Friends of Bonobos

Friends of Bonobos

We provide rescue, sanctuary, and rewilding to endangered bonobos. We save the rainforest where bonobos live. We work with communities and the government to tackle the root causes of bonobo endangerment. We educate and raise awareness for bonobos and their plight locally and globally.

Rescue & Sanctuary
At Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary, orphaned bonobos are rescued from the illegal trade in wildlife. Bonobos are nursed back to health and cared for as long as needed, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

Rewild & Protect
At Ekolo ya Bonobo Community Reserve, bonobos are released back into the wild and given long-term protection. We conserve their rainforest home and work with local communities to lessen poverty and raise bonobo awareness.

Tackle Root Causes
The bushmeat trade is tied to extreme poverty. We help communities build a better future through conservation instead of hunting. We educate people about bonobos and their plight within the DRC and globally.

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Friends of Bonobos
  • Morning Routine in the Nursery

    Watch the morning routine of milk and baths for the little bonobos in the nursery at Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary. Featuring nursery manager Yvonne Vela. #Bonobos #EndangeredSpecies
    Video by Leon Haberkorn, 2019.

    Lola ya Bonobo is the only bonobo sanctuary and bonobo release site in the world. We sa...


  • Bonobos + Trampoline Equals Fun!

    Young #bonobos at Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary in Congo jump and play on a trampoline while their surrogate human mothers watch over them - and join in the fun. Video by Lisa Murray Licensed Music: "Good Morning Africa" by Francesco Biondi/Pantheon Music Lola ya Bonobo is the only bonobo sanctuary an...

  • How to Make Bonobo Tea

    How do you make bonobo tea? Suzy Kwetuenda, Coordinator of Bonobo Wellness and Sanctuary Hospitality at Lola ya Bonobo, shows how. Video by Leon Haberkorn for Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary. (English with English subtitles). Lola ya Bonobo is the only bonobo sanctuary and bonobo release site in the wor...

  • Welcome to Lola Ya Bonobo

    All about Lola ya Bonobo! Video by Leon Haberkorn. Lola ya Bonobo is the only bonobo sanctuary and bonobo release site in the world. We save endangered bonobos and their rainforest home.

  • The Making of "Bonobos: Back to the Wild"

    The epic nature documentary "BONOBOS: Back To The Wild" was the result of a collaboration with an esteemed French Documentary Team (under the direction of Alain Tixier), and Naturalist Claudine Andre's world-renowned Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary. This film takes viewers behind the scenes to learn mor...

  • Friends of Bonobos of the Congo

    Winner of the Boden International Film Festival (BIFF) Best Short Documentary

    An introduction to bonobos and the conservation mission of Friends of Bonobos of the Congo, an environmental nonprofit rooted in the belief that love heals and that -- through education and opportunity -- we can change...

  • Our Story - Lola Ya Bonobo

    Claudine André founded Amis des Bonobos du Congo/Friends of Bonobos of the Congo in 1994. Her love affair with these endangered great apes began with Mikeno, an orphaned baby bonobo in the Kinshasa Zoo. Claudine discovered how important the mother-child bond is to the survival of baby bonobos. So...

  • Jean Claude's Story - Bonobo Caretaker at Lola ya Bonobo

    Meet Jean Claude Nzumbi Belinda, longtime bonobo caretaker at Lola ya Bonobo and a partner in creating Friends of Bonobos of the Congo since the very beginning. Caring for bonobos is his contribution to the future of his country. He speaks 6 languages and has worked all over Congo, including Viru...

  • Bonobo Group Returns to the Wild

    In March 2022, Friends of Bonobos of the Congo returned 14 bonobos to the wild in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It's just the second time in history the endangered great ape has been rewilded, and both times by Friends of Bonobos. The conservation organization operates the world’s only bo...

  • Education Programs at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary

    Education staff member Blaise Mbuaki of Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary describes the sanctuary's educational programming for schoolchildren and the importance of education for the long-term conservation of endangered bonobos. The video shows school children visiting the bonobo sanctuary near Kinshasa i...