A well worth trip is to the David Sheldrick Wildlife trust. If you are on Safari then you will see plenty of the wild herds of elephants later, but this will give you an insight into the problems these wonderful animals have to put up with. The orphans you see have all been victims of some catastrophy and the dedication of the staff in rehabilitating these creatures is amazing. The talks and explanations given by the staff are informative and its entertaining to see the antics of these troublesome fellows. But the real thing is that by visiting you will be contributing to a very good cause.
Does exactly what it says on the tin.
If you go in the morning at around 10am, you get to feed the calf elephants.
Donations help the program, have a look at the website.
I didn't visit here due to lack of time, but was a very popular trip for those staying at my hotel.
A rescue and rehabilitation program is run by the David Sheldrick Wildlife trust. It is open for 1 hour every day between 11 and 12. Entry is by donation - $3-5 US is the recomended entry. The feeding of the baby elephants was the highlight of my Nairobi visit.
Buy an elephant! Or at least sponsor one...
Known by just about everybody in Nairobi as "The Elephant orphanage," The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a must see when visiting Nairobi.
Anne and I spent a magnificent 3 hours with the beautiful elephants, not leaving before we parted with a meagre US$50.00 to sponsor "LEMPAUTE" for 12 months.
As their website advises... "A gift that not only helps save a life but also bequeaths to the recipient an endearing icon that will be both educational and appealing. This is a living gift of a wonderful animal, the largest mammal on earth, and a gift that enables someone to become a part of the life of the elephant of your choice."
We sponsored Lempaute..
“Lempaute" as her rescuers have named her after the area she was found, is just two weeks old and absolutely tiny. The scouts of The West Gate Conservancy were on a routine foot patrol when they came across this tiny calf walking all alone down a road. The moment she became aware of their presence she ran off into the bush screaming, but then later emerged from the undergrowth and began to follow them. She followed them as they walked for about an hour until such time as the patrol vehicle which was summoned by radio from the Head Quarters of the Conservancy was able to collect them and rescue the elephant. There were no elephants anywhere in the area, and her ears were very sun burnt which would indicate that she had been without her mother for at least 24 hours. She was rescued on the migration route the elephants use in the wet season as they transit through from Laikipia to the Mathews Range and it is suspected she was left behind simply because she could not keep up with the herd.
If you only have time to do one thing in Nairobi....DO THIS!
The most important thing in the world to a baby elephant is its mother and its extended family. In infancy, the family lost to the orphaned elephants must be replaced by a human equivalent. Human Elephant Keepers replace the lost family and are with the babies 24 hours a day, travelling with them as a group during the day, and sleeping alongside them within their night stable at night, in physical contact at all times.
TO DO THIS IS VERY EXPENSIVE! Every dollar raised from the sponsorship program goes toward the running of this centre.
As Daphnie Sheldrick asks….
"Please help us help an orphaned elephant by fostering one of the orphans directly through our website as a gift of life"
What I say is, go and experience all that this centre has to offer and sponsor an elephant for US$50.
It was nice to see the baby elephants with their keepers at feeding time.That´s the only moment visitors are allowed to visit the orphanage.
You can get a lot of information about the Davids Sheldrike Wildlife Trust. There are newsletters and booklets for sale. It´s also possible to adopt an elephant orphan. So we adopted Tomboi, rescued in the Samburu National Park. Back home we get regularly newsletters by e-mail. Meanwhile Tomboi is allready moved to the Tsavo NP to go back into the wild wthin some time.
At the south side of the National Park you can visit the elephant orphanage around midday. There were also a lot of schoolchildren around. Just at the moment we arrived the little baby elephants came out of the bushes for their feeding and mudbathing. There was also a baby rhino around.
The baby elephant orphans were rescued in different parks all over the country. When they are old enough they go back to the wild in the Tsavo Park.
See young orphaned animals being reared in as close to their natural environment as possible. For more detail, see my photos on my travelogue... however... just for some quick insight, you can get up close and personal and touch a baby elephant and see them suckle a bottle, roll in the mud and over each other. A great organisation, protecting wildlife especially those short in number. They have rare creatures as well. When I was there there was a baby black rhino. A rare sight to see. Definately worth a look.
Open for 1 hr. Daily from 11:00 am only.
Visited the sanctuary set up by David Sheldrick,who rescued orphaned,baby elephants.Wonderful experience to watch their keepers feeding them,whilst sheltering them from the sweltering sun with umbrellas!
We spotted the baboons,in the nearby shrubbery,waiting for the mealtime to be over,so they could pinch what was left over!
The tiniest baby elephant walked over to me and snuzzled against my leg!He stood about 2 feet high and still had difficulty contolling his trunk,he was so young! An image to remember!
Daphne Sheldrick runs this shelter for orphaned elephants, which can be only be visited for an hour every day between 11am and noon. During this hour the baby elephants are brought out to play and to feed, and visitors can watch them from behind a rope. Wardens are on hand to explain the work of the orphanage and to answer any questions.
To be sure they are open and to ask for directions it is advisable to ring before making your way to the orphanage.
David and his wife Daphne were pioneers in raising orphaned black rhinos and elephants and reintroducing them into the wild. The trust was established after David's death in 1977.
Rhinos and elephants are still raised on site and there is an interesting presentation with the surrogate "mothers."
Admission is free, but donations are strongly encouraged for such a worthy cause.
Theres not alot to do in Nairobi but 2 afternoons out can include :
The elephant orphanage - $10 to see orphaned elephants getting friendly.
The giraffe Santuary - $10 - i never went(was hungover), but is meant to be really good, getting real close to giraffe.