Posted May 19th, 2017, 05:47 PM
We went to Pinnawala in March 2014, whilst on a world segment on Arcadia. It was my reason for doing that particular cruise. I loved it. Some people bang on about the terrible way the elephants are treated; but we didn't see any mis-treatment. The elephants were having a ball washing in the river; some were so happy they were 'pro-creating' (which isn't easy). For an extra $30, the mahouts offer you the opportunity to go and briefly interact with the elephants as they come out of the river. Do it. Some people were a bit sniffy about it, but I've stroked elephants and I am very happy about that. You also walk around the reserve where the elephants roam freely; albeit we did see one that was chained around the ankle whilst eating his bamboo supply. You also get the opportunity to feed the elephants with fruit, etc. Yes, it resembles a conveyer belt of tourists, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. It is a long day, so take a picnic to keep you going. The lunch was okay and we had front seats on the viewing gallery over the river. There was a group of local primary age children with us, and they were delightful; and they were thrilled to see the elephants, just as I was.