Africa is top of practically every animal lovers travel wishlist and with even a short stop in Nairobi, you can get up close and personal with a number of gorgeous orphaned elephant calves, making your quick break in Kenya even more memorable.
The calves come from all around Kenya and are picked up by the Trust in response to the poaching or natural passing of their parents. The team do an amazing job of providing medical assistance to elephants in the wild, and of course bring the babies into the sanctuary should they require help. Once in the facility, young elephants will spend five or so years being fed up and looked after, before being transitioned back into the wild with a new family group of wild elephants.
To protect the best interests of the ellies, viewing is limited to between 11am and 12pm each day so be sure to arrive early enough to pay your entry fee (5,00KSH or approx. USD5 per person) and get yourself a good spot.
The MC gave us lots of information over the speaker, clearly explaining how the foundation works and sharing a great deal of specific information about the elephants and their background. We enjoyed listening and learning as we watched the elephants (and even a couple of orphaned ostriches) getting fed and splashing around in the water and mud.
The team at David Sheldrick clearly had very close bonds with these animals and I don’t doubt, go out of their way to look after their elephants. All the interactions that we observed were loving and respectful and it was a real pleasure to watch the elephants engage with each other, their keepers and occasionally one of the visitors.
If you’re planning a trip to Nairobi, we’d strongly suggest you consider supporting the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust – your nominal entry fee will be put to good use whilst you learn a whole lot about these beautiful creatures. We’ll certainly be back if we manage to return to Kenya!
How do I get there? Taxi fare will of course depend on where you’re leaving from, but from the Wildebeest Eco Camp (in Karen) to and from the Orphanage, we paid 2,000KSH (approx USD20) for our driver to collect us, wait until the visit was over and then drive us back ‘home’. The taxis in Nairobi don’t have meters but operate on a set fare from area to area which makes it pretty easy to ensure you’re getting a fair price – just be sure to check with your driver first. If you have time, you may also like to combine your trip to the Trust with a visit to the Giraffe Centre – they’re generally open all day though, so be sure to plan your schedule around the 11-12 elephant visit.