Saving Cross River Gorillas and Chimpanzees in Cameroon

Volunteers Cameroon South West Province

18-70
2-10 people, including staff
English, French

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Overview

The Cross River gorilla could become extinct within 10 years, unless we act now. Volunteering on this conservation project in Cameroon will take you to work on the frontline of conservation, taking part in surveys of the montane rainforests - some of which have never been surveyed before - and in community education and awareness-raising activities.

South West Cameroon harbours two of the most threatened African great apes: the critically endangered Cross River gorilla - the rarest of the gorilla sub-species with 250-300 individuals left in the wild - and the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee - also the most endangered chimpanzee subspecies in Africa. They are both keystone species in the montane forest ecosystems of the border region of Nigeria and Cameroon.

Join a 2 or 4-week expedition that gives volunteers the chance to work as part of an award-winning team, protecting Africa's most endangered great apes through direct action.

Activities

The expedition will focus on great apes surveys and education and awareness raising activities. Each survey period generally will last two-four weeks (with breaks every three-five days) - the sampling design of which will be established prior to the start of the surveys. Former local hunters have been employed by the project to serve as field guides. Your life during the surveys will be nomadic, breaking camp each day to move to the next site - with the help of field guides and porters. You'll cover steep slopes, sometimes making for extreme hiking and trekking, as you follow family groups of gorillas and chimpanzees. You'll look for animals and nest sites, signs of feeding and habitat use, documenting observations through photography and GPS coordinates. You may encounter other endangered primates and hundreds of bird species and other wildlife. The project language is English, and you'll receive field training in scientific survey techniques and GPS tracking and mapping.

Education and awareness raising will form a key part of this expedition. Changing the attitudes towards great apes and improving empathetic relationships between children and wildlife is a prerequisite to sustainable co-existence and the protection of apes.

Sightseeing: Before or after your stay you can visit places such as the Bimbia Mangroves, Bomana Waterfall, Old German Lighthouses in Debundscha and on Cape Nachtigal, colonial buildings and history of Buea and Limbe, Crater Lakes, Limbe Botanical Garden, Limbe Wildlife Centre, Palm Oil, Tea, Banana and Rubber Plantations, Flowers Fields etc.

Highlights

Helping to conserve Cross River Gorillas and chimpanzees; working with local staff; participating in great apes surveys; checking camera traps; environmental education activities at primary and secondary schools; being immersed in the indigenous communities of the highland rainforest; meeting with local kings, chiefs, teachers and children; visiting Limbe Wildlife Centre; and experiencing this unique, authentic African rainforest expedition.

 


Location