DSWT is one of those places that you have to go to and especially if you have children. It is an elephant and rhino orphanage which was started by Dame Daphne Sheldrick in honour of her husband David who was the first warden of Tsavo National Park, Kenya’s largest national park. David did a lot of work in fighting poachers and together with his wife rescued and reared orphaned eles and other wildlife in the 70s and 80s.. After his death, Daphne founded the trust located in Karen, next to Nairobi National Park, to continue her husband’s legacy. Today DSWT is the most successful elephant rescue centre in Africa and paying it a visit will show you why.
There are three visits in a day at 11am, 3pm and 5pm. The 11am visit is open to the public for Ksh 500. The 3 and 5pm visits are for visitors who want to foster the elephants. I went for the 11am – one hour – visit and along with other visitors stood round this secured area. And then from one corner, these baby elephants came trooping in! It was quite a sight.
They headed to the men in green coats who were holding big bottles of formula milk and started feeding. A speaker told us about the history of each. Most had been rescued from parks and reserves after poaching incidents.
Soon these little ones left and others came in and we were told about their stories too. The elephants have specific keepers who look after them and even sleep with them too!
Once the eles get to a certain age, they are released back in the wild at Tsavo National Park. Meanwhile they play around in the mud and kick about a ball and some come close enough to the fence for you to pet. This is such a thrill especially for children (and kids at heart!)