Welcome to

the Elephant Freedom Project

Visit us and experience a special elephant encounter which is suitable for young and old, families, couples and single travelers. This is your chance to get a memorable impression of a day in the life of a Sri Lankan captive elephant who is not being used for working nor riding.

The small family run Elephant Freedom project is home to elephant Nilame. She is a 40 years old beautiful elephant who used to work in the elephant riding places in Habarana.

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

1/2 day in the morning:

  • 09:00 Welcome and safety talk
  • 09:15 Mucking out the enclosure
  • 09:45 Walk with the elephant
  • 11:15 Visit the dung factory*
  • 12:15 Tea time
  • 12:30 Wash the elephant
  • 13:00 End

Admission fee 5500 LKR

*on Sundays and full moon days (Poya) the factory is closed, then you will not be able to visit us in the morning - only in the afternoon.

1/2 day in the afternoon:

  • 13:15 Welcome and safety talk
  • 13:30 Wash the elephant
  • 14:30 Walk with the elephant
  • 16:00 Help preparing the elephant food
  • 16:30 Tea time
  • 17:00 End

Admission fee 5500 LKR

The full day:

  • 09:00 Welcome and safety talk
  • 09:15 Mucking out the enclosure
  • 09:45 Walk with the elephant
  • 11:15 Visit the dung factory
  • 12:15 Lunch
  • 13:30 Wash the elephant
  • 14:30 Travel to the local school for English conversation with the eager students -this is great fun!
  • 18:00 End

Admission fee 10.500 LKR

The above activities are subject to change

Admission fee


1/2 day (morning or afternoon)

  • A very long time together with the elephant - you will not find this in any other place in Sri Lanka
  • Walk and bath the elephant
  • Tea
  • Visit to the dung factory*

5.500 LKR per person

* only in the morning

One full day visit (9:00 till 18:00):

  • Lunch
  • A very long time together with the elephant - you will not find this in any other place in Sri Lanka
  • Walk and bath the elephant
  • All project activities related transport
  • Explanation of safety rules
  • Onsite English speaking coordinator
  • Visit to the school
  • Visit to the dung factory

10.500 LKR per person

Longer visits are possible, see here for more information.


We have special discounts for children:

  • Children 3 years and under are free
  • Children aged 4 to 12 years are half price
  • Children aged 13 and over pay the full adult price

Please note that when applying for child discount you will be required to provide proof of age by passport.

More information


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. For example, one way from the airport cost is 5900 LKR, from Negombo to the project costs 6500 LKR and from Kandy to the project costs 4200 LKR.

Project days

The project runs throughout the year and is open every day for everyone, young or old, families, couples and single travelers.

Extra night only

If you are coming the evening before your day with the elephants or you wish to leave the morning after you can book accommodation for the night including dinner and breakfast for 3000 LKR per person. Note that this does not include spending the day with the elephant, but is for the accommodation only.


The project offers accommodation onsite at the family home, next to the elephant enclosure and across the road from the river. Staying with the family gives you a great insight into the Sri Lankan culture. They have 3 basic rooms.

All rooms have attached bathrooms with Western style toilets and refreshing typical Sri Lankan cold showers. Bed sheets, mosquito nets, ceiling 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 Nilame. 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.

For safety purposes the mahout carries an ankus when the elephant is out of the enclosure. He will never use this in an abusive way.

In Sri Lanka it is impossible to buy elephants, we are renting her. This comes with some restrictions, but is the only way to ensure the elephants don’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 Nilame might get injured when walking in the enclosure during nighttime.

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


Rambukkana Karandapana Road, Kegalle 71000, Sri Lanka

We will mail you directions after your booking.