About our NGO partner

Initially established in 1995 to enforce wildlife laws and rescue and rehabilitate critically endangered orphaned Western chimpanzees, Tacugama has grown into a diverse conservation organization. Caring for close to 120 chimpanzees on-site, Tacugama is also actively engaged offsite in community outreach, wildlife field research, environmental sustainability, conservation education and alternative livelihoods programs.

As Sierra Leone’s primary conservation organization, Tacugama’s mission is to use education and community conservation to eliminate the wildlife trade and safeguard the remaining natural habitats in the country. Through law enforcement, eco-tourism, livelihoods programs, and chimpanzee rehabilitation, Tacugama is engaging local communities and multidisciplinary stakeholders to secure the future of Sierra Leone.

What we do at Tacugama

“While we have made significant strides in recent years, such as the declaration of the chimpanzee as the national animal and the inclusion of our environmental education program in the national curriculum, our fight is far from over. Orphaned baby chimpanzees continue to arrive at our center in alarming numbers, and deforestation across the country is happening faster than ever before. Currently, the national park where our sanctuary is located is also in danger due to illegal deforestation. However, this danger doesn’t just affect us but also at least 1 million residents who rely entirely on fresh water from the adjacent dams protected by Tacugama. In addition to the pillars mentioned in our mission, we are actively expanding our eco-tourism activities and creating various eco-tourism circuits. Eco-tourism is a sustainable livelihood that can benefit everyone, including chimpanzees, but it requires the preservation of the forest.”

– Bala Amarasekaran