First:Elephant riding is not a good choice to help elephants, because the animals suffer from it, live in bad conditions, torment and they have to wear chains etc. We are also not big fans of riding on animals but we wanted to get an idea of it ourselves and so we fed the elephants and looked at everything exactly
Since we were earlier than the conventional tourists on the way, so we had our quiet. The elephant guide greeted us warmly and they brought the elephant lady Monika to the elevated feeding area. We feed with various fruits and left a generous tip there
Conclusion:The enclosure was not very nice and it did not seem very animal loving. In our view, you should refrain from riding, buy food, feed the elephant and give a generous tip - without riding! Please dont ride animals (Horses, Donky´s, Camels etc.) in Holidays for your fun!
After this, we drove with open eyes on to the Glenloch Teafactory in Rambukkana...and again we came before the usual tourists and got a tour with a very good guide.
We were able to admire the production and a history museum of the tea and of course also taste and buy
After a cup of tea, we continued to Pinnawala, Elephant orphanage. This orphanage is in disrepute and that's why we wanted to look at it
The entrance to the complex was quite high for tourists as opposed to the prices for the locals. The area was relatively large but the enclosure too small. In the first section you came to the small enclosures where the baby elephants were and waited until they were fed in a tourist show by bottle. The rush was great and everyone was looking forward to seeing the show. When it started, everyone started shooting wildly, and the guards put them on display so everyone could get a good picture. It had an ugly and crazy atmosphere. You do not have to and do not look at it. It is not fun for the animals but for the human being...
On the whole, the elephants are poor animals that are not treated well in this orphanage. The elephant ride attracts tourism but the animals suffer as an attraction. To understand --> Wild Elephants are aggressive towards people. The locals have a lot of respect or fear of wild elephants
After all these experiences, we had a little lunch in a restaurant on the river, where in the dry season usually the FREE elephants stay. But not in the Monsoon time, because here you can see again the consequences of the many rains
The food was very delicious and plentiful in the serving.
We packed up the rest and set out on the way back, with a short stop on a coconut plantation and a wooded area for a few photos. As I walked quickly into the forest, there were 3 big elephants in 15m distance which luckily for me, (less for the animals) were chained off and probably served as a kind of livestock. Of course tourists should not see that...