WCS operates the largest and most effective field conservation program in Africa. We have been committed for decades to researching and protecting the continent’s wild places—the most diverse and productive in the world. Our work began with William Hornaday’s publication of The Vanishing Game of South Africa in 1920. That year, Hornaday also helped establish Kruger National Park, now an international magnet for ecotourists and one of the world’s great wildlife reserves.

Wildlife Conservation in Africa

Over the years, we have set up program offices in landscapes and seascapes from Rwanda’s Virunga Volcanoes to Zambia’s Luangwa Valley to Madagascar’s Antongil Bay. We focus on some of the most ecologically intact wild places remaining on Earth, at sites that are biologically outstanding, and which offer the best chance for viable, long-term conservation of wildlife, such as the great apes and great migrating herds for which the continent is known.

Bateke Plateaus, Gabon

Bateke Plateaus, Gabon

Swaths of green, undulating grasslands atop massive sand dunes are the headwaters of the major rivers in Gabon and southern Congo.


South Sudan: Boma-Jonglei

East Africa’s largest, most intact savannah ecosystem, Boma-Jonglei hosts one of the world’s greatest mammal migrations.

Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary

Central Cameroon

More than 600 lowland gorillas, as well as chimpanzees, forest elephants, buffalo, and bongo, live in this region of Cameroon.

Cross River Landscape

Cross River, Nigeria-Cameroon

Straddling the border of Cameroon and Nigeria, this rich rainforest harbors the Cross River gorilla, the world’s rarest great ape.


Greater Virunga Landscape

Virunga spans 3 countries: Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo. It is home to lions, elephants, hippos, chimps, and two types of gorilla.


Ituri Forest, Congo (DRC)

The dense trees, vines, brush, and fallen logs in this vast rainforest provide habitat for the shy, endangered okapi.

Ivindo National Park, Gabon

Ivindo National Park, Gabon

Straddling the equator, this park has some of the most impenetrable rainforests and wildest rivers on Earth.


Luangwa Valley, Zambia

The Luangwa is one of the biggest unaltered rivers in southern Africa and supports Africa’s largest population of hippos.


Makira-Masoala, Madagascar

This rainforest, one of the largest tracts of its kind in Madagascar, shelters many endangered species, like the fossa and silky sifaka.

Murchison Falls

Murchison Falls, Uganda

Uganda’s largest national park protects untamed savannah and part of the mighty Nile, famed for its hippos, crocodiles, and perch.


Congo: Ndoki Landscape

This vast expanse of forest, swamp, and savannah shelters the world’s largest populations of forest elephants and great apes.

Nyungwe Forest, Rwanda

Nyungwe Forest, Rwanda

The largest block of montane forest in East Africa, Nyungwe is also one of the oldest, dating back to before the last Ice Age.

Ruaha, Tanzania

Ruaha, Tanzania

Remote yet accessible, this landscape is dominated by the Great Ruaha River and is known for its elephants and carnivores.

Salonga Landscape

Salonga-Lukenie-Sankuru Forest, Congo (DRC)

This immense tropical rainforest in the heart of central Africa harbors bonobos and forest elephants.

Southern Highlands, Tanzania

Southern Highlands, Tanzania

Forests and grasslands cap mountains in this Rift Valley home of the kipunji, a new monkey discovered by WCS in 2003.

Tarangire, Tanzania

Tarangire, Tanzania

Acacia and large baobab trees grow throughout this wooded savanna landscape in northern Tanzania.

From the Newsroom

Mountain Gorillas on the RiseDecember 5, 2012

The thick-coated mountain gorilla only inhabits two places on Earth: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Virunga Volcanoes in the African nations of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Microbes, Sponges, and Worms Add to Coral Reef Woes August 6, 2012

Treehuggers of the CongoMay 6, 2010

WCS conducts the first landscape-wide survey of how land-use affects chimpanzees, gorillas, and forest elephants.

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