Mama Posseh preparing bulgar balls
Mr Moses feeding chimps in one of the enclosures
Manso fixing a hammock for our small chimps
Morie carrying a big sack of oranges to our food store

Willie with some visitors

Enclosure maintenance

Edward during Camera Trap Training

Moses guiding the local school visit

Mr Bala testing the new quarantine enclosure

Gathering locally grown fruit for the chimps

At Tacugama, we do our outmost to provide the best care and attention for our chimpanzees, preparing them for their release back in to the rain forest. Our hope is that the future generations of chimpanzees will be able to spend their lives safe and free in their natural habitat.  Our dedicated team work hard to care for our chimps, inform our visitors and work with schools and communities to try to ensure the long term survival of chimpanzees in Sierra Leone.

Food Preparation & Nutrition

Chimpanzees need a diet appropriate for their age. We need to provide them with all the nutrients they need.                          

Bulgar balls are made with locally available ingredients such as beans and rice. They provide the chimpanzees with sufficient carbohydrates and protein as part of a balanced healthy diet. We also blend in palm oil in the balls which nourishes their skin and fur.

In the wild, chimpanzee diet consists of fruits, leaves, plants and insects. They also hunt for small animals including monkeys.

Daily Feedings

We feed our chimpanzees between 4 and 7 times a day depending on their age and their kind of housing. The chimpanzees that spend mosof the time in the enclosures are fed less frequently than spending more time in the dens, because we want to encourage the chimpanzees to eat plant foods that are in the enclosure.

Wild chimpanzees spend about 6 hours per day eating and looking for food.


All our newly arrived chimpanzees are monitored in a quarantine area for a minimum of 3 months. During this time, they undergo a series of medical tests to ensure they are healthy and there is no danger of introducing any illnesses to the resident chimpanzees. 

The hammock is a substitute for the nest that the chimpanzees in the wild build every night. It makes the young chimpanzees feel safer and it also acts as a protection from rain and wind.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Wild chimpanzees build a fresh nest every evening which they are very careful to keep clean.

We clean the chimpanzee dens once a day when they are out in the enclosure. Since chimpanzees have 98.6% DNA similar to humans,they are prone to the same illnesses. Hence cleaning the living area of the chimpanzees is critical.
At night, the chimpanzees are encouraged to sleep in dens. Chimpanzees build fresh nests every night to sleep in. Since our enclosures span from 4 to 8 acres, there is not enough vegetation to support a family of 25 chimpanzees to build a fresh nest every night.

Due to the importance of the quarantine area, the cages are cleaned at least three times a day.


Twice a week, we shop for our daily supplies from the local market in Waterloo and from the villagers around the sanctuary thus supporting local businesses and vendors. Tacugama also provides short-term and long-term work for many in the local community.

Checking the Electric Fences

For safety reasons, we check the electrical fences every morning before letting the chimpanzees into their enclosures.

Transferring and Releasing the Chimpanzees

Staff transferring a young group of chimpanzees from their night quarters to the fenced forest enclosure.

After the chimpanzees have finished their quarantine period, we integrate them into small social groups. When they have built a network of allies and friends with other chimpanzees, we can release them to enclosures, where they can live as free and natural as possible.


Educational Tours

The visits to the sanctuary is always guided by at least of our staff.

Mr Willie and Mr Moses have been working at the sanctuary since it was opened and have all the information and many stories to tell about the chimpanzees.

We want all visitors to know after having visited Tacugama that chimpanzees are protected by the wildlife laws of Sierra Leone. It is illegal to hunt, buy, sell or keep chimpanzees as pets.