Who owns Reteti Elephant Sanctuary? : One of the very first locally owned organisation in Kenya is the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, which is situated in the adjoining Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy. The group of “keepers” at the Sanctuary are dedicated to saving, caring for, and reintroducing into the wild orphaned and abandoned elephant calves as well as other animals.

Who owns Reteti Elephant Sanctuary

Visits to the Sanctuary are not only a fantastic complement to your kenya safari, but also one of the finest ways to protect the local wildlife and the people who live there and are committed to maintaining it. Visitors have the unique opportunity to see feeding and playtime at the Sanctuary and receive a thorough understanding of what goes on behind the scenes. Ten to twenty-five elephant calves are saved each year in Northern Kenya. Elephant calves are orphaned or abandoned in Northern Kenya as a result of natural mortality, human-wildlife conflict, drought, artificial wells, and human wells. Following pleas from the neighbourhood, The Sanctuary was established.

Who owns Reteti Elephant Sanctuary? : The Kenya Wildlife Service and Samburu County Government have supported the establishment of the new Sanctuary in recognition of the local population’s desire to keep their elephants in Samburu County and to see local communities take the initiative in saving, rehabilitating, and releasing elephants within their home range. The entire staff of elephant keepers are all Samburu locals. All of the Reteti caretakers are chosen from the Namunyak Conservancy. The Samburu hold elephants in high regard since they share the land and its resources with them and have done so for millennia. Visit the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary while on a kenya safari to learn more about the various elephant species. The Samburu community that inhabits the Namunyak animal Conservancy is reversing trends and securing its wilderness landscapes by going back to an established, long history of animal tolerance and coexistence on a continent that is rapidly growing and where space is at a premium. To find out how we’re affecting elephants and communities, read an interview that one of our partners, Conservation International, conducted with Katie Rowe, co-founder of Reteti Elephant Sanctuary.

This region has been inhabited by pastoral nomads for more than 200 years. Communities have banded together to save animals on property that is owned by them in an unprecedented action.

Official training has been provided to the keepers in the handling, care, and release of elephant calves. Reteti takes in abandoned and orphaned elephant calves with the goal of reintegrating them into the local wild herds. This is the result of a well-known and growing grassroots movement in northern Kenya for community-driven conservation; a movement that is transforming lives, fostering new enterprises, and defending natural resources.

While elephant poaching elsewhere in Africa has continued at unsustainable rates, it has fallen by 53% since 2012 in community conservancies that are NRT members. But there are still some elephant calves that have been abandoned or orphaned because of a number of factors, including as poaching, man-made wells, drought, conflicts with wildlife, and natural mortality.

Five to ten elephant calves each year are thought to be preserved in Northern Kenya out of the estimated 8,700 elephant calves. The creation of the Sanctuary was demanded by the local populace, who views wildlife as an opportunity to enhance livelihoods.

The construction of the Sanctuary was mandated by the local populace, who views wildlife as a chance to enhance livelihoods. The Kenya Wildlife Service and Samburu County Government have supported the development of the new Sanctuary in recognition of the local community’s desire to keep their elephants in Samburu County and to see local communities take the lead in saving, rehabilitating, and releasing elephants within their home range.

Who owns Reteti Elephant Sanctuary
Reteti Elephant Sanctuary

Who owns Reteti Elephant Sanctuary? : A collaboration between the Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy, Samburu County Government, Kenya Wildlife Service, Northern Rangelands Trust, San Diego Zoo, Conservation International, Tusk Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and Save the Elephants resulted in the creation of the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, which can house and care for young elephants.

Additionally, Conservation International (CI) has helped us by supplying essential operational support, enhancing our ability to be more effective, and extending our community connections. The Sarara Initiative, in which CI is involved, aims to establish community-based, sustainable conservation as a model in Kenya and elsewhere.

All of the keepers are locals who have completed formal training in handling, treating, and releasing elephant calves. An elected board from the neighbourhood oversees every aspect of the Sanctuary’s operations.

Additionally, the institution has a mobile elephant rescue team that works daily to preserve elephants, educate the public, and reduce conflicts between people and wildlife.

The elephant keepers are adept at returning lost calves to their home herds; they were all selected from among those hired by the Conservancy. They have not yet had to raise any children by hand because they have been able to successfully reunite five orphaned calves with their family since March. This is the Sanctuary’s core objective; elephants are only ever admitted as a last resort.

How to get there

Northern Kenya’s Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy is home to the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary. From Nairobi, it takes eight hours to get there.

You can reach Sereolipi town from Isiolo town through the Great North highway (Isiolo-Moyale highway) in three hours. Cross the river bridge after passing through Sereolipi. A route on the left will take you to the sanctuary, which is 19 kilometres away, once you have passed Sereolipi Secondary School.

Since we have a runway, you can also fly in on a private jet from Nairobi, one of the nearby airports (Nanyuki, Lewa Downs, or Kalama Samburu), or from the lodge where you are staying. Air Wilderness, Yellow Wings, Tropic Air Kenya, Boskovic Air Charters, and Kenya Choppers all offer aeroplane charter services. Please notify us in advance if you want to fly independently because the runway is a bush strip.


Reteti is empowering Samburu women to become the first female elephant keepers in all of Africa in addition to saving elephants. The neighbourhood first rejected the idea that there was a place for women in the workforce. Today, the accomplishments of these female elephant keepers are opening up new opportunities and serving as a motivating role model for young women who want to follow their goals. Additionally, it is altering how the neighbourhood views elephants. Students who have never seen an elephant or who have been terrified of them visit Reteti to get near to these animals. Then they understand they could become a veterinarian or an elephant trainer when they grow up.

Without much fanfare, what is taking place in this area represents nothing less than the start of a change in how the Samburu people view wild animals. This sanctuary, where orphans develop and learn to live in the wild before eventually returning to their herds, is as much about the humans as it is about the elephants.

Over 35 elephants have been saved and ten have been released back into the wild by the Reteti team since September 2016. This is the outcome of a well-known and rising grassroots movement in northern Kenya for community-driven conservation; a movement that is creating new economies, reshaping lives, and protecting natural resources.

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