The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT) is world-renowned for its work rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned baby elephants and rhinos.
The SWT Nursery, located in Nairobi National Park, is where an orphan's journey begins — a journey that will culminate, many years down the line, in their reintegration back into the wild. The public visit takes place every day, except 25th December, from 11am to 12 noon. During this time, we are delighted to welcome those with a confirmed booking to join us for an unforgettable hour with the Nursery herd. Funds from your visit help support the rescue and rehabilitation of the orphaned elephants in our care.
Important Update: The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has mandated that Nairobi National Park gate entry fees must be paid by all those visiting the SWT Nairobi Nursery. It is important to note this is separate to our Nursery entry donation, which still needs to be paid to us on the day of your visit. We encourage you to review the information below about these new fees and to arrive early on the date of your booked visit. We cannot delay the start of the public visit, or extend it for late arrivals.
The sections below provide additional information about visiting us, including details of the newly imposed KWS fee.
Contact our Nairobi office via email to make a booking. In your message, state:
Confirmation of successful bookings will be emailed to you, and must be brought with you on the date of your visit, in digital or printed form.
Please allow a minimum of two business days for an email response, as we are a small team working through a large volume of enquiries. If after that time you have not received a response to your booking, please check your spam / junk folder before contacting us again.
Only booking confirmations issued by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust are valid for entry. Despite what might be advertised, we do not accept any purported bookings by third-party platforms such as Viator, GetYourGuide, or Tripadvisor.
If you have booked through a tour operator or local guide, please ensure they provide you with a copy of the official booking confirmation email from us.
The minimum donations for entry to the Nursery are:
Your entry donation is no pre-paid, but collected upon entry to the SWT Nursery on the day of your booked visit.
Please note that the SWT Nursery entry donation is separate to the newly imposed KWS National Park fee, which is now required to pass through the KWS Mbagathi Gate — more details below.
As of 19th September 2023, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) requires that all visitors to the SWT Nairobi Nursery must pay the Nairobi National Park entry fees, regardless of whether they will venture further into Nairobi National Park or not. However, since you must pay the fee regardless, we encourage guests to follow up their visit to the Nursery with a game drive through Nairobi National Park — it’s a wonderful opportunity to experience this incredible Park, known as the World’s Wildlife Capital, which is home to rhinos, lions, leopards, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras and so much more!
KWS park fees are paid via the eCitizen online platform: kws.ecitizen.go.ke. Advanced payment will minimise any delays you might otherwise encounter on the day of your visit.
Paying KWS fees is a simple process, and we have outlined the steps below:
Note KWS park fees are entirely separate to SWT Nursery entry donations. We are not able to process KWS park fees and paying KWS park fees does not contribute to the SWT or cover the donation to enter the Nursery. All Nursery entry donations must be paid directly to Sheldrick Wildlife Trust staff upon arrival at the Nursery, which is after the KWS Magadi Gate.
For assistance with KWS park fees, please contact KWS directly:
The public visit is timed around our Nursery herd’s midday milk feed and mud bath. From a variety of viewing areas, you will see the orphaned elephants run out of the forest in groups for their much-loved bottles of specialist milk formula. Afterwards, all the orphans gather for playtime. Some wallow in the mud, while others challenge their friends to a wrestling match or indulge in a dust bath. Each day is unique among our Nursery herd.
One of our senior Keepers leads the public visit, introducing you to each orphan, sharing a bit about their stories and personalities, and teaching you about our wider conservation work across Kenya. We always set aside time for questions at the end.
During your visit, you will see the orphaned elephants who are currently in our care at the Nairobi Nursery and attending the midday mud bath. On our website, we state the location where each orphan currently resides. You can find an up-to-date list of our Nursery herd here.
It is not possible to meet Maxwell the rhino during the public visit, as he is blind and prefers a very quiet life.
Yes! Adoptions directly support our Orphans’ Project, funding the specialist care needed to successfully raise orphaned elephants and other creatures. You are most welcome to adopt in-person at the end of your visit, for a minimum contribution of US$50 per year.
As a memento of your in-person adoption, you will receive a special adoption packet that is exclusive to the public visit. This includes an adoption certificate, an elephant watercolour print, a printed book copy of the latest SWT Annual Newsletter, and a profile of your chosen orphan.
After the mud bath, we offer for sale a small selection of SWT apparel, souvenirs, and gifts made by Kenyan artisans.
Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing for the outdoor setting. It can be hot and sunny at the mud bath, so we strongly advise guests to wear sunscreen and a hat. During the rainy season (March-April and October-December), it can be muddy, so bear that in mind when visiting.
We do not offer refreshments on-site. Bring plenty of water for yourself, but leave other drinks and snacks at home.
There is no public Wi-Fi available at the Nairobi Nursery.
Donate: As a non-profit, our conservation projects are entirely funded by donations. Every contribution makes an enormous difference. You can support us directly in Kenya, as well as through the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust USA, a 501(c)(3), and the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust UK, a registered charity in England & Wales. Find out more
Adopt: If you are in a position to give, adopting an orphan in our care is an engaging and deeply impactful way to support our work. You will receive monthly updates on your adopted orphan and our wider orphan herd throughout the year, along with exclusive access to the latest Keepers’ Diaries and other special content.
Spread the Word: For your daily dose of Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, follow us on social media, @sheldricktrust! We are on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter/X, YouTube, and TikTok. You can also stay in the loop through our newsletter offerings.