Many tourists are lured by a few iconic images in visiting the idyllic isle of Sri Lanka. Among these images are the misty central highlands covered with tea estates, pristine sandy beaches bordered by cerulean ocean waters, towering ruins from days gone by in the North Central cities of Anuradhapura and Pollonnaruwa, and of course, religious processions led by elephants decked out in colourful attire. Given the size of the country, many opt to hire a vehicle from a reputed company such as Malkey Rent a Car which will allow tourists to explore the nooks and crannies of this resplendent island to their heart’s content. Others can opt for airport transfers Sri Lanka to their desired hotel and travel like a local by taking public transportation. Each option carries with it its own unique experiences and it is up to the traveller to choose what is most comfortable for them.
For travellers who are enamoured by elephants, the Pinawala Elephant Orphanage is a must-visit. The Orphanage, which also operates as a nursery, is found in the Pinnawala town in the Kegalle district. Established by the Department of Wildlife Conservation of Sri Lanka in 1975 with the express purpose of providing care to orphaned wild elephants in the forests, the Orphanage is now considered to be the largest herd of elephants held captive in the world with eighty eight elephants in 2011.
The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage charges a small entrance fee from visitors in order to maintain the facilities and in return, visitors can witness the routines of the elephants from feeding baby elephants to elephants bathing in the river. The Orphanage employs forty eight handlers to manage the number of elephants which includes one who is blind and another who is disabled due to the loss of a limb to a land mine. It has now become a tourist attraction that is visited by both locals and foreigners.
Nigel Walters is a travel writer, who writes under the pen name, Fritzjames Stephen. His content is based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.