I recently travelled to Kenya to attend a three day leadership summit in a place called Athi River, about 28 kilometers out of Nairobi. Though the summit was both wonderful and insightful, I wasn’t ready to leave the country without indulging in a little wandering/ exploring. Between the summit, visiting family and rushing back to work in Kampala, I didn’t have much wandering time on my hands though. Just a few hours, to be exact. I decided to visit two animal orphanages that I had sited right in the heart of Nairobi and close to Nairobi National Park. The two animal orphanages I visited are the Nairobi Animal Orphanage and the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
The Nairobi Animal Orphanage
The Nairobi Animal Orphanage is located within Nairobi National Park and just a couple minutes’ drive from Karen, where I spent my last night. It cost me 215 Kenya Shillings (about 2 USD only) to get it. I went early in the morning since I had two animal orphanages to visit and I was flying back to Uganda the same day (it’s best to visit in the morning as there is hardly anyone else visiting). I had the full attention of the animal attendants who took me round for about an hour telling me stories about the animals and how they were rescued. Some of the animals come in injured, for example the limping striped Hyena that I got to see. After treatment, they are unable to survive in the wild and are kept and looked after at the animal orphanages. Others come in as young cubs, like the lion cubs and cheetah cubs. Not only did I see these cubs but I got to feed them as well, which was pretty cool.
Read more about the Nairobi Animal Orphanage here.
The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust looks after orphaned elephants and rhinos. It’s only open to the public for strictly one hour every day (between 11am and 12pm) and costs 500 Kenya Shillings (about 5 USD) to get in. Because it’s only open for one hour, there was quite a long queue waiting to get in when I arrived. Once we were in, the elephant keepers brought out the elephants in two groups and talked to us about elephant fostering, wildlife conservation, anti-poaching and animal welfare. The keepers fed the elephants in our presence. They also explained to us that the young elephants feed on a special infant formula that was created by David Sheldrick, in whose honor the trust was founded.
Read more about the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust here.
It was a fruitful two hours combined visiting the animal orphanages. The visit left me a little more informed and appreciative of wildlife conservation and animal welfare efforts in Kenya. Would you visit these places to learn more? Have you visited an animal orphanage before? What are your thoughts? Do let me know in the comments below. Xx