The elephant stampede through the little village of Pinnawala can be witnessed several times in a single day when the elephant orphans are moved from their grazing grounds to the river and back.
We arrived when the elephants were feeding on the higher ground. We admired the baby orphans being fed with a bottle and the larger elephants feeding on the greens laid out for them on the plains.
Then we headed to down to the river, sitting on the terrace overlooking the river with a fresh mango juice. It wasn’t long before the stampede through the village started and the herd of elephants trampled into the river for a cool down.
Watching the elephants visibly enjoying the paddle in the river and spraying themselves with water was just wonderful. And the couple of mischievous little ones trampling about was just fantastic. And it was nice to see that apart from just two of elephants, absolutely none of the big herd of orphans were chained.
When we go back to Sri Lanka, we will, without a doubt, return to the orphanage for a lunch overlooking the river, as it was the highlight of our holiday. Absolutely magical.