A pioneering facility for the protection and rehabilitation of black rhinos and African elephants, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust saves injured and orphaned animals from the wild and rehabilitates them for a return to their natural habitats. This nonprofit park was founded in 1977 and operates within Nairobi National Park.
The wildlife center at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust ranks among Nairobi’s most popular attractions. Travelers on full or half-day tours from Nairobi observe as handlers bottle-feed and play with baby elephants in their watering hole. Keepers tell the stories of the orphaned animals. Those with limited time in Nairobi can combine the elephant orphanage, Nairobi National Park, the Karen Blixen Museum, and the Giraffe Center into a single day of sightseeing.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The wildlife trust is a must-visit for animal lovers and families with kids.
- Entrance fees and contributions made on-site must be made in cash.
- Don’t forget your camera; the baby elephants are very photogenic.
- Day trips to the wildlife center can last from four to 10 hours, depending on what other attractions are included.
How to Get There
It’s possible to reach the wildlife center by taking bus 125 or 126 from Moi Avenue to the KWS Central Workshop; from there it’s a short walk to the center. The easier way is to hire a taxi from the city center, or book a guided tour that includes the center as well as round-trip transportation from Nairobi hotels.
When to Get There
Visitors who want to see the orphan elephants must be present between 11am and 12pm, because the orphanage is only open for an hour each day. Arrive early, as the Trust gets busy during nursery viewings.
Who Was David Sheldrick?
For more than two decades, David Sheldrick worked at Tsavo National Park as a park warden and anti-poaching activist. After his death in 1976, his wife Dr. Daphne Sheldrick established the nonprofit in her husband’s name. She and her family continue to live and work in Nairobi National Park.