Take a day trip to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Colombo

Take a Day Trip to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Colombo, Sri Lanka

If you're visiting Colombo, Sri Lanka, and love elephants, then the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is a must-visit destination. This orphanage is located in the town of Pinnawala, about 90 km from Colombo, and is home to over 80 elephants.

The orphanage was established in 1975 to care for abandoned and injured elephants. Today, it has become a popular tourist attraction where visitors can observe the elephants up close and even help with their care.

Getting There

The easiest way to get to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is by car or taxi. It takes about two hours to drive from Colombo, and the route takes you through beautiful countryside and small towns.

If you prefer public transport, you can take a bus from Colombo to Kegalle, a town about 16 km from the orphanage. From there, you can take a tuk-tuk or taxi to the orphanage.

What to Expect

When you arrive at the orphanage, you'll be greeted by the sight of dozens of elephants roaming around freely. You can watch as they bathe in the river, play with each other, and interact with their caretakers.

You can also visit the elephant nursery, where you'll see baby elephants being bottle-fed and cared for by their handlers. And if you're feeling adventurous, you can even help bathe the elephants in the river.

Things to Keep in Mind

Here are a few things to keep in mind when visiting the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage:

  • Entrance fees are charged, and the orphanage is open daily from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.
  • Be respectful of the elephants and their handlers. Don't touch or harass the animals, and follow any instructions given by the caretakers.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, as you'll be walking around the orphanage for several hours.
  • Bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water, as it can get very hot and sunny in Sri Lanka.


Visiting the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is an unforgettable experience that you won't want to miss. It's a great way to learn more about these magnificent animals and the work being done to protect them in Sri Lanka.

So if you're planning a trip to Colombo, be sure to include a day trip to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in your itinerary. You won't be disappointed!