Cases of orphaned wild animals are increasingly commonplace. The circumstances around orphaned animals are often attributed to injuries, poaching, abandoned young ones or loss of animal habitat due to human encroachment among other factors. As such, charity establishments like the David Sheldrick Elephant Sanctuary & Giraffe Centre exist for a worthy cause.
Inspired by the work of her late husband, famous naturalist and founding Warden of Tsavo East National Park (David Leslie William Sheldrick), Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick set up the orphanage, posthumously, in his name. It is the only elephant orphanage center in Nairobi.
The orphanage has since received world-wide recognition for providing a hopeful future for Kenya’s threatened elephant population. Overtime, it has successfully hand-reared a great deal of infant elephants and rhinos achieving its conservation goal of reuniting the animals with the wild herds in the long run.
The doors at the elephant orphanage are open to the public for one hour in a day. The drive from your hotel will see you at the orphanage between 11am and 12pm-just in time to interact with the animals. This is the designated feeding time at the elephant orphanage.
From behind a rope, you get to watch as the baby elephants play and are fed with milk by their handlers. This is within an hour’s session where you even get to watch as the baby animals mud-bathe. It is a beautiful experience as you listen to the wardens narrate their stories. Your questions about the baby animals will be answered right here. The orphanage is also home to orphaned young rhinos which you might be lucky to find during the visit.
The perquisite of this visit is that you also have the opportunity to foster an Elephant at 50USD per baby elephant. The experience gives you true value for your money.
When Jock Leslie-Melville and his wife captured a baby giraffe to start a programme of breeding giraffe in captivity at their home in Langata, the idea of a Giraffe Center was born. The center is a noble cause geared towards protecting the Rothschild Giraffe population- an endangered giraffe species that is only found in the grasslands of East Africa.
At the Giraffe Center, the experience is more personal as you get to inch closer to the giraffes and feed them; a privilege you hardly enjoy at the elephant orphanage.
Your time at the Giraffe Center wraps it up for your experience at the David Sheldrick Elephant Sanctuary & Giraffe Centre. After this, you will have about an hour for lunch (own expense) or return directly to your hotel.