About Us

Who We Are

Preserving Sierra Leone's Wildlife since 1995

Located just on the outskirts of Freetown, in the Western Area Peninsula National Park, Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary was founded in 1995 by conservationist Bala Amarasekaran and his wife Sharmila. Initially established to enforce wildlife laws and rescue and rehabilitate orphaned chimpanzees, Tacugama has grown into a diverse conservation organization.

Caring for close to 100 chimpanzees on-site, Tacugama is also actively engaged offsite in community outreach, wildlife field research, environmental sustainability, conservation education and alternative livelihoods programs.

Tacugama is also an eco-tourism hub for Freetown – home to 6 eco-lodges, and a variety of activities for both tourists and Freetowners alike to participate in.

Our Vision

Tacugama aims to be at the forefront of preserving Sierra Leone’s remaining wildlife through education, community support and eco-tourism.

Our Mission

As Sierra Leone’s primary conservation organization, our 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, we are engaging local communities and multidisciplinary stakeholders to secure the future of Sierra Leone.

The story of Tacugama started with a chimp for sale, named Bruno. Today it is a national conservation success. Click here to read how Tacugama came to be.




Why Choose Us?

Home to near 80 chimpanzees, Tacugama is actively involved in law enforcement to rescue and rehabilitate chimpanzees into their natural habitat. Chimps are often orphans, victims of the bushmeat trade, human-wildlife conflict, or the illegal wildlife trade. We provide a means for law enforcement to confiscate these animals, and a place for these rescued individuals to live out their lives. Chimps at Tacugama undergo 5 stages of rehabilitation, from quarantine to semi-wild habitats where they can roam among the treetops of theSierra Leonian rainforest.

Tacugama is actively involved in eco-tourism in Sierra Leone. Guests can come for sanctuary tours, stay overnight in our eco-lodges, participate in hikes and birdwatching tours in the forest, and participate in one of our many cross-cultural events.

All proceeds from our eco-tourism ventures go directly to the animals and our conservation programs.

As part of our greater mission, the Tacugama Conservation Outreach Programme (TCOP) is actively engaged in communities around the country. We work with local communities to protect the wildlife and forests in their region, and in return provide them with livelihoods services and education programs. We are also doing research in these communities and around the country to survey biodiversity and best serve the local inhabitants.

Tacugama Kids Environmental Education Programme (TKEEP) is in a wide range of schools around Freetown, as well as in our community programs. Through these programs, media involvement, sanctuary tours, and our eco-tourism programs, our goal is to spread environmental education across Sierra Leone and globally. By promoting a greater stewardship of our environment amongst the local population, we hope to create a new generation of individuals who are working to create a better world.

Meet Our Team

Tacugama has more than 30 full-time staff members who are all integral to the work we do.