Monday, 28 November 2011

The Baby Elephants

I and my housemates hired a car and driver yesterday and went to the Elephant Orphanage and Giraffe Sanctuary in Nairobi.  The Elephant Orphanage was brilliant.  It is set inside Nairobi National Park and currently is the home to 18 baby elephants, aged 8 days to 3 years.

Elephants become orphaned for two primary reasons - either the victims of poaching or of human/wildlife conflict.  Human/wildlife conflict occurs when animals stray out of Kenya's many national parks and on to nearby agricultural land and farmers have little choice but to kill the animal.  The Elephant Orphanage is the national programme which forms an immediate response to take in any elephant found to be orphaned. 

Once the elephants reach 3 years they are moved to Tsavo National Park where there is an Elephant Sanctuary where they are able to informally stay until they choose to leave and wander into the park and don't come back to sleep or to be fed.

The elephants are fed by bottle every 3 hours, and visitors are allowed to come to watch their daily 11am feed for the cost of Ksh. 500 (or about £3.50).  It was fantastic!  The elephants are so cute and are very sweet with their handlers, who are with them 24 hours a day until they leave to move to the Sanctuary.

After the elephants we went to a local shopping centre food court for lunch before going to Giraffe Sanctuary, and I will shamelessly admit that I had greasy Chinese food and it was great!

The Giraffe Sanctuary was nice, but there was only one giraffe at the feeding deck (there were about 5 more in the distance) and quite a lot of visitors.  We all waited patiently-ish to get our turn to feed the giraffe which was quite cool (and a bit slimy).  They are beautiful animals - and their eyes are amazing up close.  But I was actually slightly more entertained by the warthogs wandering around!

After a splendid day yesterday, today (Monday) came as a sharp awakening.  Got lost on way to work after matatu took a detour, showed up at work quite muddy as it had rained buckets last night, and left today realising that what I'm going to work on at ICL is not that clear and needs more refining with the CEO after I prematurely thought we had hit it on the head last week.  Was bit demoralised on way home so I stopped to buy a Twix (a very special treat considering my tiny volunteer living allowance).  It needed to be done.

Ah well. Sawa sawa. Tomorrow is Tuesday and I'm going to go in fresh, mud or no mud!

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