Volunteer Opportunities at Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary




Peninsular Road
**Please select a state (US/Canada only)**
PO BOX 469
Sierra Leone


Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary (TCS) is dedicated to the protection and conservation of endangered Western chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes ssp. verus) and their habitat.

TCS was established in 1995 to rehabilitate confiscated, orphaned and abandoned chimpanzees while enforcing the law to prevent further exploitation. Although it is illegal to hunt, capture, kill trade or own chimpanzees in Sierra Leone, sadly such practices still continue. Sierra Leone is home to the Western Chimpanzee subspecies (Pan troglodytes ssp. verus) which are listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and holds the third highest population after Guinea and Liberia. The future for wild chimpanzees is uncertain as they face a high risk of becoming extinct. TCS now cares for over 80 chimpanzees in several forested enclosures, has a well-equipped veterinary clinic, and is actively involved in educating the national and international community about chimpanzee conservation. In 2011, we developed the Tacugama Community Outreach Program (TCOP), to implement community conservation projects, improve sustainable resource practices, and further protect the natural habitat of Western chimpanzees.

Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary operates dynamic volunteer, internship and research programs to national and international volunteers and students. Volunteering at Tacugama will give you the opportunity to develop your skills and expertise, understand more of the challenges facing wildlife and habitat conservation, and learn much about the history of Sierra Leone. Volunteers participate in all aspects of our work and the volunteer role is varied. Volunteer activities include: assisting with chimpanzee husbandry activities such as preparing food, cleaning enclosures and making enrichment (but no direct contact with chimps); assisting our community outreach team with education and reforestation activities; assisting our rangers on forest anti-poaching patrols; assisting with behavioural data collection and research; marketing and administration; and maintenance tasks. In order to ensure you get the best experience here at Tacugama, we try to match your skill set with our needs whilst ensuring you get the opportunity to conduct a wide range of activities to increase your to increase your personal development. Tacugama staff members provide full training and supervision but we also encourage you to use your initiative to further your personal and professional development.

Students studying veterinary science, conservation biology, wildlife conservation, environmental science, zoology, education or a related degree will benefit from participating in our tailored internship programs. The minimum recommended duration for an internship is 4 weeks but ideally students will stay for 8 - 12 weeks. We offer students the opportunity to do a Wildlife Conservation Internship, a Veterinary Internship or a Marketing & Communication Internship

Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary offers scientific research opportunities to national and international university students studying conservation biology, wildlife conservation, environmental science, veterinary science, education studies, communication or related degrees. We encourage students to conduct their bachelor and master’s thesis research with Tacugama. We have opportunities for on and off site research in some of the following areas: chimpanzee behavioural studies; community perception research; disease investigation; diet analysis; anti-poaching activities; biology of threatened species (such as pygmy hippo, colobus monkey, Diana monkey, timneh parrot, African manatee, pangolin, hooded vulture); canopy cover and habitat use research; and GIS mapping. 

Volunteers also get plenty of opportunities to explore Sierra Leone. It is a very safe country and has many beautiful beaches, fun nightlife, interesting culture, and wonderful wildlife. We endeavour to ensure that volunteers get lots of opportunities on their days off to enjoy these activities. Tacugama provides volunteers with on-site shared accommodation, three meals per day and transport for a weekly supermarket run. We also help volunteers to arrange activities on their days off with trusted local tour operators. Volunteer fees can be seen in the table below.

Volunteers are required to commit to a minimum of two weeks and must provide certificates for an up to date tetanus vaccination, yellow fever vaccination and a negative TB test result. Volunteers are also required to bring evidence of their personal health/travel insurance. 

Visit http://www.tacugama.com/volunteer/ for more information. To apply, please email your CV and a statement of interest to info@tacugama.com.




  • Training Provided
  • Housing Available
  • Language/Cultural Support Available


  • Groups
  • International Volunteers

How To Apply


Please email your CV and a statement of interest to info@tacugama.com.