Nairobi Nursery Visiting

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.


  • Access to the Nursery is strictly by advance booking only. We encourage guests to reserve their slots early, as we have limited daily capacity. 
  • We can only accept bookings for visits that will take place within the next three months. If you wish to book a date that is more than three months from today, set yourself a reminder to contact us nearer the time of your intended visit.
  • It is not possible to make same-day bookings and we ask that you do not come to the orphanage unless you have a confirmed booking.
  • Please only book the number of tickets you need. We have a limited number of visiting slots available each day, and we want as many people as possible to be able to enjoy the experience. For this reason, you will be required to make payment for all tickets in your confirmed booking, even if less people attend on the actual day.

Contact our Nairobi office via email to make a booking. In your message, state:

  • Date you wish to visit
  • Number of adult and child tickets you wish to book
  • Name of each adult attending
  • Name and age of each child attending

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.

Entry Fees

The minimum donations for entry to the Nursery are:

  • Adult, aged 12 years and above: US$20 per person, or the equivalent in Kenya Shillings (based on the day's rate).
  • Adult, Kenya resident: Ksh 2,000, with proof of residency.
  • Child: aged under 12 years, US$5 per person, or the equivalent in Kenya Shillings (based on the day's rate).
  • Child: Kenya resident, Ksh 500, with proof of residency.

Your entry donation is not pre-paid, but payable in cash 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: 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:

  1. Create your eCitizen account or log in to your existing account at
  2. On the dashboard page, select “National Park Entry”
  3. Review the entry park fees for Nairobi National Park, listed under “Urban Safari”
  4. Click “next” and complete the application process. Do be sure to select “Nairobi National Park” as the name of the national park

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: 

Your Visit

  • We are located in Nairobi National Park. Access to the orphanage is via the KWS Mbagathi Gate, also known as the KWS Workshop Gate, on Magadi Road
  • We encourage you to arrive early for your booked visit, to allow for any delays you might encounter at the KWS Mbagathi Gate following the newly mandated requirement for visitors to pay the KWS Park Entry Fee.
  • Find us on Google Maps
  • Find us on WhatThreeWords
  • The public visit takes place strictly between 11am and 12 noon - the visit cannot be delayed or extended for late arrivals. We encourage guests to arrive at or before 10:30am on their booked date, if not before, to allow for time to pass through the KWS Mbagathi Gate.
  • Smoking and vaping is prohibited.
  • Mobile phones should be switched to silent and guests are asked not to make or receive calls during the public visit as this will disturb other visitors.
  • Photographs and video can be captured strictly for personal use only. Commercial use of content filmed at the Nursery is strictly prohibited.
  • Every orphan in our care will ultimately be reintegrated back into the wild. For this reason, we carefully limit their exposure to humans, and only Keepers are allowed to feed and directly interact with them. However, some of the more mischievous elephants may choose to extend a trunk in greeting or bump along the visitor cordon!

Frequently Asked Questions

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.