About Ndakasi

Ndakasi’s world revolves almost entirely around play. She keenly observes the actions of her caretakers, from the completion of menial tasks to the driving of vehicles, impersonating wherever possible. So strong is her propensity to imitate, it’s as though Ndakasi truly believes she’s human.

But it hasn’t always been fun and games for Ndakasi. In early 2007, her mother and father were killed in an attack on the Rugendo mountain gorilla family. Only two months old was Ndakasi when she was found clutching at the fur of her murdered mother, in the hope that she might eventually awaken and express some much needed milk or motherly love.

Your adoption will help care for the orphan gorillas of Senkwekwe as well as the wild mountain gorillas that call Virunga their home.

    01
    $10
  • 01
    $10

    Funds an enrichment activity for our orphan gorillas.

  • 02
    $25
  • 02
    $25

    Supports the conservation of wild gorillas by funding a gorilla tracker for one day

  • 03
    $75
  • 03
    $75

    Provides one week of food and supplements for an orphan gorilla

Ndakasi's Arrival

Upon Ndakasi’s arrival at the sanctuary, Andre, the Senkwekwe centre’s head caretaker was brought in to keep the struggling gorilla alive through the night. Though in truth, nobody expected Ndakasi to see another day. A torrential rainstorm rumbled across the breadth of the night. Andre, drawing on his wealth of experience caring for gorillas, held baby Ndakasi tightly to his bare chest, providing warmth and comfort until dawn finally broke.

Miraculously, Ndakasi not only survived the ordeal, but has since grown into an inquisitive, boisterous, and most importantly, happy adolescent, who seems (perhaps as a consequence of her near death experience) simply overjoyed to be alive.

The Senkwekwe Centre
Photo credit:

Ndakasi is an extremely intelligent gorilla, who just loves to play. She has a fascination with everything human and, at times, believes she is one too.

Andre Bauma Head Caretaker, Senkwekwe Centre

Mountain Gorilla Sanctuary

Virunga National Park’s headquarters at Rumangabo is home to the Senkwekwe Centre, the world’s only facility for orphaned mountain gorillas. With expert staff who provide daily care for the orphans, who were each separated from their family due to the impact of poaching, the Senkwekwe Centre is a unique sanctuary offering the gorillas the chance to lead happy and secure lives in their forested enclosure.

Explore

Learn more about the gorilla orphans project and our efforts to protect the gorilla habitat.