Part 2 of our Sri Lanka tour. If you missed part 1 you can find it here.
We departed Mount Lavinia with our tour group and made our way (approximately 130 miles or around 4 and a half hours) to the first stop on our Sri Lankan road trip – Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.
The orphanage was established in 1975 by the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation and here they provide care and sanctuary to orphaned baby elephants. It was lovely to see them take their daily bath in the river!
And we got to watch all the elephants playing and splashing around as we ate our lunch from the restaurant overlooking the river below.
Once bath time was over, the elephants were led out of the river by the mahouts to their nearby forest.
And once lunch time was over, our tour group was led out of the restaurant by our guide to see the elephants in the nearby forest.
The other side to the orphanage consisted of some open green space surrounded by trees. We could see elephants in the distance but we didn’t get too close to them. It was enjoyable to see them out in the open but I will admit that the heat was starting to make me flag!
The only thing I didn’t like about the orphanage was that there were two baby elephants chained at the ankle within a large pen. This was so tourists could pay to bottle feed them. One of the baby elephants became distressed and managed to run underneath the bars, obviously trying to get away from the gawping crowds. It was upsetting to see and I honestly hope Pinnawala stop doing this.
After a long day of travelling (and much dozing off on the mini bus!) we made our way to our next hotel on the tour, Chaaya Village in Habarana. We joined our tour group for an evening meal before heading off to our cute little “cottage” style room before our big day at Sigiriya the next day!