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The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) Elephant Orphanage is a sanctuary that has been dedicated to the conservation, preservation, and protection of wildlife in Kenya since 1977. Located in Nairobi, this one-of-a-kind orphanage is home to baby elephants that have been orphaned due to various reasons like poaching and human-wildlife conflict. Join me on this heartwarming tour facilited by Rustic Nature Tours as I share our group experience of visiting this remarkable place, filled with hope, love, and lots of baby elephants!

The Orphaned Elephants’ Daily Routine

Our visit began with a warm welcome from the friendly staff, who briefed us on the orphanage’s mission and the day-to-day activities of the elephants. We learned that the baby elephants are fed a specialized milk formula, developed by Dame Daphne Sheldrick, every three hours, around the clock. The elephants also spend their days roaming and playing in Nairobi National Park under the watchful eyes of their dedicated keepers. 

The Mud Bath and Playtime

elephant play One of the highlights of our visit was witnessing the playful mud bath session. The baby elephants thoroughly enjoy this part of their day, as it helps them cool down and provides a natural sunscreen. We watched in awe as the elephants rolled around in the mud, playfully splashing one another.

The Foster Program

The DSWT runs an Elephant Foster Program that allows visitors and supporters to symbolically adopt an elephant. By fostering an elephant, you contribute to its care, rehabilitation, and eventual release back into the wild. As a foster parent, you receive regular updates and photos of your adopted elephant, allowing you to follow their progress and growth.

Meeting the Keepers

elephant keepers

During our visit, we had the opportunity to interact with the dedicated keepers who work tirelessly to care for these majestic creatures. They shared their personal experiences and stories about the elephants, which deepened our appreciation for the incredible bond between the keepers and their charges.

The Importance of Conservation

As we concluded our tour, we were reminded of the importance of wildlife conservation and the role that organizations like DSWT play in protecting these incredible animals. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has successfully raised and released over 200 orphaned elephants back into the wild, contributing significantly to the conservation of the species.

Conclusion

baby elephants

Our tour to the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage was an unforgettable experience that left us with a deeper appreciation for these magnificent creatures and the crucial work being done to protect them. We highly recommend booking a tour with Rustic Nature Tours to visit this sanctuary to witness the incredible efforts being made to ensure the survival of these vulnerable animals, and if possible, participate in the foster program to make a tangible difference in their lives.