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Occupying a plot within Nairobi National Park, this nonprofit trust was established in 1977, shortly after the death of David Sheldrick, who served as the anti-poaching warden of Tsavo National Park. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust operates the world's most successful orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation program and is one of the pioneering conservation organizations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa. This beautiful Institution is best known for the hand-hearing of orphaned elephants, so that they can return to the wild when grown. There are amazing things to do at David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust that you will never forget for life.
David Sheldrick, who served as the anti-poaching warden of Tsavo National Park.
After entering the orphanage, the first thing to do at David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is to see the handlers bottle-feed the baby elephants. You will be escorted to a small viewing area centered on a muddy watering hole when you enter the park. A few moments later, the animal handlers will come in alongside a dozen or so baby elephants and you can see the handlers bottle-feed the baby elephants. This is such a heartwarming sight to see.
Once the little guys and girls have drunk their fill, they proceed to romp around like toddlers. The elephants seem to take joy in misbehaving in front of their masters, so don't be surprised if a few break rank and start rubbing up against your leg. The baby elephants also use this designated time slot for their daily mud bath, which makes for some great photos; keep your guard up, as they've been known to spray a tourist or two with a trunkful of mud. This is one of the best things to do at David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
While the elephants gambol, the keepers talk about the individual orphans and their stories. Explanations are also given about the broader picture of the orphans project and some of the other projects in which the trust is involved. There's also the opportunity to 'adopt' one of the elephants. This could be a nice thing to do at David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
The trust is also home to a number of orphaned rhinos, many of which, like the baby elephants, mingle with wild herds in Nairobi National Park during the day. One exception is Maxwell, a blind rhino who lives in a large stockade for his protection.
How to Get Tickets?
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust requires minimum contribution of $7 US dollars / 500 Kenya shillings per person for the tickets. The ticket price may change, so please check their website regularly. You can get tickets on site before entering the orphanage. Another way to get tickets is to book a tour from your hotel, the tours normally includes tickets.
How To Get Around?
The orphanage is accessible on foot. You need to walk inside the area to see the elephants and rhinos.
What Should I Wear?
Wear clothes you don't mind getting muddy. You will be watching and playing with the elephants in the mud, so avoid wearing white. Wearing shorts and a black t-shirt is the best option. Bring sunglasses and sunscreen as well since you'll be at the orphanage and spend one hour there at noon.
Best Time to Visit
To visit David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, you would prefer a dry day, because your shoes will get very muddy on a wet day. September and October should be the best time to visit. Make sure you arrive at the orphanage before 10.30 to get the tickets.
Will I Need a Guide?
Yes, there will be staff to escort you and explain the story of the orphanage and its animals during your visit. It's included in your tickets.
How To Get There?
To get there by bus or Matatu, take 125 or 126 from Moi Ave and ask to be dropped off at the KWS Central Workshop on Magadi Road. It will cost KSh 80 and take 50 minutes. It's about 1 km from the workshop gate to the Sheldrick center – it's signposted and KWS staff can give you directions. Be advised that at this point you'll be walking in the national park, which does contain predators, so stick to the paths. A taxi from the city center should cost between KSh 1500 and KSh 2000.