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Ticket requirement to view elephants in river

New Zealand
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Ticket requirement to view elephants in river

I intend to pass through Pinnawala with a bus tour group of high school students, and wanted to stop and walk down the "main street" in Pinnawala, to see the elephants in the river at mid day. I do not want to go to the Elephant Orphanage itself.

Our Sri Lankan tour company has informed me that we cannot see the elephants in the river without paying US$16 for an elephant orphanage entry ticket, irrespective of whether we enter the orphanage grounds or not. I have been to Pinnawala at mid day some years ago, and am sure we didn't have to purchase tickets to walk down the street between the shops, to the wire fence at the river edge.

Has this changed? Do we now have to purchase expensive tourist tickets even if we are only looking at the elephants in the river?

If this is the case, can we eat lunch at a restaurant such as the Pinnalanda while the elephants are in the river, or do we have to pay an elephant viewing surcharge there as well?

Thanks for any clarification.

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Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Pinnawala Elephant...
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Pinnawala, Sri Lanka
7 replies to this topic
Sri Lanka
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1. Re: Ticket requirement to view elephants in river

Your information is correct. Seeing the elephants in the river and walking down the street is the main attraction of Pinnawela so it is not surprising that you cannot just go for free and look at it! So you'll need to decide if it's worth paying the entrance fee even if you don't want to visit the main orphanage site.

Brisbane
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2. Re: Ticket requirement to view elephants in river

Hi Brett

What's your iinerary? you may be able to see elephants bathing naturally in one of the National Parks - depending a bit on the time of the year as well. A better option than giving anything to Pinnewala, IMO.

Regards Archi

Edited: 11 December 2017, 18:34
Norwich, United...
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3. Re: Ticket requirement to view elephants in river

Consider carefully before going.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReview…

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReview…

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReview…

Far more impressive is Udawalawa https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Rev…

Edited: 11 December 2017, 18:50
San Marino
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4. Re: Ticket requirement to view elephants in river

There r a couple of places where u can see elephants, both wild n domesticated variety, in SL.

Even hire one for riding around sigiriya

Edited: 11 December 2017, 22:48
somerset uk
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5. Re: Ticket requirement to view elephants in river

Jerrys is quite right. In the past I used to say I was only going to the shops and got away with it but not anymore. In November 2016 I turned up at ten to two , 10 minutes from when they come back up the street and was adamantly told to go buy a ticket - by which time I would have missed them in the river. Had to settle for seeing them walk back up the road then console myself with a beer by the river with no ellies. So no, you can't even get to your hotel for free when they are at the river.

Richard

somerset uk
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6. Re: Ticket requirement to view elephants in river

Sorry got my times wrong - arrived at ten to 4, not ten to 2

Richard

Kandy, Sri Lanka
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7. Re: Ticket requirement to view elephants in river

Hi,

It's true that you can enter elephant bathing area (river side) using the entry ticket and you can use services available there .

https:/…

You can ask any question from me inside TripAdvisor or inside facebook page ..Thanks

Even we can guide who are coking in future

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