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Ridding the elephant

You didn't visit Srilanka unless you ride and elephant, don't pass to Dambulla without passing thru... read more

Reviewed yesterday
CharbelAj
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Beirut, Lebanon
Outstanding Experience

I went with my girlfriend, I had so much fun as we chose the long walk tour provided by MEF, we... read more

Reviewed today
Yehya S
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Reviewed 29 April 2018 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 2 May 2018

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 26 April 2018

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 2 May 2018

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 26 April 2018 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.

1  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 2 May 2018

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 25 April 2018 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 25 April 2018

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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Reviewed 24 April 2018 via mobile

We loved every minute of our time here. Our guide was Jas who did a wonderful job of taking us around the foundation and telling us all about what they do there. We enjoyed the background information about the elephants and you you see the passion for the animals. We were also pleased to hear how they are phasing out the elephant rides and that they explain to all customers before undertaking this activity that it is not good for the elephants. Jas was also very forthcoming with offering to take pictures for us and as a result we have a wonderful collection of pictures to remember our day. Make sure you also stop by the elephant poo paper factory!

2  Thank Jennifer H
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 25 April 2018

Thanks so much for your review Jennifer, your review has been passed onto Jas who is very happy you had such a memorable experience. We really appreciate you taking the time to write a review for us as is key to our success and growth with the Elephant walk experience

so thank you so very much,Enjoy the rest of your holiday

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