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Giraffe Centre

Giraffe Centre
Nairobi short excussions

David Sheldrick's Elephant Animal Orphanage


Off Magadi Road-Nairobi, Kenya (Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage situated on the outskirts of Nairobi (approximately 45 minutes drive). David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is located on a plot within the Nairobi National Park and the Sanctuary cares for orphaned baby Elephants, tame black and white rhino calves and adults-Daphne Sheldrick's Elephant Animal Orphanage (Tour Duration: 2 Hours)

Daphne Sheldrick Animal Orphanage, located in a secluded area of the Nairobi National Park, where orphaned baby elephants amongst other animals are taken care of by a dedicated team of conservationists.

The orphanage is run by Daphne Sheldrick, the wife of the late famous Naturalist, David William Sheldrick who was the founder Warden of Tsavo East National Park in Kenya from its inception in 1948 to 1976.

At 1100 Hours, the baby animals are brought from the National Park for a mud-bath at the orphanage, where for an hour you can get close to them and sometimes touch them.

You may not feed the animals but will get a chance to view the handlers feeding them. The Private Session strictly between 1500 Hours to 1600 Hours each day allows you to see the animals in private and you will be able to interact with them. This requires advance booking through east africa mountain climbing adventures.

Sheldrick Baby Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi National Park drive takes approximately 45 Minutes and is open one for only an hour daily for the public. You can visit between 1100 Hours and 1200 Hours every day and see the elephants being fed and playing.

In addition, there is a keeper who will give a talk about the elephants, where they came from, how they are getting on, and how some of the previous orphans are progressing. You can get really close to the elephants. The orphanage also takes in rhinos and so if you are lucky you will get the chance to see a young rhino.

Daphne Sheldrick Animal Orphanage Nairobi Tour Price Includes

  • * Price per person
  • * All Park Entry Fees, Service Charge and Taxes
  • * Pickup from your hotel in Nairobi and drop-off to your hotel
  • * Professional English speaking African Spice Safaris Driver Guide
  • * Visit Daphne Sheldrick Animal Orphanage at Nairobi National Park
  • Daphne Sheldrick Animal Orphanage Nairobi Tour Price Excludesv
  • * Travelers Insurance
  • * Personal expenses such as drinks
  • * Gratuity to your Safari Driver Guide
  • * Optional activities the stipulated itinerary
  • * Meals, sightseeing not included in the package
  • * Communication charges, visas, international airfares and airport taxes
  • * Transfers to/from the airport (supplement airport transfer cost applies for tours starting from the airport)
  • Charitable Status & How the Trust Operates
    Daphne Sheldrick's Elephant Animal Orphanage; The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a small, flexible charity, established in 1977 to honor to memory of a famous Naturalist, David Leslie William Sheldrick MBE, the founder Warden of Tsavo East National Park in Kenya, where he served from its inception in 1948 until his transfer to Nairobi in 1976 to head the Planning Unit of the newly created Wildlife Conservation & Management Department.

    David died 6 months later but his legacy of excellence and the systems he installed for the management of Tsavo and wildlife generally in Kenya, particularly in the sphere of wildlife husbandry and ethics, lives on. Since its inception, the Trust has remained true to his principles and ideals, its modus of operation overseen by 6 competent and well versed Trustees assisted by an Advisory Committee of practical Naturalists with a lifetime experience of wildlife, local environmental conditions and the history of conservation in this country.

    In 2004 the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust attained US Charitable status enhancing its corporate funding capability under the guidance of the U.S. based Friends of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, all whom work on a voluntary basis.

    On 9th June 2004 it was incorporated as a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee in the U.K. and granted charitable status by the Charities Commission, its Charity No. 1103836. A Company Limited by Guarantee retains the overall jurisdiction of the Trust’s existing Trustees over the disbursement of funds generated in the U.K.

    Elephant Orphans

    The first young elephant orphans of Tsavo were “ Samson”, a two year old baby bull orphaned during drought conditions in 1952 and “Fatuma”, a two year old baby female orphaned by poachers soon afterwards during the same year.

    There followed many others over the subsequent early years of David Sheldrick’s 30 years as Warden of Tsavo East National Park, but always only those orphaned either, just below, or at two years old and over, survived.

    The hand-rearing of a fully milk dependent infant elephant (i.e. under two years of age) was something that eluded the Sheldrick’s for 28 years for an infant elephant is milk dependent for at least the first two years of life, and those that survive in a wild situation without access to milk between the age of 2 and 3, are few. This has been established by the scientific monitoring of the Amboseli population for the past 30 years.

    The composition of the fat content of elephants’ milk is very different from that of cows’ milk, added to which evidence suggests the actual protein and fat composition of elephants’ milk varies during different stages of lactation to cater for the growing needs of a baby.

    This means that two years is a very long time to be reliant on an artificial substance that is not identical to / mother’s milk, / especially in view of the fact that Nature has made infant African elephants exceedingly fragile; they can be fine one day and dead the next and one can never be sure that a calf will survive until it is past its second birthday.

    The hand-rearing of orphaned elephants is an emotional roller-coaster for those involved, for tragedy stalks success and can strike unexpectedly at any moment.


    All the elephant orphans raised by the Trust are gradually rehabilitated back into the wild elephant community of Tsavo National Park when grown, a transition that is made at their own pace and in their own time, but usually taking approximately eight to ten years.

    A number of our ex Nursery orphans have now had wild born young which they have brought back to show their erstwhile human family, and others are now pregnant and living free, yet keeping in touch with those who are still Keeper dependent. Amongst these are many orphaned too young to have any recollection of their elephant mother or family. 01

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