• Sri Lanka
    • Kandy

Program Details

Year Round
Host Family
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30) Large Group (31+)


Starting Price
Price Details
From a 1/2 day visit till many weeks, you are very welcome to visit us! See our website for details.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Meals Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Airport Transfers Domestic Airfare Equipment SIM cards Transportation Travel Insurance Visa
Jul 25, 2018
Nov 30, 2017
15 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Hello! We, Ananda, Malie and our teenager Shashini have a small, family run elephant shelter.

We have saved elephant Nilame from working in the riding industry and the wood logging. We aim to give elephants a good and safe home, which makes us unique in Sri Lanka. There is no one else like us, sadly. We come highly recommended on TripAdvisor.

You are very welcome to join us for a 1/2 day , a day or even a couple of weeks. All of our volunteers have a great time at our project and for many it's the experience of a lifetime. We will try to make you feel right at home!

Please note, we are not one of the many volunteer organizations acting as "middle man", we ARE the elephant place, you fee goes directly toward the project.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Elephant!
  • Small, passionate and intimate
  • Affordable
  • Local culture
  • Many activities

Related Programs

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Value 4.5
  • Safety 5
  • Growth 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Housing 5
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Once in a lifetime opportunity

The Elephant Freedom Project (Ananada Elephant Sanctuary) has been an amazing experience which I highly recommend. This program exceeded my expectations and provided a great insight into Sri Lankan elephants. The program's aim is to rescue elephants and provide them with a safe and happy life where they are not being used for riding or hard labour. They let the elephant roam freely and do not chain it up or restrict them in anyway.

I stayed 2 nights at the elephant project and was welcomed into the home of a beautiful Sri Lankan family who provided me with food, tea and travel advice. They were very friendly and accommodating but most importantly, they were very passionate about keeping this project alive. The full day activities included cleaning the elephant enclosure, walking with the elephant, a cooking lesson, a trip to a dung factory where elephant dung is made into a variety of stationary, lunch, washing the elephant in the river and lastly, a trip to a local school to teach English.

The guide during our program was amazing, knowledgeable, funny and a great photographer! He respected the elephant and was happy to answer any question we had. My favourite part of the day was washing the elephant where we used coconut shells to scrub the elephant clean. He was a very happy elephant whilst our group was pampering him.

This program is the only one of its kind in this area of Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, the other elephant 'sanctuaries' in this area mistreat their elephants by chaining them up and using them for elephant rides.

It has been an absolute pleasure to support this program and I hope to see it continue to grow in the future with more volunteers and travellers.

What would you improve about this program?
This program is already a unique and amazing opportunity.
39 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Elephant freedom project (Ananda Elephant Sanctuary)

I could not have asked for a better experience at the Elephant freedom project (Ananda Elephant Sanctuary)!
The hosts were so lovely and helped us with transport, suggestions and advice and made us the most delicious food. We mentioned we loved naan at breakfast and they made us naan for dinner! They also continuously served us coffee and tea and looked after us so well!

Our time with elephant Nilame was a once in a lifetime experience! He is the most gentle and beautiful elephant. We are so proud to support this project where the elephant is not chained or beaten or ridden. Nilame is treated with so much love and care!!

I will never forget my time at Ananda Elephant Sanctuary. My only wish is that I could have stayed here longer! I would 100% recommend it to everyone!

What would you improve about this program?
I would love to see this project have more Elephants! However this can only be achieved with everyone’s support!
36 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

a complete experience

I stayed in the project for two weeks, and was amazing, is really a very complete experience because you are helping, knowing the culture and also having fun. When you stay here, you stay at the family house which everyone is going to do the best for you to feel like home, they were very worry about me when I was planning my next place to visit since I was traveling alone and I felt that they were my sri lankan family, and the food is sooo good! the best curry I try in all sri lanka.
My favorite part of the day was to go to the river to wash manika and in my finals days also seetha (the elephants), every day I saw a different type of animal specially beautiful birds! I was always prepare to take pictures to them with my camera. And What I really love to do after finishing the daily program was to sit outside and just relax, the nature environment really disconnect you and made me felt very peaceful, also share with the family.
Another thing is that since I was staying for longer, I had the chance to go to kandy for the day and also do a lovely trip to visit sri lankan robin hood village.
Every day you met people from different countries so you can have the chance to meet people and also travel with them! thats was al least my experience that after the volunteer I had the chance to travel with some people I met. Also the staff is very welcoming and nice! I really have a great experience meeting them and knowing them, I can say that now I have also friends in sri lanka :).
Other thing that made this two weeks great, was to go to the english class, you feel great after doing it because you can really tell that for those students is very important to have you there, you are helping them not only in improving their english skills, also they have the chance to know your culture.
So totally I recommend visiting the elephant freedom project, even if it is just for a day, I feel that if I hadn't go there, and I just had travel, I wouldn't had known better real sri lankan culture.

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe to do some different things for people who stay for longer time, and keep working about promoting elephant care.
37 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers