Elephant Ride Sri Lanka

The elephant rides are offered in several palaces in Pinnawala near the elephant orphanage, however, there is no possibility of doping elephant rides at Pinnawala elephant orphanage. The elephant ride operators in pinnawala can be found on the stretch between pinnawala elephant orphanage and Kandy-Colombo main road

Elephant ride Sri Lanka

Elephant ride Sri Lanka, is it really worth to have an elephant ride? It is a question with much of controversy because there is a mix of opinions in the travel world about activities that involve animals especially the activities such as elephant ride.

Elephant ride, camel ride, horse ride, bullock cart ride, donkey ride … the list goes on, which are heavily contributed by animals. Many organizations around the world, that are involved in animal welfare activities are criticizing this type of activities and claims it is animal cruelty to employ animals in this type of activities.

However, the activities such as elephant ride take place in many countries around the world such as Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and a large number of travellers are very curious about the elephant ride and ask for an elephant ride during their trip.

Elephant ride Sri Lanka is a popular activity among the visitors of Sri Lanka and the elephant ride can be done in several places around the island, including Pinnawala and Habarana. Pinnawala and Habarana are the most popular places on the island for Elephant rides due to the reasons such as extensive green cover, abandoned and picturesque countryside, and availability of tourist hot-spots.

Riding on elephants is one of the most popular activities among travellers in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is popular for elephants and elephant ride is one popular activity, perhaps it is the most popular activity that elephants take part today. It is one of the most exciting activities, especially for foreigners. Elephant ride Sri Lanka is a very popular activity in Sri Lanka family holiday packages because kids love it.

Sri Lanka is a tropical country and has the highest number of wild elephants in Asia. It is revealed that there are more than 5800 wild elephants in the recently concluded elephant census in Sri Lankan jungles.

The elephant had been a very useful animal for the country in the past. Elephants were used to perform heavy tasks such as carrying logs in the jungle and at construction sites. Today elephants are not being used to do such heavy works because with machines it has turned to be easier and cheaper. But, still, elephants are being used in traditional festivals such as procession, recreation activities (playing golf and elephant ride). Elephant races are also organized in some of the places in Sri Lanka, especially during the New Year festival.

Elephant ride Sri Lanka with tamed elephants

At the moment there are around 150 tamed elephants in Sri Lanka. Few of these tamed elephants are being used to perform elephant rides, while others are been used in activities such as processions, elephant races, and golfing with the elephant.

Elephant ride is not only adding unusual experience for travellers but also it allows the visitors to explore the natural wealth of the island while taking them around the beautiful countryside.

Usually, these rides take only one hour, and takes place in the nearby village, patches of forest farmlands and rice paddies. Specially trained animals are been used for the riding and a mahout (the caretaker of the elephant), always at present during the ride.

Explore the countryside with elephants

The elephant rides are not only beneficial to the travellers, because it helps them to see the beautiful greenery countryside of the island but also it is a form of income to the people in these remote areas, especially to the caretaker of the animal.

Usually, the elephant ride can be combined with elephant washing, in which the guests are allowed to go to the water with the elephant and help the elephant with its refreshing bath by pouring water onto the body or brushing the hairy skin of the animal with a coconut husk.

“Elephant need to walk a long distance every day, it helps them to digest a large amount of food they eat every day,” said Janaka, who organize elephant rides in Habarana. Janaka runs a business and organizes safari jeep rides (wildlife tours) for travellers in the nearby Minneriya national park and same times organize elephant rides.

“We have few elephants here; they have tamed elephant and cannot be released to the jungle again. Maintaining an elephant is a very expensive affair because we need to supply a large amount of food (leaves), water and have to pay the elephant caretaker,” said Janaka. “Elephant ride is the only source of income that we can do with elephants and it helps us to earn the money required to maintain these animals,” said Janaka.

Usually, several people can ride on an elephant at a time usually an elephant make only a few rides a day. The morning, before it gets warm or evening when the sun goes down, is the best time to do elephant rides, all creatures show us during this time of the day. And this is the best time for outdoor activities such as elephant ride, safari, and boating etc otherwise it is very warm, and sweaty, especially in the areas such as Habarana, which is coming under dry-zone.

Elephant ride is the best way to explore the beautiful countryside of Sri Lanka, Even though it is possible to explore the beautiful countryside by foot, there can be many animals, snakes, insects and many other creatures in the jungle areas making it hazardous sometimes.

There is a platform made of iron bars fixed on to the elephants and riders need to sit sideways. You need to climb several steps to get on to a raised platform, which is about 2 meters above the ground, before placing yourself on the elephant. 

Usually, these elephant rides take place in the countryside and elephant majestically march through the patches of jungle, waterholes and villages. Then the riders have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful countryside of the island. One can have the opportunity to see many animals and birds during the ride. The climax of the elephant ride is the point, where the elephant goes through the water.

Bird spotting on an elephant ride Sri Lanka

Elephant ride Sri Lanka is essentially involved with bird watching and elephant ride Sri Lanka, is one of the best ways to penetrate the jungle areas and witness the rare type of birds living in the forested areas. Among 125 of residents birds, a large number of avian fauna species can be spotted only in the forested areas and it is essential to go to the jungle to see them.

Animals infested jungle can be dangerous for a trek and most forested areas cannot be penetrated with vehicles, therefore many people are using elephants to go to the forest as they do bird watching.

These elephant rides are offered in many Asian countries such as India, Thailand and Sri Lanka and it has become a popular activity among the millions of tourists in the region.

Elephant ride Sri Lanka price

The price of the elephant ride varied depending on the duration of the ride and the place. Usually, the tourist takes one hour ride through the countryside, which cost around USD 25 P.P. However, much shorter elephant rides are also available such as 15 minutes ride, which cist around USD 8 P.P. If you combine the elephant ride with elephant bath the ticket price increased by around 50%.

Elephant rides in pinnawala Sri Lanka

The elephant rides are offered in several palaces in Pinnawala near the elephant orphanage, however, there is no possibility of doping elephant rides at Pinnawala elephant orphanage. The elephant ride operators in pinnawala can be found on the stretch between pinnawala elephant orphanage and Kandy-Colombo main road.

Is it Ok to bathe with Elephants?

Yes, it is ok to bath with elephants, when they are tamed and when the mahout is nearby.

Where can go to touch an elephant in Sri Lanka?

There are few places on the island, where you can touch elephants, do elephant rides and bath with elephants. Those places are mainly found in tourist resort areas such as Kandy.