form the bulk of the Elephants food. Each adult animal is given around 76 kilograms (170 lb) of this green matter per day and around 2 kg (4.4 lb) from a food bag containing rice bran and maize.