WCS is active in 20 countries on the continent, from Gabon to Kenya and Sudan to South Africa. We partner with local people, national and regional governments, and other scientific organizations to find innovative solutions to Africa's greatest conservation challenges. We employ a staff of close to 1,000 dedicated individuals who work on the ground to help bolster environmental policy, train new generations of environmental stewards, support sustainable livelihoods, and connect protected areas. Our cross-cutting programs demonstrate that through diplomacy and sound science, we can develop conservation strategies to benefit both wildlife and human communities, even against the greatest odds.



Cameroon provides a diversity of wildlife habitats that shelter the critically endangered Cross River gorilla and hundreds of endemic species, but the country is subject to exploitative resource use and unsustainable trade in bushmeat.


Congo (DRC)

The Democratic Republic of Congo contains more than half of Africa’s remaining rainforest, including wilderness areas not fully explored since colonial times, many of which were damaged during the country’s recent civil war.



Gabon’s forests are a haven for elephants, chimpanzees, gorillas, and mandrills, and its seas are a refuge for humpback whales, sea turtles, and manatees. The country’s relatively new system of national parks is the cornerstone of national conservation efforts.


Kenya, which straddles the equator between the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria, may be better known for its lions and giraffes, but the country also has six reserves designed specifically to protect its important marine environments. These include mangroves, coastal wetlands, lagoons, and coral reefs.



With its extraordinary yet highly threatened biodiversity, the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar is a global conservation priority, providing sanctuary for plants and animals that have long since disappeared from other parts of the world.



Most of Nigeria’s rural residents eke out a living on small farms that are expanding into previously remote, forested areas. This has led to habitat fragmentation and human-wildlife conflicts in the ecologically rich country.

Western Lowland Gorilla

Republic of Congo

The Republic of Congo has the highest densities of critically endangered western lowland gorillas in Africa, and provides habitat to numerous other threatened species whose futures are clouded by human development and resource extraction.



Despite a decade of war and environmental devastation, Rwanda has a long, proud conservation history. Rwanda's environment is a rich tapestry of habitats and its government is striving to build an ecotourism industry.


South Sudan

Before Southern Sudan descended into civil war in 1983, the country’s protected areas supported some of the most spectacular and important wildlife populations in Africa. Amazingly, much of it survived and the government is laboring to reestablish an ecological balance.



 Tanzania is known for its remarkable diversity of habitats, which encompass the African continent’s highest point—Mt. Kilimanjaro—and its deepest lake, Lake Tanganyika.



Uganda has set aside its most biologically important savannahs and forests as national parks. However, these wild places are surrounded by some of Africa’s most densely populated and poor rural areas, which often leads to overhunting of wild animals for subsistence, trade, or commercial bushmeat sales.



Zambia, whose wildlife habitats and human communities are prone to feast-and-famine, is striving to achieve a human-wildlife balance by developing sustainable ecotourism and organic niche crops.

From the Newsroom

Fear of Ecological Collapse in Southern AfricaOctober 26, 2012

WCS and partner organizations have issued a new report emphasizing paramount threats to wildlife in Southern Africa. Illegal hunting, the bushmeat trade, and unselective snaring are compromising already-fragile species.

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