Bonobos live only in one country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. They live in the Congo Basin, which is a huge forest, almost three times the size of France. However, the bushmeat trade has left them vulnerable to hunting. Bonobos are the most endangered great ape. No one is sure how many are left in the wild, but it could be as few as 5,000.


Ninety minutes west of Kinshasa, just beyond the city's sprawl, this provides a home for orphaned bonobos. Long thought to be chimpanzees it is only fairly recently that scientists have realised that they are a seperate species altogether and one that is even more closely related to you and I. 



Bonobo's are known for being much more peaceful than chimpanzees and instead of fighting they prefer to have sex! Make love not war! Trails lead around the large, forested enclosures, but the playful bonobos often hang out right at the front, especially in the morning. The sanctuary is 8km off the Matadi road: follow the signs for Chutes de Lakaya, which has a little beach and weekend-only restaurant. If you're patient, you can hitch the last 8km off the highway. A hire car with driver from Kinshasa will cost US$100, but in the wet season you'll need a 4WD which is US$150-200

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