I’m very excited to share with you all the details of my Africa (Kenya/Tanzania) trip, and hopefully it helps you plan your own trip, encourages you to visit these places, or at the very least teaches you about another culture in another part of the world. I loved my Africa experience. To catch you up on my trip, check out all my Africa posts:
Africa I: Planning Logistics + Budgets + Immunizations + Clothing/Gear + Getting There
Last I left off, Erica and I were at the Nairobi Airport Stopover Hotel about to embark on our 24 hours in Nairobi, Kenya. We researched ahead of time and figured out that The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (elephant and rhino orphanage) does a feeding in the morning which is the best time to go. We decided to start our day there. Next we would hit up the Giraffe Center where we could feed and pet Giraffes. After these two spots, we would visit the Karen Blixen Museum (Karen’s home where Out of Africa was based and filmed). Lastly we would visit one of Nairobi’s nicest malls (the Galleria) where we could eat dinner at Artcaffe (yummy!) which serves American food safe for tourists. This is a chain Erica and I both enjoyed, so if you are in Africa and see an Artcaffe, it’s a great place to grab a meal or coffee. The mall was also our last opportunity to purchase any gear for Kilimanjaro.
Since each of these activities above involved MANY photo taking opportunities, I will use this post to share just the images from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (elephants!) and the next post will focus on images of the giraffes and Karen Blixen museum.
If you only have 2 hours in Nairobi, go to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. This was a highlight of the trip for me. I think it costs less than $10 USD and the money goes toward the orphan project. They rescue these baby elephants when either a parent has died (or been poached) or if they’ve been rejected from their group. A single baby elephant alone has a low survival rate (they can’t protect themselves), so they are saved and brought to this orphanage. Here the caretakers feed them and care for them like a mother would.
It’s a very sweet place and fascinating to see the elephant feedings. Once the elephants are old enough (and able to fend for themselves) they are released back into the wild, as this isn’t meant to be an elephant zoo or jail. It really is a place to rehab and teach these animals survival and social skills. Watching these animals interact during the feeding, you can see their personalities. Each elephant has a name and story, which is explained to us during the feeding.
Enjoy these adorable creatures:
The elephants come from out in the protected woods area. The youngest group comes out first. They are so little!
It was cute to see the school groups arrive and live the edge of the elephant area. The kids love to pet the animals, and the elephants love the attention.
Once the baby elephants finish their feedings and are lead away, another group of slightly older elephants comes running from the woods. They know where their food is, and they are excited to get it.
They drink powdered milk with water added, as this is most cost effective and I think closely mimics their real milk.
After each age group drinks their milk, they walk around and play together. Above the elephant is drinking water from a barrel.
Some elephants lay down and roll in the dirt. They love the dirt.
Elephant heaven- rolling in the dirt. They are so happy in the photo above.
They are so much like people and each elephant has a different personality.
The kids were so adorable with the baby elephants.
The largest group of elephants came out last. This group enjoyed playing with the tree branches, as they eat the leaves.
This elephant was swinging these large branches around.
Sneaky elephants! Above and below these elephants stole extra milk bottles. These guys knew right where the crew kept the bottles and kept sneaking over by it to find left over bottles.
As our time with the elephants was coming to an end, off in the distance some Thompson Gazelles stopped by to watch the elephants. These two animals coexist together in the wild and are friendly to each other. This was my first taste of seeing African animals in the wild, and I was in awe.
Giraffe’s are up next!