A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

25 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

I am such a passionate rhino & elephant conservationist and if you have been following my blog, in my previous post #JoinTheHerd, I pledged to inform and educate people about protection and conservation of wildlife through my blog and social media platforms.

Honoring that pledge, here is one place I highly recommend you visit and that I strongly believe it’s worth your support –  The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) in Nairobi, Kenya.

Founded in 1977 by Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick DBE, in honour of the memory of her late husband, famous naturalist and founding Warden of Tsavo East National Park, David Leslie William Sheldrick MBE, the DSWT claims a rich and deeply rooted family history in wildlife and conservation.

IMG_3260 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

GETTING THERE

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is located in the outskirt of Nairobi city and found inside the Nairobi National park. It can be accessed through the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Central workshop gate off Magadi – Rongai Rd.  They have 2 visiting sessions in a day:  First session is from 11am -12 noon which is usually the main visiting time for the public (charges are KES 500 per person from ages 4 years upwards). The second session is from 5pm – 6pm which is scheduled for foster parents – those who have adopted or are considering fostering.

Unlike, the 11am -12 noon visiting slot where you can just show up, the other visiting hour (that is, the 5pm-6pm) one has to call the Trust and book a slot.

I stopped over during foster time (5pm – 6pm). The Rongai – Magadi road is quite busy with just a single lane, hence it is better you start your journey 2 hours before or else you will  miss your visiting slot.

CHECKING – IN

At the KWS Central workshop main gate, I was welcomed  warmly by a cheerful security lady who then advised me how to get to DSWT from there. From the main gate to DSWT is around 2 or 3 kilometers; the road is tarmacked and has clear marked signs.

The scenery is nothing short of amazing -I loved the green surrounding, the sun piercing through the trees and the cool breeze .

I arrived at DSWT and checked in with the supervisor who looked really happy to welcome me.

THE TOUR

Since I arrived early, I took time to relax and enjoy DSWT’s breathtaking surrounding. Other people were also turning up and I could tell they were avid to tour the site like I did. At 5pm, we were all gathered and escorted inside to a viewing area.

Edwin, the Head Keeper then gave us a brief about DSWT and their work.

3 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

BELOW IS A SUMMARY OF THE TALK:

  • The Trust’s mission is to conserve, preserve and protect wildlife.
  • The mothers of the rescued elephants and rhinos mainly die from either starvation, old age, poaching or even from micro-diseases.
  • DSWT hand-raises and rehabilitates the elephants and rhinos back into the wild.
  • From when the orphaned elephants or rhinos are rescued to the time they are re-introduced back into the wild, it may take around 5- 10 years.
  • They have dedicated local keepers who take care of elephants from the time they are rescued to the time they re-introduced back into the wild.
  • DSWT is one of the front-runners of anti-poaching in Kenya.
  • They fund and operate 8 anti-poaching teams and work closely with Kenya Wildlife Service.
  • In addition, the Trust has five aircrafts including a Super Cubs, a Top Cub, a Cessna 185 and an MD500 Helicopter – mainly used for aerial surveillance, emergency response and wildlife aerial counts.
  • The Trust is involved in conservation management mainly to reduce animal-human conflict. Therefore, they continuously erect electrical fences and build boreholes & windmills in the Tsavo National Park.
  • DSWT funds and operates four fully equipped mobile veterinary units and a Sky Vet initiative headed by KWS vets (Over 1,500 wild elephants and other species have been saved through this initiative).
  • DSWT is actively involved within their community -they fund over 75 field trips each year for more than 2,000 children to Tsavo National park. They also support schools near Tsavo National Park by donating books, desks & chairs, teaching, sport equipment and offer free medical check-up and show conservation films.
  • The Trust is also involved in protecting bio-diversity areas such as Kibwezi forest; Lamu Archipelago and its inland coastal belt; and The Peregrine conservation area (that is, the wildlife habitat bordering Tsavo East National Park).
  • DSWT funds 3 Eco camps – New Ithumba hill camp & Ithumba camp in North Tsavo East ;  and Umani springs in the Kibwezi forest. All proceeds are ploughed back to support & protect wildlife and the natural habitat.
  • Latly, the Trust has rehabilitation centres in Voi, Ithumba and the Kibwezi forest.

AFTER THE BRIEF TALK

A herd of elephants escorted by their handlers matched and others walking really fast,obviously a bit shy,  passed by.  It was time for them to get into their cubicles, feed and sleep after staying all day in the open field. Seeing some elephants heading to their cubicles without their handlers assistance, was definitely the highlight of my visit.

4 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

5 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

6 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

When the elephants were all in their cubicles, we had the opportunity to see them feed and the young ones wrapped with blankets ready to sleep.

Well…..enough said! They say “a picture is worth a thousand words” so I will now show you pictures so you have a feel of my experience:

It was amazing to see this sweet baby elephant holding the milk bottle like a pro! Normally, it’s quite a challenge for them  hence they’re assisted by their handlers. If a baby elephant masters the skill of holding their own bottle then it is seen as a big achievement. 7 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

 A happy baby elephant with a full belly  8 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

9 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

10 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

The baby elephants are wrapped with cozy blankets and the handlers sleep with them since they are still scared and traumatized of their loss. Thus in the cubicle, there’s a high-bed for the handler and the elephant sleeps on a straw-homelike bedding, looks really comfortable! The elephants are also served  with fresh green bushes as a snack.11 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

This is Kiko, the giraffe, born in September 2015, he was rescued from Meru National park (Kenya). How adorable is he?12 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

13 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

14 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

The handlers are highly trained local Kenyans who step in as surrogate parents until the orphaned elephants are ready to return to the wild. 16 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

18 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

Since DSWT is located inside the Nairobi National park, they occasionally have guests like this little guy who was clearly not amused to pose for a quick photo 😀 19 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

22 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

It was really nice meeting Max, the black rhino, but at the same time I was sad just knowing his story….. Max was born blind and his mother abandoned him when he was 3 months old leaving the poor fellow vulnerable in the wild. The team at DSWT rescued him and he is now one healthy and happy rhino. They also tried to get his eyes fixed and he actually went for surgery, unfortunately doctors concluded he is genetically blind. Therefore, Max has to stay with DSWT team for the rest of his life because he can’t survive alone. Also, rhinos are very territorial and they have to fight for it from their counterparts. Max, unfortunately he can’t see his opponent so making it difficult for him. One thing I noted, Max likes being touched on his forehead, however, I wasn’t courageous enough to do so. Pay him a visit at DSWT, you will love him! 20 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

17 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

23 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

As you can see popular people have visited the Trust and they continue to support this truly humbling cause.21 A DATE AT THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST | NAIROBI KENYA

FINAL THOUGHT

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) is a MUST see when you are in Nairobi, Kenya.  It is absolutely a great place to visit! I have tremendous respect for everyone at DSWT and everything they do to conserve, preserve and protect wildlife.

When you support DSWT, your money certainly goes to a worthy cause – that is, to rescue and rehabilitate orphaned wildlife. Foster parents get an opportunity to visit them everyday from 5pm – 6pm (however, as I mentioned earlier foster parents and those considering fostering, need to call  DSWT first and book a slot because they take in a maximum number of people to tour the site). In case you don’t want to foster, you can visit DSWT from 11 – 12pm and pay KES 500.

How can you be part of the DSWT family?

You can donate any amount of money outright OR foster which is a minimum fee of $50 USD per year (You can pay via your credit card and the amount will be automatically converted to your local currency by your credit card company). If you foster, you receive regular updates on their progress and you can visit them. After one year has elapsed, you can decide whether to continue fostering or not.

P.S. Looking for a birthday gift or a general present, why don’t you foster and gift someone? I must say, it can be an excellent surprise!

To find out more about DSWT and how you can be part of the family, check out their:

 Website: http://thedswt.org

Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/thedswt

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dswt/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dswt

A special thanks to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for having me. Kudos to the Team! You guys work tirelessly and I’m truly humbled. Wildlife are indeed worth alive and it is through your incredible work, our children’s children will get to see these majestic animals. Keep up the good work! I will continue to support your work. 

Well, that’s it guys! Did you enjoy the post? I hope I have convinced you enough to visit and most importantly support DSWT. I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment below. Thank you. xx

– Photography by Antony Trivet –

Please note Sly The Globetrotter retains 100% editorial control and all opinions, as always, are my own. 

Follow:
Share:

40 Comments

  1. July 1, 2016 / 6:19 am

    Kudos Sylvia. Excellent work dear!! Well written, very professional piece of work. I dint know such a place existed. Will definitely visit and am even considering fostering. Keep up the excellent work.

    • July 1, 2016 / 1:48 pm

      Thank you for the lovely comment and I am glad that I have influenced you to foster. DSWT is a great place and truly a worthy cause. I highly recommend it! (Please check this link http://www.thedswt.org/foster)

      Regards,
      Sylvia.

  2. Hanneke
    July 7, 2016 / 12:42 pm

    Great to read!! Thanks, hopefully one day I will be able to visit DSWT as well 😍

    • July 7, 2016 / 6:39 pm

      Thank you Hanneke 🙂 DSWT is such a lovely place and the work they do is truly humbling. Definitely worth a visit!

      Regards,
      Sylvia.

  3. July 7, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    thank you so much for your wonderful words and pictures. i foster 4 of these beautiful elephants and the only thing on my bucket list is to visit them one day!

    • July 7, 2016 / 6:35 pm

      Thank you Martha for the lovely comment. I can assure you your 4 foster elephants are in good hands. DSWT are doing a remarkable job! I hope you do get to visit DSWT, you will love it 🙂

      Regards,
      Sylvia.

  4. Jen Thomas
    July 7, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    What a lovely blog!

    I’m coming to Nairobi from the UK with my son in August, we have fostered an elephant and a rhino (I think our rhino has been released back into the wild which is wonderful!) and we are booked to see the elephant in the afternoon after our visit to the trust in the morning.

    It was lovely to see your photos, which are beautiful, and hear your account of your experience. We can’t wait and are counting down the days! We’ll definitely renew the fostering after a year and continue to follow the progress of Tom’s elephant until he’s hopefully released. Thank you so much for posting your review.

    Jen

    • July 7, 2016 / 8:41 pm

      Thank you Jen for the lovely comment….Just few more weeks and then you & your son will be in Kenya!!!! You guys will definitely have a great time and the fact that you’ll get to visit DSWT at both sessions, all the more fun! Please also check out the rest of my blog, and see what you can do while in Kenya. 🙂

      Regards,
      Sylvia.

      • Jen Thomas
        July 7, 2016 / 10:58 pm

        Sylvia I read the rest of your blog with interest! We only have a day to spend really, we arrive in the evening, stay overnight, have a full day and stay overnight again before heading off to the Masai Mara for a safari or two! It has been organised for us but I pretty much said what I wanted us to do – so we’re going to the DSWT then Karen Blixen museum and the giraffe centre before returning back to see Ambo (Tom’s ellie) being put to bed! We really can’t wait as it’s our first trip abroad together! Tom’s 10 and has never been out of GB before but is being very brave about vaccinations and flights etc. One massive adventure! So excited and thrilled we have the opportunity to help in some small way.

        Jen

        • July 9, 2016 / 12:42 pm

          Jen, you guys have an incredible itinerary, even the Masai Mara! It is actually a perfect period to visit the Mara since the great migration is on !!! The other place you will enjoy is the giraffe center – hope Tom won’t be scared to lip-smack with the giraffes.

          Feeding and putting Ambo to sleep will certainly be the highlight of your trip. Make sure you get to DSWT on time so you don’t miss out on anything especially when the elephants are emerging from the forest heading to their cubicles, it such an awesome experience!

          Well, you definitely have a massive adventure ahead! Hope to hear from you about your Kenya adventure. If you need help, you can reach me via the contact form in the contact section or send me an email to sylvia@slyglobetrotting.com.

          Regards,
          Sylvia.

          • Jen Thomas
            July 9, 2016 / 3:05 pm

            You’re very kind Sylvia, I will put your email address in my contacts and I will let you know how we get on, for sure.

            Jen

  5. Susan Brown
    July 7, 2016 / 1:36 pm

    love your article / photos and thank you for spreading the word about the plight of elephants (and rhinos). I too adopted one a couple of years ago and I love following her growth. Again thank you!!!

  6. Andrea Reichl Waschke
    July 7, 2016 / 1:45 pm

    Thanks for the lovely report. I have fostered 4 ellies and have already booked a slot in November. It will be the first visit at DSW. Guess I’m looking forward to that…:) I just lift my head (so we say over here in Germany) for the entire DSW team a gorgeous job they are doing.

    • July 7, 2016 / 8:49 pm

      Couldn’t agree with you more, DSWT team are doing an amazing job! Thank you Andrea for the lovely comment and Karibu Kenya (Welcome to Kenya) 🙂

      Regards,
      Sylvia.

  7. Jennifer
    July 7, 2016 / 2:35 pm

    Wonderful and very informative article! Beautiful pictures, too! I dream of going there one day and your tips will be so helpful. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • July 7, 2016 / 8:52 pm

      Thank you Jennifer and I’m glad that my article will come in handy 🙂

      Regards,
      Sylvia.

  8. Robert Gregory
    July 7, 2016 / 2:53 pm

    Excellent Blog Sylvia. Very informative and great pictures. I too have been to the DSWT HQ. It’s a real experience and a ‘must’ if you are lucky enough too visit Kenya and be in, or near Nairobi.

    • July 7, 2016 / 10:01 pm

      Thank you Robert and I totally agree with you, DSWT is a must see when in or near Nairobi.

      Regards,
      Sylvia.

  9. July 7, 2016 / 3:00 pm

    Maswoti is my foster….beautiful photo’s and very informative and inspirational writing.

    • July 7, 2016 / 10:23 pm

      Susan, thank you for reading my article & I’m happy you like it 🙂

      Regards,
      Sylvia.

  10. Dakota Wolf
    July 7, 2016 / 3:19 pm

    Well done! You definitely captured it!

    • July 7, 2016 / 10:25 pm

      Thank you Dakota for the lovely comment 🙂

      Regards,
      Sylvia.

  11. Windywind
    July 7, 2016 / 4:16 pm

    Beautiful report and wonderfully written. I enjoyed viewing “behind the scenes” and such a special place. I hope to visit DSWT some day as I have been a longtime supporter. I wish people in our world would join together and realize these incredible animals may not be here forever. ❤️

    • July 8, 2016 / 4:41 pm

      Thank you Windywind 🙂 I totally agree with you it’s such a special place and I must say, you are truly supporting a worthy cause.

      Regards,
      Sylvia,

  12. July 7, 2016 / 4:31 pm

    Thank you for sharing your beautifully written report and your beautiful photos. I am a DSWT supporter from Switzerland and have visited the elephant orphans at the different DSWT places many times. Hope to be back soon!

  13. Linda Lyon
    July 7, 2016 / 5:20 pm

    My husband and I have two Foster Babies; Rapa & Godoma. We will be visiting in October and have booked our dates for the afternoon tour. I can’t say enough about the wonderful things DSWT does for the Elles and other wildlife…truly a fantastic organization. Can’t wait for October❤️

    • July 8, 2016 / 4:58 pm

      Absolutely an amazing experience! You will love the babies even more when you get to see them!!!

      Regards,
      Sylvia.

  14. July 7, 2016 / 6:59 pm

    Thank you for your informative article! I’ve been planning a trip and this was really helpful. Great pictures!

    • July 8, 2016 / 5:00 pm

      Thank you for the lovely comment and I am glad my article will come in handy when planning your trip!

  15. Karie
    July 7, 2016 / 7:13 pm

    Sylvia such an amazing experience. DSWT is on my list and you provided me with so much info for my visit…hopefully next year. I currently foster 12 eleohants as well as Solio the rhino. 3 of the fosters are mine and the remaining are gifts that I renew each year. I have many family members that are teachers so I gift an irphan to their class…the students love following their elephant and they help spread awareness to the issues they face. It is so nice to read the story of another proud supporter of DSWT I can’t explain to people enough about the great work they do for our wildlife.
    Regards, Karie

    • July 8, 2016 / 5:14 pm

      That’s an excellent idea, Karie!! How you involve students because they are the ones who will continue in the conservation efforts and introducing them early it teaches them the importance of protection of wildlife. Hopefully, you do get to visit DSWT, it is such an amazing place and the babies are too adorable!!!

      Regards,
      Sylvia.

  16. Ali
    July 7, 2016 / 11:06 pm

    Amazing Insightful information. Kudos Sylvia👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾

  17. July 7, 2016 / 11:52 pm

    wonderful Sylvia, this is on my big wish list. I currently send them donations whenever I do an animal intuitive reading. Where did you stay when you visited? and would you recommend staying there too?
    also, your photos are magnificent.

    • July 9, 2016 / 12:08 pm

      Thank you Susan for the lovely comment. DSWT is such a awesome place and if you do get visit, you will love it !!!! The baby elephants are too cute and the work DSWT team does truly humbling.
      Nairobi is my home so didn’t need to get a hotel. However, there are nice hotels and airbnbs. What you can do is check TripAdvisor for places near Karen or Mombasa road or Langata road. If you see something you like, you can let me know then I can advise you further if it is a good place or not. You can contact me via the contact form in the contact section or send me an email to sylvia@slyglobetrotting.com
      Alternatively, you can subscribe to this blog because I will be doing some reviews of hotels and nice airbnbs in Nairobi. I will be reviewing one actually next week so you can look out for it.

      Regards,
      Sylvia.

    • July 11, 2016 / 9:39 pm

      aaaaawww!! Thank you for the sweet comment and for being my number one blog fan. Truly blessed to have you. Love you too :*

      P.s. hope you are still going to foster one of the elephants 🙂

  18. July 13, 2016 / 9:41 pm

    Sure will foster either Tagwa or Kihari that were rescued from areas very close to where I come from. Tagwa and Kihari are very familiar names of places I know. I am impressed by the villagers who rescued the orphans.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?