Kenya: Orphaned Ellies and Giraffe Kisses

Read more on my experience of a lifetime

What an amazing and wonderful experience. For anyone that loves animals you will fall in love with these gorgeous creatures. Dame Daphne Sheldrick has started something really special here and the experience is one you don’t want to miss.

It is heart breaking to see these gorgeous tiny creatures coming out to a fenced off area to be fed bottles of milk. These are orphaned elephants that have been found all around Kenya some at only 3 days old, stuck in mud and left by their mothers to die as they couldn’t get out. And somewhere their mothers have not survived the drought themselves and the babies have been abandoned.

The youngest and cutest ones at 3 months old arrive in single file, blankets tied around their tummies to keep them warm, their handlers with them and they proceed to drink the milk out of large bottles in front of you. Some of them are curious and come up to you at the fence and you can touch them but you don’t actually get to feed them.

The handlers tell you the story of the sanctuary and what they do and a little on some of the elephants that are in front of you and you can’t help but admire these men and what they do as they sleep in the “stables” with the elephants whilst they are adjusting to their new lives.

Then the little ones leave and another group of slightly older ones arrive to be fed, and when these leave then the last batch of the oldest ones arrive to be fed – around 30 elephants in total are looked after here.

It was one of the most magical hours I have ever spent. Being so close to these young but large animals I couldn’t help but adopt two of them before I leave.

If anyone wants to read more and adopt an elephant before you got to Kenya, so that you can visit them in the afternoon you can do this online and then go and see your adopted elephant when you are there.

Their website is

They also have two rhinos there, one of which is blind but these are in proper cages although you can touch them.

Then it’s off to see Giraffe Manor, I didn’t go into the manor itself but to the centre where you get to feed (and Kiss from Daisy) the giraffe for Ksh700 (they also take dollars approx USD10). The oldest is called Daisy and when I got there she was the only one standing and letting people touch and feed her. A cute experience and the children love it as the handlers get her to give them a kiss, if they are brave enough to go close.


I love travel and can tailor-make your ultimate journey of discovery

Sheena Knox

&Beyond Travel Specialist

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