SRI LANKA PINNEWALA ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE
We checked out from hotel after breakfast. Breakfast was served on the table and its limited. Then we left for Negombo. Negombo is a coastal, fishing city and very close to the airport. On the way we visited the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage. We had this in our itinerary for the first day but our driver wanted to take us straight to Pollonaruwa on the first day which is right as we were very tired. There is also another place-Millenium Foundation where there our only 4-6 elephants but you can give them a bathe, then ride elephants, feed them for 2000 LKR. We went straight to the orphanage and didn't go to this place.
We got more than 50% discount in the entry fee here too. The entry ticket is 700 LKR for SAARC Residents, 2500 LKR for other tourists. Here there were around 40+ elephants in different sizes. After walking around few sheds, we went to see the feeding of baby elephants. They were fed with milk bottles and they were really cute(specific timings) . Then we went to the open place where we saw a huge herd of elephants. We will never get to see this many elephants at one place. They were all open with no security and no fences. We were told they were brought from the forests when the elephants are born and abandoned or wounded. I got to feed a big tusker a basket of fruits for 200 LKR. He gulped the big pieces of watermelon, pineapple in seconds.Some of them are kept in closed enclosures.
Visiting Hours: 9:15 am -11 am, 1 pm
Bathing times are also specific.We were there for 2 pm- 4 pm bath session.
We saw them being taken for bathe , they crossed the road and went to the water shore for bath. We stood there seeing them getting showered and playing for more than an hour and left. Even I got drenched in the water from the shower, such a powerful shower gun. I read many reviews about the workers there asking about tips for everything. But no its not so. We were asked if we need elephant hair by 1 person who works there near the river shore since we Hindus believe that elephant hair protects us from negative vibrations. Other than that no bad experiences.
On the way back just opposite the Zoo, we saw another true Srilankan taste food court. We went there had lunch, and also packed some idiyappam ( rice noodles/stringhoppers) for dinner.The Zoo is very big one and it closes at 5 pm.
We then went to the Amagi Lagoon hotel and checked in.