Daphne Sheldrick's

Oct 25th, 2007, 10:24 PM
Original Poster
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Daphne Sheldrick's

Last night at dinner, I was told that you now have to pay park entry fee at the Kenya Wildlife Service Gate for Nairobi National Park, before you are allowed to go up to Daphne Sheldrick's. Has anyone experienced this?
roadwarriorafrica is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 11:40 PM
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We went there a little over two weeks ago, and the new rule had just been introduced. It is now inordinately expensive, and as a result, no one is going through to the Sheldrick's.
We decided not to pay on principle, and my husband phoned the relevant government department to complain. They agreed with him and gave him the Sheldrick's number.
Well, it turned out it really WAS the Sheldrick's number, and he ended up speaking with a member of the Sheldrick family.
It seems that they have been completely cut off, even their kids' maths tutor had to pay the fee. No-one is visiting at all and it seems that an attempt may be being made to put them out of business. They were quite distressed at the situation.
I suggest everyone make a donation to the Daphne Sheldrick Wildlife Trust if they can afford to.
They do such important work and should not be driven out in this way.
sammyl is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 04:42 AM
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This is terrible! We've fostered elephants for years at the Sheldricks and I can't imagine why anyone would want to shut down such a wonderful organization.

As a charity, can't they get some sort of letter organized for visitors so they do not have to pay if they are only coming to visit them?

Just think of all the local school children that now might not be able to afford to come and learn about animal conservation...heartbreaking.

melissaom is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 07:14 AM
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What a terrible thing to happen.

It seems conflicting that the KWS or whomever would be trying to put them out of business, while at the same time many of the alerts that they receive about orphans come from the KWS. Maybe I'm missing something.

In any event, I just adopted my lil orphan a couple days ago - a new arrival that they saved after she fell down an open manhole in Tsavo East. Can't wait to meet her in January.
going_2_africa is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 11:20 AM
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Who??? Why???
Nyamera is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 11:32 AM
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What a bummer! This is awful news. Visiting Sheldrick's was one of the highlights of our visit to Kenya.

We saw several groups of school kids there -- does this mean they won't be going anymore, because it's so expensive to do for just an hour's visit? What a terrible shame.
MyDogKyle is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 12:18 PM
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I plan on visiting them next summer. I read in several posts about being able to "visit" your adopted elephant but their website doesn't mention it. How do you arrange that?
arborist is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 01:09 PM
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Email them directly.
Patty is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 01:38 PM
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What exactly is the fee? Is it in the hundreds of dollars? This is really distressing news. For our part, we found our private visit with the baby ellies ( and stroking a three-week old's tiny hairy trunk, and nearly getting mowed down by OUR OWN FOSTERED BABY!) a
priceless experience and can't wait to do it all again. After travelling all that way to Africa we would not balk at paying an additional fee - but how much is it? I'm assuming the Sheldricks do not share in any of the fee...
carolines is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 01:51 PM
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Current fee for Nairobi National park is $40 per adult plus a small vehicle fee. KWS fees are going up next May and I'm not sure if this park will be $50 or $60.
Patty is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 04:00 PM
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So Patty, do you know if you pay the same fee to enter the park as you do to just go to Sheldricks?

If so, for my party of three it would be $120, plus the small vehicle fee. I will do it, but I won't like it.

On the same subject, can someone tell me the timing of the evening visits at Sheldrick's (what time you should arrive, how long you can stay, etc.)? We have adopted some elephants and want to visit them in January. We thought we had plenty of time to spare on the day we are there, but Kenya Airways changed our flight time and now we are not even scheduled to land at NBO until 3:45 p.m. We are coming from Kigali, so we'll have to clear customs and immigration.

Does that leave us enough time to get over to Sheldrick's and do and enjoy the afternoon visit? (Our flight to Paris doesn't leave until 11:15 p.m. that evening, so there are no problems on the back side.)
sevendown is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 04:52 PM
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I only know what's been posted in this thread so far. The last time we visited, we didn't pay anything. We got there just before 5:00pm and stayed until about 6:00pm but there didn't seem to be any time limit in how long you could stay. It's a pretty unstructured visit. Might be pushing it for you though depending on traffic.
Patty is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 08:22 PM
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It will now cost non-residents US$40 per person to enter the gate, regardless of what time you go. Everyone visits Sheldricks to support the project. It would be great if the US$40 went towards the project. Instead it will be used by KWS. That is very greedy of KWS.
roadwarriorafrica is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 10:46 PM
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This must have just happened. We were at Sheldricks for a vist with the elephants around 3:00pm Saturday October 6th and did not have to pay a park entry fee.

Cheweyhead is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 11:36 PM
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I find it quite ironic that people want so badly to support the Sheldrick Trust, which pretty much provides direct support to the KWS by rehabilitating injured animals, conducting desnaring patrols, community education, etc. but then become upset about providing funds directly to the KWS who has the gigantic mission of managing and protecting Kenya's wildlife, a country that has dwindling populations and badly needs to protect more land (and improve management on their existing public land) as they are severely trailing the other safari countries in the amount of public protected lands. Since habitat loss is the biggest reason for dwindling wildlife it is critical to properly protect the public lands and develop a plan to expand the protected areas.

Sheldrick's operation does tremendous work so please do keep supporting them and don't misinterpret my comments here but it seems that many people are happy to invest some money to help the Trust because its tangible to be able to have a picture of an elephant, know its name and one day get to tickle its trunk. Meanwhile a well funded KWS is essential to protecting tens of thousands of animals of all species but you may not have the direct personal connection to grab onto.

For the vast majority of people going on safari an extra $40 is not going to be a huge deal, if it is and you care about Sheldricks forego a couple bottles of wine and make the visit.

Excuse the rant but I don't understand when people want conservation, in fact to the point of supporting a conservation oriented trust but then never want to pay any park fees that are needed to protect thousands of animals. This isn't directed at everyone on this thread but is an extension of the common complaining about paying park fees that I often read about.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 02:41 AM
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It's been over a year since I last visited Daphne Sheldrick's, and the only information that I have about the new fee is what I have read in this thread. PredatorBiologist makes some good points about the good work done by KWS and how they should be supported, but I have some other thoughts:

1. Most people spend only about an hour at Sheldrick's so $40 is a bit steep of a price. I don't mind an entrance fee, but it should be comparable to the fee for a place like the Langata Giraffe Center.

2. The fee goes directly to KWS. In addition, people are encouraged to donate to Sheldrick's and they are usually paying for a driver, so the cost is going to be more than $40/person. This cost is high enough to discourage some people from visiting Sheldrick's, but maybe that is what KWS wants?

3. If people have already paid $40 to tour the park for 3-4 hours, that fee should also cover a visit to Sheldrick's that day so you don't have to pay twice. Logically, that makes sense, but does anyone know if that is actually the case?
kumasawa is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 04:43 AM
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Sheldrick is located in Nairobi Natl Park, so you can visit both - animal walk, cheetah hug, other - for the $40 Daily Park Fee. At Sheldrick, a contribution is suggested of about $5 (250-300Ksh).

As a "daily" fee, would suggest that those who have adopted ellees, you schedule the late afternoon visit on the same day so you don't need to pay an additional fee. A taxi to/from is probably your best means for transport... the taxi driver will wait for a few extra $$ as tip. KEEP THAT PARK RECEIPT!

If the visit to adoptees will be on another day, then another $40 fee will be required.

I know many plan this personal ellee visit for their last day in NBO before heading home. You may have to decide whether you want to visit twice (earlier in your visit... day of arrival) or just this last time to see your little chubby wards.

If cost is an issue, plan your time accordingly.

Wonder? Is there a Swahili word for "plan?" As in, no surprises, please!
sandi is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 04:47 AM
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From what Sammyl writes, it seems like someone is trying to put Sheldrick’s out of business. Jan Goss is looking into this.

To me it seems like most visitors went to Sheldrick’s with no previous knowledge of the trust and orphanage just because their operators offered an excursion to look at baby elephants having a mud bath. The “fee” (don’t know how much the operators charged) was a minimum donation of 300 shillings Then, after being informed, many of them decided to foster an elephant. The experience itself – standing behind a rope watching baby elephants together with 80+ other tourists – just isn’t worth $40 and it seems like those $40 on top of whatever the operators were charging have stopped visits completely.
Nyamera is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 04:51 AM
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Thanks Patty -- We will still try to go and try to get there as soon as we can after our plane lands, then stay until dark (6:30) if they let us. I have really gotten my family excited on this, we have all adopted our own elephants and we'll do everything we can to make it. With Kenya Airways' on time reliability though, who knows? If the flight is on time, I think an hour and fifteen minutes would probably be about right to get there. If we are a little late, so be it.

On the entrance fees, I will definitely pay it, will not complain, and will realize I am helping a good cause (KWS). As someone else said above, an additional $40 is no big deal to someone already paying thousands to go on safari.

The part that I don't like however, is that this may really hurt Sheldricks. They rely heaviliy on word of mouth for their survival. The more people that go (including less well-off foreigners and/or locals and local children), the less visibility the program will get, inevitably hurting them financially -- where they need the help the most.
sevendown is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 04:52 AM
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The Swahili word for plan is “mpango”.
Nyamera is offline  

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