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The David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi

Visiting the amazing David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi where we got to hang out with baby Elephants for an hour.

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Visiting the amazing David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi.

Within the Nairobi National Game Park, on the outskirts of one of the largest African Capitals, is a small sanctuary where dozens of Orphaned Elephants are brought each year. Because when a baby Elephant is separated from its Mother because of death from natural causes or poaching, then it’s very likely that the baby will die as well.

David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage Mud Pool

Visiting the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi

Often found still nursing their dead Mothers throughout the Game Parks in Kenya, with none of their family in sight, the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya, steps in to help. This gives them a fighting a chance to ensure the African Elephant population continues to thrive.

From one new-born Elephants to 4 years old, each Orphan is cared for and hand-raised within the Elephant Sanctuary until they are able to be reintroduced into the wild two years later.

David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi

David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi

The best part is that the Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi is open to the public every day strictly for one hour from 11am to 12pm. This means that we can get up close and personal with the Elephant Orphans, while still ensuring that they do not become to accustomed to human interaction.

Elephant feeding in Kenya

With about 100 tourists crowding shoulder to shoulder around the roped off area our group from our Oasis Overland tour through Africa were introduced to the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage by the local workers before they began to let in the Elephants.

With a distant trumpet we could hear them coming.

David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Kenya

Running out of their tree covered enclosures they were all jostling for positions at the front. Each one eager to be the first to the line of 2L milk containers.

With mouths opened wide they guzzled down the entire contents within just a couple of minutes before turning their attention to the small tree branches.

David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi (3)

Before long it was playtime.

Under the scorching Kenyan sun they all began to splash around the mud pool. For the littlest Elephant Orphans the carers would splash mud across their backs. While the older and larger Elephants could do it themselves with ease.

Elephant mud pool

They were extremely curious too.

Walking right up to us their trunks would reach out to wrap themselves around our hands. And with some of the Elephants still only waist high you can easily reach out and run your hands across their coarse hair atop their wrinkly skin.

Their long eyelashes also blink in the bright sunlight and you can feel them studying you.

Baby Elephant Orphanage

The trainers say that it is also true that Elephants never forget. The Elephants remember these personal interactions that they have had with them years in the future after being released back into the wild.

Visiting the David Sheldrick Elephant orphanage in Nairobi is a truly wonderful experience. Being able to reach out and touch these magnificent animals was definitely one of the highlights of my time in Kenya.

It’s just a pity that they managed to not only fling mud on my clothes from the mud pool, but also to splash my lens with it too!

David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi

David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Johan Horak

    June 1, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    Hi You guys get to travel the world. I have seen many elephants as I grew up close to South Africa’s Kruger. But to I am in Cape Town and there’s not a lot of large animals in local reserves.

    Really cool work these guys are doing. Thanks for sharing. And I love the photos. These animals are huge. 😉

  2. tyrhone

    June 3, 2013 at 4:57 AM

    I grew up around the big 5 (on and off), but it was always the elephants which take you back with their size and they way they seem to see you. Great pics and post.

  3. bronwen burmester

    June 4, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Amazing photos Cole, their skin sooo wrinkly and hairy. I could almost smell them and feel them too by your photos and script. Thanks! x

  4. Adam Ross

    June 8, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    This is looking so fun. I remember feeding a baby elephant when i visited Thailand last year, it was a few months old and yet i was so tiny standing infront it feeding some kind of leaves. I wonder how huge he is now. Great blog by the way and keep sharing the same interesting post.

  5. Kristy of Family Visa

    June 10, 2013 at 6:14 AM

    What an awesome pictures you got it there. Hopefully I can visit the orphanage too someday since here in our country we have no elephants.

  6. Global Nomads

    June 11, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    We got very bad impression of wildlife activities in Kenya and did not participate in any of them. Everyone was interested in making money and exploiting animals was one of the ways. Selling safaris, all kinds of charities, volunteering etc. Still we managed to see many of them from a bus window while travelling around. That was an awesome experience.

  7. Salika Jay

    June 11, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    I’ve been to an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka and it was awesome. These photos remind me of that. It’s a great thing they look after the deserted baby elephants.

  8. Shalu Sharma

    June 11, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Great photos of these elephants particularly the baby elephants, they are so adorable. Love the way the baby elephant is drinking out of the bottle.

  9. Jarmo

    June 12, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    Great photos Cole! And they really are doing great work with the elephants from the sound of it.

  10. Marian

    June 24, 2013 at 7:31 AM

    Baby elephants are so cute..To see them in real life must be a wonderful experience.. Really love your pictures.. thanks..

  11. Michael

    July 26, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    wow – amazing photos! I took elephant ride in northern Thailand, in Chang Mai and I have to say I didn’t like the way the elephants are treated there…

    • Cole Burmester

      July 27, 2013 at 8:33 AM

      It’s why I wouldn’t ever ride Elephants either. I have heard some horror stories about elephants in Chiang Mai so it’s very sad.

  12. Adam - Tropical Nomad

    August 19, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Really good photos! I did an elephant ride once and wouldn’t do it again as I felt the elephants were mistreated in Bali where I done it. Sanctuaries and orphanages are the only places I would go to see them now..

    • Cole Burmester

      August 20, 2013 at 6:34 AM

      Definitely agree Adam. It is a personal opinion but I wish everyone felt the same way as us.

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Africa

The Best Safari Holiday In The World

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Every continent has its little treasures. North America is big and beautiful and is the entertainment capital of the world. South America is exotic and offers treasures such as the Amazon rainforest. Europe is known for its culture, architecture and art. Asia is known for its interesting hardworking people who live very differently to the west. Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) is known for its sunny beaches and very friendly people. Antarctica, of course, is very cold and then there is Africa – lush, expansive, green Africa.

The movie ‘The Lion King’ is not far from the truth with regards to how the animals live amongst each other in Africa. Obviously they don’t roam the streets, as some people actually think, but are kept in the safaris where game rangers protect them.

In Africa, particularly South Africa, there are many safari experiences. The biggest one being ‘The Kruger National Park’. The Kruger National Park is a staple of the South African experience. Millions of people flock there from all over the world each year to experience it. There really is no other experience quite like it. It is all about nature and the wild. Just remember when traveling to these far away places to keep your health in check. This Research Verified review will tell you more.

What Makes The Kruger National Park So Special

The Kruger National Park was established long ago as far back as May 31, 1926. It was named after the president at the time, Paul Kruger. The unique part of the safari are the animals you will find there. Animals such as rhinos, leopards, buffalos, lions and elephants (known as the big 5) as well as African wild cats, caracals, cheetahs and servals. You will find tall giraffes, hippos, jackals, kudu, an array of gorgeous, colorful birds, warthogs, monkeys, baboons and more. This is the biggest reason so many people come from all over the world – to experience something different and dazzling under the African sky. This is Africa’s offerings at its best. Just to be there and explore its pure nature. It is one of the largest parks on the surface of the Earth extending to 19,485 square kilometres. It’s basically the same size as Israel (Israel covering 20,770 square kilometres). It’s massive with so many things to do and it offers both day and night game drives.

Travel Packages

Back in 1926, the first tourist cars entered the Park. Back then there was no accommodation provided for them. Nowadays there are gorgeous travel packages from World Strides on offer. There are a lot of 3 day options that go for great prices including luxury options. There are lodge, camping and gorgeous luxury safaris. Although, if you are traveling from overseas you will want a longer experience. There are combination tours that combine the Kruger National Park itself with trips through the Garden Route and Cape Town as well as Victoria Falls, Swaziland and Kwazulu Natal.

Kruger National Park Offerings

There are gorgeous culinary delights at the safari and there are huge buffet breakfasts on offer made superbly under the watchful hands and eyes of expert chefs. There are actually 17 different restaurants within the Kruger National Park that offer breakfast. You can also enjoy a bush “braai” at the Kruger Park which is the South African term for ‘barbeque’. You cannot visit South Africa or the Kruger National Park and not have a braai – it’s part of the complete experience. It often includes different meat such as ‘boerewors’ which are very thick, juicy and tasty meat filled sausages, lamb chops, beef steaks and chicken as well as chicken kebabs. It will always come with beautiful salads and fresh bread (often buttered garlic bread with herbs) and buns for the boerewors in which ketchup and mustard are often combined. Beer and wine are also really big in South Africa and there will be a big variety.

There are also swimming pools at the park which are great during the hot summers – December to February period. There are beautiful spa resorts within the Kruger National Park that offer gorgeous packages as well as ziplining nearby.

You can travel to this magical place alone but it is best spent with family or friends. The Kruger National Park offers ample adventures. There is no other place like it on Earth and the memories of it will stay with you forever!

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Africa

Honeymoon Safaris: The Perfect Combination

Honeymoon Safaris: The Perfect Combination

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Wedding preparations are exciting and fun, but equally as stressful. You get caught in a blissful whirlwind that culminates in that special day, which marks the start of an entirely new story in your life. An extraordinary and luxurious honeymoon in some unique location is the ideal transition into your new life with the person of your dreams. It allows you to unwind, reflect and celebrate the start of this new chapter. An African safari offers you a mixture of adventure and romance that is almost impossible to beat. Ranging from heart stopping moments of discovery to the pinnacle of luxurious relaxation. There are a number of excellent options available to you and this article hopes to give you a little taste of what’s out there.

Get a new perspective on the Serengeti

Visiting the Grumeti Reserve region in Tanzania allows you to take to the skies in a hot air balloon. This unforgettable ride over the treetops is an exciting and romantic way of experiencing the majesty of the Serengeti. It takes game viewing to unbridled heights and gives photography buffs a new outlook on our world. The balloon glides over grasslands and acacia forests before ascending to almost 1000 ft to expose the true enormity of the reserve. This gives you and your partner the time and space to experience the beauty of the land and the wildlife below.

Adventure and romance

Many lodges cater to more adventurous guests by offering a number of different outdoor activities: these include archery, stargazing, mountain biking, tennis, water skiing and nature walks. Honeymooners are often allowed to customize (like ending a hike with a romantic picnic) these activities to make them a bit more private and special.

Rest and Relaxation

If you’re looking to slow down a bit then you expect to be pampered. Many lodges have world-class spas, which offer a wide range of treatments, and you can expect peace, serenity and VIP treatment. The beauty of the wilderness, which is reflected in their décor and mindsets, generally inspires these spas. Enjoy a massage or nourishing mask in the comfort of your own suite or head to the spa. The choice is yours. Treatments can often be tailored to couples.

Privacy

Safari lodges are typically designed to offer you total seclusion. Suites are often far apart and self-contained. Private Vehicles can often be booked for guests looking for ultimate privacy.  Your meals can be enjoyed in the setting of your choice: in your room surrounded by candles, under the starlight on the deck or out in the bush with your private chef. Maybe you want to dine in a romantic setting made especially for you as the stars twinkle overhead. This is your time and they aim to make your dreams come true.

Africa has many wonderful safari destinations, each offering travellers something unique. Visit Tanzania to see the vast plains of the Serengeti. See the Big 5 in the lush bushveld of the Kruger National Park in South Africa or stand in the shadows of the sandstone outcrops and incredible baobabs in Zimbabwe. Go out and find what your heart desires.

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Africa

5 Travel Tips for a Safari in Botswana

5 Travel Tips for a Safari in Botswana

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Botswana is always among one of the finest safari destinations around the world. Being in the right place in Botswana in the right time with a perfect preparation, you can behold some of the most rare wildlife viewing sights one can ever see. Yes, there are a number of things that you need to do right to be able to have the best out of your safari in Botswana. And here are 5 tips that should help you make your Botswana safari tour a great success and once in a lifetime experience.

Oasis Overland African Gorillas

Visit April-November

Yes, it’s kind of not-so-good idea to go on a Botswana safari between November and April because it’s the time for rainy season. So, when planning for your tour, make sure it’s between April and November and not between November and April.

Wear Comfy Clothing

When on any safari, it’s important you are in the utmost comfort. The temperatures during the summer in Botswana are between 18°C to 38°C. So, it can be really difficult to enjoy the safari in the summer if you are not wearing the perfect comfy clothing. Pack well.

Always Go with a Guide

You may be a brave individual but you should not take the risk of moving from one place to another without a guide while on safari here. A guide can be really handy and save you from deadly mistakes and accidents. The guides can help you with answers to the questions like what ways to take and how close to get to the wild animals. But that does not mean you can’t get close to the wild animals, a guide will help you get really close to some animals whilst you may have to see some from quite a distance if they are not safe.

David-Sheldrick-Elephant-Orphanage-Mud-Pool.jpg

Do your Research before Selecting Your Accommodation

Where you will stay can make a big difference. So, to have the best experiences, you should pick an accommodation option that can give you the perfect safari feels. There are a number of world-class safari tour operators with great accommodation and dining options for tourists. So, pick one that has the reputation to deliver you the kind of experience you are looking for.

Money and Cash

Major credit cards are accepted in most safari camps and hotels but don’t ever expect to find an ATM machine! You can either have the local currency which is Pula or US dollars, Euros or South African Rand as they all are readily accepted in most areas. When in the local markets, you should bargain to have the right prices for products. But if you don’t like bargaining, there are plenty of shops where the prices are fixed. So, when shopping, make sure you know if the prices are fixed or not before starting to check out products.

These are not such difficult tips to follow. So, make sure to follow the above mentioned advice and have some unforgettable experiences on your Botswana safari tour.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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