Current Projects

Centre de Rehabilitation des Primates de Lwiro (CRPL)/Lwiro Primate Sanctuary

Chimps centre editMission: Work to provide the best possible care for orphaned primates in the Democratic Republic of Congo, while working to ensure their protection in the wild.

Species: African apes and monkeys

Location: Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Support started: 2013

Donating: £4,955.30 to purchase 10 weeks’ worth of fresh and dry food to feed the apes and monkeys at the Lwiro sanctuary.

feed the apes and monkeys at the Lwiro sanctuary.

Find out more about our work with this project through our annual report: 


Background: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) contains the largest and least known extent of African equatorial forest spread across spectacular landscapes such as the Albertine Rift.  Like many other African countries, it has not been spared from the accelerated destruction of natural resources.  More specifically, in the province of South Kivu, the wars in this part of the country have severely affected the protected areas and their management structures.  The Parc National de Kahuzi-Biega (PNKB), a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Danger, is seriously affected by degradation, along with the local populations who, for reasons of survival, have depended more on natural resources in protected areas and their surrounding forests.  As a result, land encroachment, wildlife poaching for meat, logging, illegal mining, charcoal production and installation of crops are widespread in and around this forest.  It is estimated that the DRC contains 93% of the population of Eastern Chimpanzee, making it the most important country for the conservation of this sub-species. In the South Kivu region of eastern DRC, the Parc National de Kahuzi Biega (PNKB) is listed as the 3rd most important site world-wide for conservation of the Eastern Chimpanzee by the IUCN.

The Centre de Rehabilitation des Primates de Lwiro (CRPL) is a Pan African Sanctuary Alliance accredited primate sanctuary for chimpanzees and monkeys, located just outside the border of Parc National de Kahuzi Biega (PNKB).  As the only sanctuary in the region, they play a crucial role in supporting conservation measures in the Parc and the eastern DRC.  The sanctuary was started in 2002 by the CRPL’s two government partners due to the increasing number of primates in the region, confiscated from the illegal wildlife trades by authorities.  As the only sanctuary in the DRC accepting chimpanzees and monkeys, support of the CRPL is vital to working towards conservation of primates within this country.

Not only is CRPL a key step in applying laws against illegal wildlife trade by accepting confiscated animals, the CRPL is also open to visitors to raise awareness of the  plight of the species in their care. CRPL aims to strengthen convictions to join protection and conservation efforts; this will hopefully in turn lead to a reduction in the numbers of primates being hunted, killed or arriving at CRPL. CRPL are also supporting the local community by injecting more than $4000 per month into the community, by purchasing food for all their animals and workers from local markets, and by providing long-term job positions for 48 local workers. 

Chimp centre edit 2

Future objectives: The short term goals of the CRPL are to ensure the welfare of the primates in their care and to increase the holding capacity of the sanctuary for future government confiscations.  The ultimate goal of all partners at the CRPL is to see the release of all able-bodied animals back into the wild. They will also work towards a continuous reduction in the number of primates being killed, therefore reducing the number of new arrivals to CRPL, and ensuring local wild populations remain stable through habitat protection and improved attitudes toward their protective status through education and public awareness campaigns. 


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