The inspirational orphaned elephant rehabilitation project of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is located in Tsavo National Park, eastern Kenya. The project takes in young elephants that have been orphaned or abandoned, often as a result of poaching or other human-wildlife conflict.

Initially orphans are brought to the Trust’s nursery in Nairobi National Park, where they are cared for by a ‘family’ of keepers who replace the orphans’ lost elephant family, essential for such social animals. They are gradually re-integrated with other orphans and when ready are transferred to Tsavo where their rehabilitation continues, until they are able to take their rightful place amongst their wild counterparts in Tsavo. This transition is made at their own pace but usually takes approximately eight to ten years. A number of ex-nursery orphans have now had wild born young which they have brought back to show their human family.

After an early breakfast you will travel by helicopter or plane to the project, an amazing scenic flight over varied landscape. On arrival you will be escorted to the mud bath where young orphans come for their morning milk feed, followed by mud or dust bathing. Whilst it is not possible to feed the elephants, you will be free to interact with them, following the keepers guidelines of course as these are big and playful animals! You will then be given a tour of the centre and may be lucky enough to witness ex-orphans coming to visit with their own babies. On leaving the project you will take a scenic flight over Tsavo to the Chyulu Hills for a picnic lunch with views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, before flying back to camp.

The helicopter takes a maximum of five passengers. In a plane the maximum group size is twelve people.