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Kenya

Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

PLAN MY TRIP

A visit to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi National Park offers a rare glimpse into the life of these rehabilitated and adorable baby elephants.

The orphanage is the product of the love of its founder, Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick. For over fifty years, Dame Sheldrick has devoted her life to protecting and nurturing elephants. In 1987, after the death of her husband David Sheldrick, the beloved naturalist and founder warden of Tsavo East National Park, Daphne successfully concocted an elephant milk formula based on human baby formula. This was a huge break through in elephant conservation as baby elephants are solely dependent on their mother’s milk for the first two years of their lives. Without it, there is no hope for survival.

Baby elephant Olmeg, a two-week old victim of poaching was the first of over 150 baby elephants to have been hand-reared by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust named in her late husband’s honor. Today, the orphanage is still overseen by Dame Daphne and her daughters, Angela and Jill. Their team of devoted keepers not only hand raises these baby elephants but also looks after their reintroduction to the wild herds in Tsavo East National Park. For her dedication to these noble pachyderms, Daphne was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II.

The orphanage is located in Nairobi National Park and is open to the public for one hour from 11 a.m. to noon. Visitors to the orphanage walk through the small center to an open space separated from the elephant’s habitat by a rope fence. At the sight of their keepers and their giant bottles of milk, these precious baby elephants come trotting out for a feeding. Guests can watch these youngsters feed themselves or be fed by the keepers for about ten to fifteen minutes and snap the perfect photo. Then its play time. The babies frolic in the water provided and nuzzle up to their keepers. They sometimes even approach the rope fence allowing visitors a chance to touch them as the keepers introduce the elephants and share their history. The orphanage also rehabilitates orphan rhinos.

For those guests moved by the plight of these lovable baby elephants, there is the chance to adopt one for a year for the cost of fifty dollars. With the adoption, the donator will receive an adoption certificate with the baby elephant’s name, regular updates via email, a copy of the elephant’s bio, and a beautiful watercolor painting. As an added bonus, the adoptive parents get to come back at 5 p.m. to watch their baby go to bed away from the rest of the crowds.

1 of 5
2 of 5
3 of 5
4 of 5
5 of 5

Kenya

Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

PLAN MY TRIP

A visit to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi National Park offers a rare glimpse into the life of these rehabilitated and adorable baby elephants.

The orphanage is the product of the love of its founder, Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick. For over fifty years, Dame Sheldrick has devoted her life to protecting and nurturing elephants. In 1987, after the death of her husband David Sheldrick, the beloved naturalist and founder warden of Tsavo East National Park, Daphne successfully concocted an elephant milk formula based on human baby formula. This was a huge break through in elephant conservation as baby elephants are solely dependent on their mother’s milk for the first two years of their lives. Without it, there is no hope for survival.

Baby elephant Olmeg, a two-week old victim of poaching was the first of over 150 baby elephants to have been hand-reared by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust named in her late husband’s honor. Today, the orphanage is still overseen by Dame Daphne and her daughters, Angela and Jill. Their team of devoted keepers not only hand raises these baby elephants but also looks after their reintroduction to the wild herds in Tsavo East National Park. For her dedication to these noble pachyderms, Daphne was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II.

The orphanage is located in Nairobi National Park and is open to the public for one hour from 11 a.m. to noon. Visitors to the orphanage walk through the small center to an open space separated from the elephant’s habitat by a rope fence. At the sight of their keepers and their giant bottles of milk, these precious baby elephants come trotting out for a feeding. Guests can watch these youngsters feed themselves or be fed by the keepers for about ten to fifteen minutes and snap the perfect photo. Then its play time. The babies frolic in the water provided and nuzzle up to their keepers. They sometimes even approach the rope fence allowing visitors a chance to touch them as the keepers introduce the elephants and share their history. The orphanage also rehabilitates orphan rhinos.

For those guests moved by the plight of these lovable baby elephants, there is the chance to adopt one for a year for the cost of fifty dollars. With the adoption, the donator will receive an adoption certificate with the baby elephant’s name, regular updates via email, a copy of the elephant’s bio, and a beautiful watercolor painting. As an added bonus, the adoptive parents get to come back at 5 p.m. to watch their baby go to bed away from the rest of the crowds.