If you are an animal lover, do not miss out on visiting this place. Though it is off-the-beaten path for most tourists, this unique "orphanage" will leave you with better understanding and empathy for wild animals. It is the perfect place for photo enthusiasts and little members of your group too.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi is a sanctuary dedicated to the rescue and protection of Africa's wildlife, particularly those in need of dire help, the black rhinos and elephants. In many countries in Africa, the poaching trade for ivory is sadly reducing the population off these two species, and it is estimated that every 15 minutes an elephant dies for its tusks. The workers at the trust take in orphaned calves and raise them so that they may be introduced back into the wild. Rescue and rehabilitation is key, and the trust has succeeded in helping these massive creatures since 1977 when David Sheldrick's wife, Dame Daphne, founded the park in memory of her late husband.
A new life for orphaned calves
The park has managed to raise and hand rear over 150 infant elephants. Once old enough, they are then reintegrated back into the Tsavo herds that roam the Kenyan savannas. These elephants are given a second chance at life and are often found years later with calves of their own. If you have a chance to visit the national park, then this sanctuary is right inside. Take the time to come and see the babies waddle around, being fed a bottle and playing with their new friends. Elephants are very sensitive creatures that can laugh, cry and have best friends that they hug by wrapping their trunks together. For a few shillings you can even get close and hug the babies themselves. They love to play in the mud and their smiles will steal your heart! If you are lucky you will be able to see a baby rhino, but these African wonders are almost extinct with fewer than 5,000 left in the wild. When visiting the park, be sure to grab some souvenirs and perhaps even adopt a calf. The proceeds mean that more orphans can be given a second chance at the trust, where they are nurtured and cared for with love.
If possible, read "An African Love Story" before visiting to get a true insight or grab the book after your visit. In this book, Daphne Sheldrick talks about her life on the sanctuary.