Elephant Orphanage

by Luke, in Zambia
30th September, 2009

Baby elephants exude such personality and character that it’s impossible not to like them instantly. The David Shepherd Foundation are sponsoring and supporting Game Rangers International in a project to run the one and only Zambian elephant orphanage and I had the privilege of meeting the incredibly committed and dedicated people who are running it. They are making a stand to champion and protect these magnificent animals in Kafue National Park and I really take my hat off to Sport, Rachel, James and their team who are tirelessly working to nuture and rehabilitate three orphaned baby elephants in the remote Zambian bush.


The set up is very rustic and unlike the other elephant institutions I’ve visited in Kenya, Thailand and India, it was inspirational to see how much drive they putting into getting the place established. Sport is training anti-poaching units to work alongside ZAWA to safeguard the animals whilst Rachel is the primary carer of the elephants and the programme which will eventually see them reintegrated back into the wild.


James, who flew out with us yesterday was one of the founders of the camp and once the initial introductions had been made and the grogginess of a 4.30am start had worn off, I really warmed to their team and was introduced to their world in the camp and meet the resident baby elephants who were simply a real joy to be around.

Adam hopefully got some great footage – the camera packed up for about two hours midway through the morning but thankfully started to work again after a small rest and we all got bitten to pieces by huge Tetse flies that swarmed the back of the truck. Aside from hitting a huge bump on the track and Bruce bending a metal bar with his cheek (he must have titanium in his bones – got to watch him, he’s a dark horse), we all had a great day and very much enjoyed it.

The only other interlude was that I had to write a big report on the dead buffalo found yesterday for the Director General of the Zambian Wildlife Authority and Man U are playing tonight which means Bruce and Adam are firmly entrenched in front of the only TV in the lodge. I look forward to being dazzled with some hard hitting football facts tomorrow…

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