A Visit to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi
Ever wondered what happens to orphaned wild animals? Do they die, are they raised by their relatives, or do they wander out into the wild and make a life for themselves?
Did you also know that there are people going out of their way every day to take care of such orphaned animals?
Such is the story of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust located at the Nairobi National Park, off Magadi Road in Langata, Nairobi. Theirs is a story of hope for orphaned Elephants (and other wild animals like the Rhino) in the country, a clear indication of what man can do vis a vis living as one with the wild.
The Trust rescues, rehabilitates, and releases orphaned baby elephants into the wild when they are ready.
It was established from one family’s passion for Kenya and its wilderness, and has been in existence for over 40 years now. Its main office is in Nairobi, but they have three other rehabilitation units located in the Greater Tsavo Conservation Area, with Voi and Ithumba in Tsavo East National Park and Umani springs in the Kibwezi forest.
Although the organization is mostly known for rescuing and rehabilitating Elephants, they offer more than that. They also focus on observing all measures that go together with conserving, preserving, and protecting Wildlife. These includes but is not limited to anti-poaching, safeguarding the natural environment, enhancing community awareness and providing veterinary assistance to animals in need.
If you are visiting Nairobi, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a must see! Open for only one hour every day from 11am to Noon (excluding 25th December), you have a lot of time to plan a visit and still manage to get to two or three other attractions in the city including the Bomas of Kenya, the Giraffe Centre, and the Mamba Village.
Once you get to the orphanage, there is an entrance fee of Kshs. 500 per every person. You will then be ushered into an area where you will be introduced to the Elephants and get to see them being fed with milk bottles and playing in the mud. As this is happening, there will be someone educating you on what the Trust does and why it exists. You also get to touch the animals and take photos with them.
The information makes you appreciate the existence of the Trust, which you are also able to support by either donating funds or purchasing some souvenirs from their small gift shop set on site, or even adopting an Elephant!
You can choose to adopt an Elephant for a minimum of one year, and a maximum of ten. You always have the option of renewing your adoption.
Access to the Orphanage is via the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Central Workshop Gate Entrance to the National Park.