This book was first published in 2012, has 321 pages, 20 colour pictures, 57 B/W photos and 2 large maps of Kenya and Tsavo East. The book is divided into 16 chapters and is dedicated to David Sheldrick and other pioneer wardens of Kenya National Parks, the wilderness, Dame Daphne's family and her 4 grandchildren. The book starts in 1907, when Daphne's grand parents left South Africa and sailed to MOMBASA, Kenya with their livestock. From here on the Uganda Railways to NAIROBI and they checked into Norfolk Hotel. The wagon train took them 4 months to get to Narok, later to move near Lake Naivasha. After the 1st World War, Bryan(Dame Daphne's father) moved to South Africa. Here he met Marjorie Webb. On return, Bryan had started a farm at GIL GIL. They got married in 1930 and had 4 children, Peter, Sheila, Daphne(june 1934) and Betty(1938).
Always an animal lover from childhood, Daphne adopted a baby Bushbuck-Bushy, at the age of 4. Aged 6, she was sent to boarding school at NAKURU. At 13, she joined Kenya Girls High school in Nairobi. At 15, she fell in love with Bill(Frank William Woodley), assistant warden at Nairobi National Park. At 17, she got engaged to Bill and they got married on 27.6.1953 in Naivasha. Their honeymoon was spent in England and Scotland. Bill was transfered to Tsavo East NP to work under David Sheldrick. On 26.1.1955, their daughter Jill(Gillian Sala Ellen) was born. At Tsavo, they had to stay with David Sheldrick(David and Diana had separated and she had taken their 2 children with her). Daphne started loving Tsavo and worked at the HQ office. After 6 years together, Daphne and Bill drifted apart and Daphne felt attracted towards David.
Daphne loved watching the elephants. On 13.6.1959, David was honoured with MBE from the Queen. After divorce, Bill married Ruth Hales. Daphne married David at 11 am on 20.10.1960 in Mombasa, becoming Daphne Sheldrick. Their honeymoon was in LAKE MANYARA, Tanzania. Then a big orphan group started getting collected at their home in Tsavo. On 1.7.1963, Angela Mara(pip) was born in Nairobi. More orphans arrived including ELEANOR the elephant at their VOI orphanage. Then David started having cramps between his shoulders and was diagnosed to have angina. Sadly for David and Daphne, they were moved to Nairobi National Park. David had more episodes of chest pain and on 13.6 1977 at 11 pm, collapsed, was rushed to Nairobi Hospital, but passed away. The Karen church was packed and David was laid to rest in the Langata Cemetary. He was 57 years old.
Daphne had a new house built inside the Nairobi National Park and she soon started collecting her orphans, including elephants and this started the DSWT Orphanage(open every day to public- 11 am to 12 noon), that you see today in Nairobi. Then in 1987, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust(DSWT) was formed. With trial and error, Daphne had formulated the milk which the elephants thrived on. In 1989, Daphne was awarded the MBE and in 1996, she became Dame Daphne (DBE). Out of 200 elephants rescued, 100 are now living in the wild. Angela now runs the Trust. Dame Daphne not only narrates her family story in this book, but also the history of Kenya and its wildlife. She keeps you interested in all the 321 pages. This book is written simply and beautifully. Having visited Kenya many times, we were lucky that Dame Daphne allowed us to have our photo taken with her at the DSWT Orphanage in 2005 and as foster parents of the elephants, we visited the baby elephants in Nairobi and Voi. The Trust does wonderful work at Nairobi, Voi and Ethumba in Tsavo and helps Kenya Wildlife Service(KWS) and many school children and of course the animals.
Other books by Dame Daphne are:-
(1) The Orphans of Tsavo, 1966
(2) Tsavo Story(Animal Kingdom), 1973
(3) An Elephant Called Eleanor, 1981
(4) My Four Footed Family, 1979
Some of the films on Dame Daphne and the Orphanage are:-
(1) Orphans of Tsavo(Sierra Club Series), VHS 1988
(2) Bloody Ivory, DVD 1979
(3) Orphans of Tsavo(Endangered World), VHS 1997
(4) Elephant Diaries 1, DVD 2007
(5) Elephant Diaries 2, DVD 2009
(6) Protector of Giants, DVD 2010
(7) Born to be Wild, DVD 2012
Having born in Kenya, I enjoyed reading this wonderful book.
Read and ENJOY.