The Orphans Project
The Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage is located near Nairobi National Park. This orphanage for Elephant Calves and Rhinos from all over Kenya was founded and still managed by Daphne Sheldrick, the widow of one of Kenya’s best known Game Wardens David Sheldrick. Members of the public can visit the Elephant Orphanage between 11am and 12pm daily (except on December 25th). The entrance fee of 500 Kenyan shillings (about $5 USD) directly benefits the elephants. There’s also a small gift shop on site with all proceeds going to the DSWT. For $50 (or more) a year, you can sponsor an elephant and receive updates about your adopted elephant.
Today, the Sheldrick orphanage is a focal point for Elephant Conservation.
David Sheldrick was at the centre of the 1970’s Ivory poaching wars in Tsavo National Park.Today the DSWT deploys eight full-time anti-poaching units, which patrol the sensitive boundaries of the greater Tsavo Conservation area (48,656kmsq) on foot and by vehicle, whilst working deep within Tsavo East and West National Parks, the Chyulu Hills National Park, the Kibwezi Forest Reserve and bordering private and community ranches in pursuit of illegal activities. These skilled frontline teams, which are equipped with vehicles, camping equipment, radios, GPS’s and cameras, are making a significant difference in deterring, prosecuting and preventing poaching snaring and other crimes within this huge wildlife habitat. Every month each unit confiscates countless snares, destroys numerous charcoal kilns and poaching structures, whilst arresting many poachers and wildlife offenders. The DSWT’s Aerial Surveillance Unit works in tandem with these ground patrol teams so as to achieve these results, whilst working together with the DSWT/KWS Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit in locating and treating a rising number of elephants and other wild species injured through poaching and bush-meat snaring activities.
Elephant calves orphanned by poaching are brought here from all over the country. They receive extremely specialized treatment here, and literally receive personal care 24 hours a day from highly dedicated staff who become surrogate mothers to the calves. Eventually the calves are moved to Tsavo, where they are carefully reintroduced into wild herds.To date the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has successfully hand-raised over 150 infant elephants and has accomplished its long-term conservation priority by effectively reintegrating orphans back into the wild herds of Tsavo, claiming many healthy wild-born calves from former-orphaned elephants raised in our care
The centre is open to the public each morning (11am-12pm).
At this time the calves are being exercised and bathed and visitors are free to watch. This is a good centre for general information on Elephants and their Conservation.