Columbo Elephant Trip March 2018

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South Wales UK
184 Posts
Joined Feb 2006

Unfortunately I haven't been on this board for a while due to a health issue.
But if you don't mind me asking, we're on a part world cruise on Arcadia in March 2018 and are visiting Columbo.
I'd really like to do something with elephants in Sri Lanka if possible.
Could anybody help? I'm very grateful for any advice on trips/taxi's etc..
Thanks again
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The Welsh Man
482 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
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.
482 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Sorry; meant to say that we went on a P&O excursion; door to door. Drivers in Sri Lanka are 'mental'; wouldn't take the risks of going with unregistered guides, etc. It's approx 2 - 2.5 hours to get to Pinnawala, so I'd recommend going on the ship's excursion.