Our Orphan Units

Nairobi Nursery Unit

Nairobi National Park

The Nairobi Nursery is the first, formative step in an orphan’s journey back to the wild. It is the place where calves who have lost everything find family and a future once more. Originally established in 1977, more than 260 orphaned elephants have been nurtured in this sheltered, forested corner of Nairobi National Park. Keepers provide round-the-clock, specialist care, even sleeping alongside their little charges. Around the age of three, orphans graduate to one of our three Reintegration Units, where they ultimately reclaim their place in the wild.


Go Behind the Scenes at our Nairobi Nursery

Voi Reintegration Unit

Tsavo East National Park

Voi is the heart of the Trust’s past, present and future. More than 70 years ago, when David Sheldrick was the founding warden of Tsavo East National Park, he and Daphne raised their first orphaned elephants there. Since those days, generations of orphaned elephants have reclaimed their place in the wild from our Voi Reintegration Unit. The stockades sit at the base of Mazinga Hill, with uninterrupted views of the Voi River and the plains that dominate the southern sector of the park. Voi is fully protected and patrolled by SWT/KWS Anti-Poaching Teams and our Aerial Unit.


Go Behind the Scenes at our Voi Reintegration Unit

Ithumba Reintegration Unit

Tsavo East National Park

Established in 2004, Ithumba has become one of our most successful Reintegration Units, where dozens of orphaned elephants have found their way back to the wild. It is located in the vast, northern sector of Tsavo East, a place completely untouched by mankind. Ithumba has also become a hub for wild elephants in the north. Herds of all sizes filter through on a near-daily basis, from young families to cohorts of bulls. Voi is fully protected and patrolled by SWT/KWS Anti-Poaching Teams and our Aerial Unit.


Go Behind the Scenes at our Ithumba Reintegration Unit

Umani Springs Reintegration Unit

Kibwezi Forest - Chyulu Hills National Park

Umani Springs was created in 2014 to help our most vulnerable orphaned elephants reclaim their place in the wild. The orphans here have fraught histories and challenging physical setbacks, but here, they can move beyond the tragedies of their past and live as nature intended. Umani sits within the Kibwezi Forest, nestled between the rolling foothills of the Chyulu Hills and the vast plains of Tsavo beyond. As one of Kenya’s last remaining groundwater woodlands, this habitat is lush year-round, meaning compromised orphans will never have to travel far for food or water. Umani Springs is fully protected and patrolled by SWT/KWS Anti-Poaching Teams and our Aerial Unit.


Go Behind the Scenes at our Umani Springs Reintegration Unit

Kaluku Neonate Nursery

SWT Field HQ, Tsavo Conservation Area

Kaluku is the nexus of our field operations. We have always raised an assortment of orphans at Kaluku, from antelope to rhinos to ostriches. More recently, it has also become a haven for the most vulnerable neonate orphaned elephants who come into our care. Kaluku is located at the heart of a 5,000-acre buffer zone bordering Tsavo East National Park, bound by the Athi and Mtito Rivers. It is fully protected and patrolled by SWT/KWS Anti-Poaching Teams and our Aerial Unit.

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