The location is placed in Kegalle, about one hour away from Kandy, you can either choose a half day in the morning, in the afternoon, a full day or to volunteer for 1, 2 or 3 weeks. You can also sleep over at their property, visit the school to help learn english, help with cooking or visit the dung paper factory. You can experience a special elephant encounter which is suitable for those who really value & care about the largest Land mammal on the land. This is your chance to get a memorable impression of a day in the life of lucky Sri Lankan captive elephants who are not being used for working nor riding. Starting from 8.30am to 4.30 pm you can spend the whole day only loving and caring the elephants.
This is a project run by a small family who try to save the elephants from working on wood logging or the riding industry. Right now, they are taking care of the elephant who used to be a riding elephant, but they realize this was not right and they have been treating him since then. You can also help them save up to rescue more elephants by donating some money. In Sri Lanka you can’t buy elephants so they have to rent him from his owner, convincing him to keep elephant at their project instead of somewhere else where he is treated badly. You have to concern about your safety because elephants are the biggest animals on land and one wrong step or accident can go very wrong. Another concern is that elephant is chained at night, this is also something that the owners of the project are sad about, but the real owner of elephant won’t rent him out unless he is chained at night, he is scared that elephant will hurt himself while working around in the enclosure during night, that’s his restriction and they can’t do anything about it. So, in the end it is either to let elephant be chained at night or to let him return to the riding industry.
When you arrive, you will be welcomed in their house where you can have some Sri lankan coffee and have a welcome and safety talk. Afterwards you can meet elephant. First, you can help them to bath, scrub with a coconut shell while elephant is laying down in the lake. The skin of an elephant is really thick and its necessary to scrub hard with the coconut shell to take away all the parasites that collects on his body. You can have a lot of fun.
After done with the cleaning you can go for a walk around the neighborhood and up to a big field where he found a place to eat grass, little plants and tree foliage, a grown up elephant can eat up to 300 kg of food per day, and spend 80% of the day eating. Elephants are leaders and want to walk in front, so you have to walk behind them.
At the end of the day, you will realize this is a wonderful experience, you will get to know about elephants, get an insight of how these people works and appreciate what they do to save more and more elephants. If you’re visiting Sri Lanka, you should visit this place and support these kinds of projects instead of the riding or logging industry. Your day will be so memorable as you can enjoy an authentic Sri Lankan cooking lesson by the local family followed by a Sri Lankan Lunch.