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Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage – The Best Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka

Welcome to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Sri Lanka

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

The Pinnawela Orphanage is not only an orphanage, but also it is a breeding ground for wild elephants from the year 1975. Currently, it is a home for more than 100 elephants.  Pinnawala Orphanage situates in the Pinnawala village, Kegalle, Sabaragamuwa, Sri Lanka. It is about 41 km away from Kandy. Pinnawala orphanage is the best example of natural habitat for elephants. They are taken twice a day to the Maha Oya for baths. The baby elephants below three years of age feed using bottles. You can see bottle feeding of elephant calves, feeding of all other elephants, and bathing in the Maha Oya River.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Map

Elephants’ bathing and feeding times are popular among visitors. They can help with feeding and watch the elephants in the water.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

The primary residential care area locates on the east side of Highway B199, Rambukkana Road. There are restaurants and veterinary facilities at the site. The elephant bathing and viewing area are on the west side of the highway.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage History

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was established by the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation in 1975 for feeding and providing care and sanctuary to orphaned baby elephants found in the wild. It started by introducing five abandoned baby elephants. This institution caters to the abandoned baby elephants, injured and maimed elephants within the jungle.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage History

Currently, Pinnawala Orphanage is one of the tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. Also, Pinnawela has now become one of the bigger orphanages and is quite well-known worldwide.

In 1978 the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage was taken over by the National Zoological Gardens from the Department of Wildlife. In 1982, they launched a captive breeding program.

Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage Time Table

I think the following timetable will be essential to you when you visit Pinnawala Orphanage.

Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage Time Tabl

08:30 hours – Open to visitors

09:15 hours – Bottle feeding and allow to range freely on the 12 acres of grassland

10:00 hours – Herd leaving to the 400 meters to the river Maha Oya for a two-hour bath

Noon – Return from the river

13:15 hours – Bottle feeding

14:00 hours – Herd is leaving to the river

16:00 hours – Return from the river

17:00 hours – Bottle feeding

17:30 hours – Ticket counters close

18:00 hours – Close to public

Direction to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage


From Colombo

Pinnawala Orphanage locates at a distance of 90km from Colombo.

Public Transport

You can reach the Pinnwala Orphanage via the A1 Colombo-Kandy main road. You have to turn off at the 82km post at Karandupana junction and then get on to a Rambukkana bus and get off in front of the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.


The closest railway station is Rambukkana. It is 2 km away from the Pinnawala. If you came from Colombo – Kandy railway path, you should get off in Rambukkana. Then you have to get on the Kegalle bus and get off in front of the orphanage.

From Kandy

You can take the Colombo – Kandy road and go passed up until Rambukkana. Then you can continue on the Kegalle – Rambukkana road until you reach the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is situated.

Top Attractions in Pinnawala

Elephant Care

Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage

There are nearly 50 mahouts who take care of the Pinnawala elephants. During the daytime, the female and young elephants freely stay as a herd of a few acres. They herd about .5 km twice a day to drink and be bathed in the river. At night, the females are individually chained installs.

Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage

You can see that the elephants feed in their stalls. During our Pinnawala journey, we watched the large quantity of coconut, jackfruit, kittul, grass, and tamarind, brought as the elephants’ food. Also, they provide rice bran and maize to the elephants.

Elephant Breeding


The Pinnawala orphanage is one of the successful elephant breeding places in Sri Lanka.

Animal Welfare

You will see that most of the elephants at Pinnawala are healthy. They will dependent on supplied food.

Opening Hours


Daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Ticket Price

You have to buy a ticket to enter this place. The charges will be updated from time to time.

Local Ticket Price

Adult                                          LKR 110.00

Children (3-12 Years)              LKR 30.00

Children (In uniform)               LKR 20.00

Foreign Visitor Ticket Price

Adult                                             – LKR 3500.00

Children (3-12 Years)                  – LKR 1750.00

SAARC adult                            – LKR 1000.00

SAARC Children (3-12 Years)    – LKR 500.00   

Contact Details

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Address: Elephant Orphanage, Pinnawala, Rambukkana

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Contact Number : +94 35 22 66116

Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage

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