THE SAFARI SPECIALIST
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Images courtesy of DSWT
DSWT is the culmination of the lifelong mission of Dame Daphne Sheldrick to rescue, nurture and rehabilitate orphaned elephants (and other animals). Based on the edge of Nairobi National Park baby elephants in need are brought to the safe haven of the Sheldrick nursery where the dedicated keepers draw on the knowledge and techniques learned over fifty years by Dame Daphne.
Sad and bewildered newcomers are welcomed into the tiny herd by the other orphans, they develop trust in their dedicated keepers and the healing begins. Daily forays into the National Park are supplemented by huge bottles of 'milk' and safe hay-filled stables overnight.
As they get bigger the orphans 'graduate' to the teenage herd and move to Ithumba in the much larger Tsavo National Park which is full of familiar friends who graduated before them from the nursery herd and keepers (who are rotated from both locations). At Ithumba the orphans range further into the wild, meeting and interacting with wild elephant, returning to the safety of the stockades at night but over time transitioning fully to the wild - the ultimate goal of the years of toil and dedication of the DSWT team. Their unasked for reward is when an ex-orphan will return to Ithumba to show them her tiny new wild-born baby.
In addition to comprehensive mobile veterinary units, for over fifteen years, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has been involved in funding and operating mobile de-snaring and anti-poaching units that protect the wildlife in Tsavo National Parks alongside numerous conservation initiatives.
The Safari Specialist annually fosters 4 orphans, Enkikwe, Napasha, Kora and Oltaiyoni, and makes a long-standing monthly donation to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust US
An insight into the world of the orphans in the nursery A day in the life of the DSWT mobile veterinary unit
In June 2017 I was thrilled to visit DSWT with my 3 children and spend time up close and personal with the beautiful creatures and keepers.
Nursery herd coming home for supper
from our visit
The story of Dame Daphne's amazing life with elephants - thoroughly recommend it for anyone interested in elephants, conservation or a fascinating era in East Africa.
Background image courtesy of and with permission from The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust