Rafiki means ‘friend’ in Swahili. This is the story of a calf who asked for help, knowing he needed a friend if he was to survive.
On the morning of 4th July 2022, guests at Ashnil Samburu Camp awoke to a concerning sight: Emerging for breakfast, they were greeted by a lone baby elephant standing just outside their tent! Hoping his mother was nearby, staff left him alone. Several hours passed, however, and the calf continued to stand vigil outside the camp, plaintively staring at anyone who passed by.
It was later confirmed that the calf’s mother had been killed — yet another victim of human-wildlife conflict fuelled by the drought.
3 years old
4 July 2022
Samburu, Buffalo Springs
Date of Birth (approximate)
1 July 2019
Age at Rescue
3 years old (approx)
Personalised adoption certificate.
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Monthly watercolour by Angela Sheldrick.
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Rafiki followed by two friends
Naleku and Rafiki
Rafiki braving the forest
Rafiki and Tingai in the forest
Oldepe and Rafiki in the mud bath
Latika and Rafiki browsing
Rafiki waving hello