Welcome to

the Elephant Freedom Project

Our small family run Elephant Freedom Project is a shelter for captive elephants. Surrounded by the many elephant riding places we make the difference.

We are the only place where there is no elephant riding - never. Just accompanying on walks. We are no mass tourist attraction and don't like elephant tricks. We aim to give elephants a good and safe home. At this moment one elephant is staying with us. For many years she had to work in the harsh wood logging industry.

You are very welcome to visit us and experience a special elephant encounter which is suitable for all. To keep a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere for the elephant and you, we limit the amount of visitors per day. For this reason you need to make a booking in advance. You can find us in Kegalle, between Kandy and Colombo and only 2 hours away from the airport.

We also provide good and affordable accommodation (see below). 



You can come for 1/2 day in the morning or afternoon or even volunteer for 1, 2 or 3 weeks.


1/2 day in the morning:

  • 09:00 Welcome and safety talk
  • 09:15 Cleaning the elephant bed
  • 09:30 Walk with the elephant
  • 11:00 Tea time
  • 11:30 Tour the elephant dung factory (here they make paper from elephant dung - more interesting than you think!)
  • 12:30 Bath the elephant
  • 13:15 Lunch time
  • 14:00 End


Admission fee 8500 LKR p.p. (0-2 free of charge, 3-10 50% discount)


1/2 day in the afternoon:

  • 13:15 Welcome and lunch
  • 14:00 Bath the elephant
  • 14:45 Tour the elephant dung factory (here they make paper from elephant dung - more interesting than you think!)
  • 15:45 Walk with the elephant
  • 16:45 Tea time
  • 17:00 End


Admission fee 8500 LKR p.p. (0-2 free of charge, 3-10 50% discount)



We also provide good and affordable accommodation (see below). 



You can reach the project by bus/train/tuktuk. From the airport or Negombo takes about 2-2.5 hours. From Kandy about 1.5 hours. If you like more comfort and less hassle we would love to arrange transport by AC car/van for you (only possible from Kandy/Negombo/Airport/Colombo). We use a very well trusted 3rd party for this, click here to book.

Stay the night

The project offers great accommodation onsite at the family home for 4000 LKR per person per night, including dinner and breakfast (no discounts for children). Staying with the family gives you a great insight into the Sri Lankan culture. You can select to stay the night when making the booking for the activity. Please do the payment by cash directly to the family. Check-in is anytime after 17:00.

Rooms have attached bathrooms with Western style toilets and refreshing typical Sri Lankan cold showers. Bed sheets, mosquito nets, fan, purified drinking water and toilet paper are provided. There are Wifi, a TV, a washing machine, a homely seating area and veranda. Towels are not provided.

About the project

The small, family run, Elephant Freedom Project offers refuge, freedom from work and hardship to the elephant. At the project she is free from working in the riding industry and the wood logging.

During the day the elephant can roam around freely inside the enclosure, go for a guided walk in the countryside and go to the river every day to be washed.

Elephants are not pets. For safety purposes the mahout carries an ankus when the elephant is out of the enclosure. He will rarely use this and NEVER in an abusive way. Remember that elephants are very big and immensely strong animals.

In Sri Lanka it is impossible to buy elephants - no one is selling - , we are renting our elephant. This comes with some restrictions, but is the only way to ensure she doesn’t end up at a riding place or another bad environment.

One restriction is the elephant owner demanding that we chain his elephant at night. This is not out of ill intent but simply because he is afraid his elephant might get injured when walking in the enclosure during nighttime. The owner will only rent out his elephant on this condition, there is nothing we can do about this. If the Project doesn't rent her, she will go back to an elephant riding place, something we really don't want to happen. We hope for your understanding.

The Elephant Freedom Project aims to give captive elephants a good and safe home, which is made possible thanks to your visit.

The Elephant Freedom project is recommended by the famous roughguides.com