Located within a 15-acre estate, The MEF is a charitable organization that cares for sick, injured and orphaned elephants. The MEF arguably offers a better and more sustainable experience than other elephant centres but please note additional activities are not included in the cost. Activities such as feeding, riding or washing the elephants have to be paid for directly when visiting the foundation.
Nearby is Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage, one of the best-known elephant centres on the island. Although when it originally opened in 1978 it may have done so with the best intentions, nowadays Pinnewala is quite crowded with tourists and it is plain to see that the elephants are not all treated with the care and respect they need. This is why we highly recommend visiting the Millennium Elephant Foundation instead, to appreciate a very authentic and low key option.