Are you looking for an activity to do alongside your Gorilla trekking safari Congo? Here is an option for a chimpanzee volunteering safari at the Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Centre (Centre de Rehabilitation des Primates de Lwiro). Volunteering at the Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Centre is not for the faint-hearted. The Centre is located in Bukavu town, South East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, just four kilometers from the Kahuzi-Biega National Park.
About Lwiro Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Congo
This sanctuary was created in was founded in 2003 with the arrival of its first orphan chimpanzee. It was created by 2 Congolese institutions that is Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN) and National Center for Research in Natural Sciences (CRSN). As the only chimpanzee and monkey sanctuary in the kivu region, the Lwiro acts as a crucial resource for all conservation organizations working in the area.
Since its inception Lwiro Chimpanzee sanctuary currently takes care of about 83 chimpanzees, 105 monkeys of 12 different species along with other endangered species like the parrots, turtles and a porcupine. Lwiro plays a vital role in caring for confiscated wildlife and in putting a stop to the illegal animal trade in Congo.
This sanctuary gives orphaned chimps a second chance at life while also ensuring to protect them in the wild as well. Many chimpanzee families are killed and the young ones are left stranded and that is when Virunga National Park, Kahuzi-Biega National Park Congo, and other rescue teams come in to take the stranded orphan chimpanzees to their safe home at the sanctuary to help them recover physically and psychologically from what they had witnessed as most of them see the action of poachers on their families. NGOs have also joined the fight to see this sanctuary as a success. Lwiro is the ideal location for chimpanzee rehabilitation, local community awareness for conservation and outreaches.
Lwiro Chimpanzee Sanctuary is recognized as World Heritage Site in Danger since 1997. This sanctuary has a great well-equipped team of about 46 workers who take care and love the primates. There is a veterinary team, chimpanzee caregivers, monkey caregivers, cooks/ chefs, buyers and domestic helps who are also dedicated to the success of the center. The caregivers at Lwiro Chimpanzee Sanctuary are all skilled and well-trained personnel and some have been at the center since it was established in 2002 with the first chimpanzee. The cooks ensure a well-balanced diet for each of the animals at Lwiro and all the six meals per day that the Chimpanzees and monkeys eat unlike humans who survive on 3 meals per day.
The team of 2 veterinary doctors has been the backbone of Lwiro as they work day and night to ensure the health of the primates at the center. As there are both monkeys and chimps at the center, they both have their separate team of caregivers who spend the most time with them, monitoring, loving and ensuring the chimpanzees and monkeys in Lwiro Chimpanzee sanctuary receive the best care and utmost attention.
Activities in Lwiro chimpanzee sanctuary
- conservation education
- reintroduction research and implementation
- improved habitat management and protection
- great ape medicine training
- community participation
- program development and overall capacity building
Opt to visit Lwiro Chimpanzee Sanctuary after enjoying your Congo safari or before your Congo Safaris.
The programs at the center have reached a big audience of about 3500 people per year through the several visitors both international and local that come to the sanctuary.