Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Kegalle – Sri Lanka

Visitors traveling to the Kegalle District will get to experience being up close to large numbers of elephants at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Kegalle – Sri Lanka; a truly one-of-a-kind adventure.


Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Kegalle – Sri Lanka is situated in the village of Pinnawala along Rambukkana Road. It is approximately ninety kilometers off the country’s capital city of Colombo.

Getting There

You can reach Kegalle from Colombo or Kandy by bus. From Kegalle, take another bus going to Rambukkana. From Rambukkana Road, you can already see the entrance to the elephant orphanage.

What to See and Do

Being an elephant orphanage, you can see numerous elephants here; some are still babies while others are already mature elephants. There are approximately more than 70 elephants being taken cared of at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Kegalle – Sri Lanka at present.

One of the most amazing things that you can do here is to feed the baby elephants with the help of a guide.

Watching the elephants in their simulated natural habitat is in itself already amazing. You can see them wading in the water, big and small alike.

Sometimes you can even see baby elephants still learning how to walk and you can observe how the adult elephants become protective of their young, huddling together around the baby.

Brief History

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Kegalle – Sri Lanka was founded in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Department. Covering an area of about twenty-four acres, the orphanage provides homes to elephants who lost their mothers due to natural and man-made causes.

In the ‘60s, the elephants in the country were in danger of being extinct which prompted the country’s wildlife conservation department to establish the orphanage not only to provide homes to orphaned elephants but also to breed them.

Since its founding, there have been around fifty elephants born in the orphanage. There have also been about twenty-five elephants relocated to other sanctuaries and eleven deaths have also occurred.


Entry fee to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Kegalle – Sri Lanka is around 2,000 rupees or about US$18.

Other Information

For visitors who want to witness or take part in the baby elephants’ feeding time, you should come visit about an hour earlier than their bathing time which is promptly at 10 in the morning and again at 2 in the afternoon.

There are about one hundred employees working at the orphanage to look after the elephants. Leaves from palm trees in the area provide food for the elephants, which amounts to about 14 thousand kilograms consumed per day.