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“Great work done here”

Millennium Elephant Foundation
Ranked #2 of 5 things to do in Kegalle
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: A family Run NGO working to improve the lives of domesticated elephants throughout Sri Lanka. Charity number 457. Home of the exclusive Elephant Walk Experience, A personal safari that allows you to follow the elephant around the 15 acre coconut estate as they foragae and wander and graze as they would in the wild. The alternative to elephant riding option and the most ethical, u close and personal experience you can have with captive elephants in Sri Lanka Offering a volunteer program where guests can have the hands on experience of caring for these gentle giants, and the opportunity to learn all about the situation for elephants in Sri Lanka and the hard work of Millennium Elephant Foundation Located half way between Colombo to Kandy this is the ideal stop for a unique elephant experience. We also offer accommodation, refreshments and meals for our visitors to enjoy in our traditional colonial house, surrounded by luscious grounds and greenery for you to enjoy
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I have read some reviews (mostly connected to local Hotel reviews) that indicate that the Elephants are commercialised. This is not the case with the Foundation and great work is done here. Yes you pay and you can ride the elephants, however you ride bear back, thus not affecting the Elephants breathing. The Foundation look after Elephants, each has a personal skilled and trained attendant, most are from a family line that pass down skills. The Elephants here have been rescued with an aim to return them to the wild where possible. You can get up close and personal, take a bath with the elephants and clean them, which they seem to enjoy. Interesting tour through the museum helps you understand the integral part the Elephant has in Sri Lankan life. Visit and enjoy with a clear conscience. Well worth a trip and your payment covers the cost of their keep.

3  Thank Martin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Millennium_Elephant, Manager at Millennium Elephant Foundation, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thanks Martin for your very fair and honest opinion of our place, your open mind, and the fact that you read our museum, listened to your guide and were educated during your visit means the world to us and we are so pleased you understand the situation for these animals and why Millennium Elephant Foundation is an important and great place for elephants

I have to correct you on one point just for our future visitors clarity, and im sorry that this was misunderstood

"The Elephants here have been rescued with an aim to return them to the wild where possible" This is not true, the elephants will never be freed they are a symbol of status and wealth and are privately owned, they are in captivity because of religious festivities and will always be in captivity because of this im afraid

But we will continue to do the best we can by them providing them the best alternative lifestyle to them whilst captive

many thanks for your visit and your support

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Well run Elephant sanctuary for working elephants that also funds a mobile veterinary unit to treat working elephants (generally in tourism now) across the country. They are trying to steer away from riding elephants and we selected the walking package which was an amazing experience and very educational.

1  Thank chopester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Millennium_Elephant, Manager at Millennium Elephant Foundation, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thanks so much for your support by choosing the elephant walk experience

We are so pleased you enjoyed your visit, thank you very much for taking the time to write a review

we hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We were lucky enough to visit here on our last day in Sri Lanka with friends we had met in hotel and it’s a day we will never forget. We paid for the elephant walk as we didn’t want to ride, our guide Samantha was very knowledgeable and explained what the foundation was all about then we went to meet menike and Darme the mahout. We strolled along with menike whilst darme and Samantha pointed things out to us and allowed us to take some pictures. Darme even cut down huge leaves for us to use as umbrellas when we had a downpour. We then fed some fruit to her before taking her down to the river to bathe, we all had a chance of washing her and some great photo opertunities. We were then taken for our lunch which was really lovely. We had a truly remarkable experience and I can honestly say that we never witnessed any cruelty or mistreatment of any of the elephants. I would like to say a massive thankyou to Samantha who help our friend navigate round due to having sore legs and to Darme for our tour with menike and our makeshift umbrellas.

2  Thank kwilso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Millennium_Elephant, Manager at Millennium Elephant Foundation, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review for us

we are so pleased you enjoyed the experience and that Samantha and Dare were such good hosts

Thank you for supporting us by opting for the elephant walk experience and sharing your experience with others encouraging them to do the same

We hope you enjoy the rest of Sri Lanka equally as much

Kind Regards

Millennium Elephant Foundation

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We have been taken there by tuktuk driver thinking we are going to Pinnawalle elephant orphenage. We paid around 2000 rupies entrance fee and right after we enter i realised why it was so cheap. Elephants are forced with sharp sticks to stay in water so turists can wash them. Mahuts are very rude at the elephants and it was very sad to watch those beautiful animals beeing treated like that. We stayed there 2 minutes and left totally ruined. Total turists trap, please dont go there and dont support places like that.

Thank Anna J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Millennium_Elephant, Manager at Millennium Elephant Foundation, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Hi Anna

So sad you did not go through our museum, speak to our volunteers or our tour guides and find out why the elephant are here and where they have care from and all the hard work we do to better the lives of these animals

Rest assured your 2000 rupees went towards the care of these animals ensuring the best alternative of life for them whilst in captivity, as most of them have come from much worse off situations such as living at temples, working in the gruelling logging industry or Howdah tourism,

The sharp sticks are called Ankus, they are to activate the elephants Nila points when the elephant doesn't respond to voice command. These are not abuse tools.

We rely on the tourism income to keep these animals from lives of hardship so thank you so much for your contribution, but please on the rest of your journey, do not just assume, read the materials available to you, ask questions, we are in a developing country where everything is not always black and white neither will it make sense to our western eyes as we are not used to this in our home lands

I hope the rest of your holiday is enjoyable and im so sorry you left feeling upset,

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

After researching which elephant sanctuary we wanted to visit in Sri Lanka, we decided on the Millennium Elephant sanctuary.

Our choice was based on this being family run and the money they took is to provide food and care for the elephants, pay the mahouts salary and fund a charity of a mobile Vet unit to treat sick elephants.

The Elephants in this sanctuary have been rescued from various places, either injured or used to provide Elephant rides, and are domesticated so they need funding for food and health care.  These animals are not bred to provide and income.

 

We opted for the elephant walk, which we felt was the best option.  During our visit we also looked around the museum and our Guide Sena, who was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the work they were doing showed us how some of the animals had been treated in the past and what the aims of the elephant sanctuary was.  We then went on a short walk to look at where the elephants get checked out and fed them.

 

After feeding we then went on a walk which took 30-40 minutes where the elephant walked at her own pace browsed and ate where and when they wanted.  We just followed behind and did as the Mahout (Ananda) instructed us to do, we never saw Ananda poke, hit or raise his voice to the elephant we walked with as some reviews have mentioned.  We also had time for a few photos next to the elephant as we wondered around.

 

Next we went to the river to bathe the elephant which was a wonderful experience and the elephant really seemed to enjoy, particular behind the ears.

 

Obviously I understand this experience isn’t for everyone, ideally elephants would all be wild, but we don’t live in an ideal world.  People have to farm and Elephants have to eat and if the 2 meet there can become issues.  Until this is sorted there will always be a need for some type of sanctuary which needs funding; however if you do want to go I would recommend the walking experience rather than the riding.  Walking with then you get to spend more time with the elephants and learn so much more about them and what the sanctuary is trying to do as you follow them around.  Whilst the riding of the elephants is available, they only allow 2 people on its back and not in the awful caged seats you see, I don’t think you’re there long enough to learn about the elephants and you don’t get the full experience.

 

If you’re unsure and want to know more email Jade (on their website) and she will explain more.

 

Thanks to Sena and Mahout Ananda for a wonderful experience.

3  Thank Tracey W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Millennium_Elephant, Manager at Millennium Elephant Foundation, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

One of the nicest Reviews we have had thank you so much for your extremely kind words, i have printed out the review for Senna who will be so please he made your day

We are so pleased that he gave you such a thorough understanding to the situation here and what we are trying to do to make things better. thank you so much for coming with an open mind, taking in the information and asking questions

Thanks so much for spreading the word, please continue to do so to encourage more people to choose the elephant walk experience just like you did and for choosing the elephant walk, it was a pleasure having you visit

Thank you so very much for all your support

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