The Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage is a government run organisation to protect orphaned and abandoned elephants. Elephant meal times are normally 9.15am 1.15pm and 5pm.
Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage mothers about to return to their enclosures at the top of the hill
You can find the elephants in the river between 10am-noon and 2pm - 4pm. They are supervised by their mahouts to make sure they behave themselves and do not injure members of the public. Either side of the road that leads to the river are shops and market stalls.
At the end are two restaurants with gallery seating facing the river. You can have a relaxing meal or drink whilst watching the baby elephants play. The gallery railings are a good tripod substitute on which to rest your telephoto camera lens to obtain shake free sharp close up photos. Both restaurants have clean western style toilets.
Baby Elephant play time at the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka
During the monsoon elephant bathing time may be cancelled if the river is too high after a long period of heavy rains. If you want an unusual gift to take home local stalls will sell you white paper made from elephant poo. For more dramatic elephant photos try to get near the riverbed and sit down on the rock bed. That way the elephants look bigger and stronger as they tower above you. Just check that you do not get trodden on.
Elephants of the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka playing in the river