It was the first lady's second stop on a four-nation tour of the African continent.
It may not have been the most glaring faux pas the hyper-scrutinized Trump has ever made.
"It's very emotional. I will never forget [the] incredible experience and the stories that I heard", she said after seeing the dungeons and walking through the "door of no return", the castle's final exit towards the Atlantic Ocean.
Melania held a baby as she thanked the orphanage staff for taking care of the children.
The first lady's run-in with the baby elephant was captured on video.
Mrs. Trump is on her first-ever visit to Africa and her first extended solo worldwide trip as first lady.
She is now in Malawi and will end up visiting Kenya and Egypt to complete her week-long visit to Africa.
The criticism was not universal. We think her visit will make a different on her husband decision of cutting Aid to African on reproduction health, HIV/AIDS among others.
It is Trump's first time in Africa - visiting four countries in five days - and her first solo worldwide trip as the first lady. "It's exhausted and it's old and it's inaccurate".
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Melania has so far visited Ghana, Malawi, and Kenya.
Melania's focus on wildlife stands in contrast to efforts by her husband to lift a ban on some elephant trophy imports, which created a public outcry previous year. She delighted in holding babies and held hands with older children, who sang and danced.
However her choice of a white colonial-style pith helmet while on safari drew some criticism on Twitter, with one person comparing her look to that of a "colonial administrator". She emerged without a smudge.
"It's really, really touching", she said.
She kicked off her busy schedule on Friday morning, with a visit to David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which is considered the world's most successful orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation Centre.
"It's like showing up to a meeting of African-American cotton farmers in a Confederate uniform", suggested Matthew Carotenuto, a coordinator of African Studies at St. Lawrence University.
At the primary school, the first lady watched dozens of pupils sitting on the ground in the sun as a teacher taught on a blackboard on the side of a building. A boy read a story to her in turn. She did not appear to be injured. If her goal in Africa was to mend relationships - which may have been suffering following the President's alleged "shithole countries" comment earlier this summer - she seems to have missed the mark completely.
The national park is where 105 tonnes of ivory have been burned to discourage the trade.
The first lady later left Malawi for Kenya.