Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Chimps are one endangered species that has captured our hearts, because of their intelligence, closeness to human DNA, and their playfulness.
Set in the stunning boundaries of the Western Area National Park you will find the incredible Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary. The sanctuary opened in 1995, although the story started long before that. In 1988, the owners, Bala and Sharmila Amerasekaran, bought a sick chimpanzee on the street and nursed it back to health. This was a life altering experience as their fondness and knowledge of these animals grew. Sadly, they discovered the dangers that chimpanzees face in Sierra Leone and how they are treated in captivity. Over the years their hard work transpired into the creation of the sanctuary that stands today.
The Sanctuary’s Mission
The sanctuary’s mission is to rescue, care for and rehabilitate orphaned or abandoned chimpanzees. The end goal is to release them back into their natural habitat - the wild, and allow the species to thrive. Sierra Leone has the second highest population of Western Chimpanzees in the world, and as they are an endangered species it is important they are protected. At the sanctuary education and conservation play a large role.
The sanctuary offers two guided tours daily where you can see these beautiful animals for yourself and learn all about them, from breeding to feeding, care and socialising. Make sure you phone and book in advance to avoid disappointment. Knowledgeable tour guides, who clearly have a passion for the work they do, will guide you around the park’s footpaths. Tours coincide with feeding times which gives you the best opportunity to see the residents in action.
This rainforest haven covers 100 acres of the hilly forest reserve. It is located 40 minutes from Freetown and the Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel, Freetown, past the historic mountain resort of Regent. People travel from all over the world for the opportunity to see this magnificent species. Make sure you take the opportunity when staying in the area.