Great Apes

Virunga National Park is the only protected area on Earth home to three taxa of great apes: the mountain gorilla, the eastern lowland gorilla and the eastern chimpanzee. Park Rangers and staff strive to provide conditions which support the growth of their populations, which are threatened by conflict, habitat loss and poaching, leaving them in danger of extinction.

  • Mountain Gorillas

    Conservation efforts have helped the rarest of the three taxa to recover from IUCN critically endangered status to endangered. But there’s still a long road ahead.

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  • Eastern Lowland Gorillas

    Despite being more numerous than mountain gorillas, its population is proportionately more depleted, leading the sub-species to be classified as critically endangered by the IUCN.

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  • Chimpanzees

    The endangered chimpanzee, one of five species of great ape, inhabits the tropical savannas and forests of central and west Africa.

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Virunga National Park is home to over 200 mammals including forest and savanna elephants, hippos, okapis, lions, and mountain gorillas.

  • African Bush Elephants

    Rangers conservation efforts were rewarded last year by the return of large elephant herds to the Park. Learn more about these eco-engineers and the importance of their presence within the Park.

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  • Hippopotami

    The common hippo is one of Africa’s largest and most dangerous land animals. Learn more about this iconic species.

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  • Colobus Monkeys

    Unlike other primate species, colobus monkeys have four hooklike digits and no thumbs; hence, the name colobus, derived from the Greek word “mutilated.” Learn more about this beautiful species.

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  • Okapis

    Learn more about the okapi, also known as the forest giraffe, a species endemic to the tropical forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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  • Lions

    Lions in the Ishasha Valley are famous for their preference for climbing and relaxing in the acacia and sycamore fig trees.  Learn more about these big cats.

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