CONGO RAINFOREST: The Kalonge Nature Reserve

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) contains the largest area of intact rainforest in Africa. Congo’s rainforest biome is:

  • The second largest rainforest in the world
  • The second largest forest carbon stock
  • Home to a myriad of unique and endangered species, including forest elephants, chimpanzees, and gorillas

The forest and animals are unfortunately not adequately protected and are highly endangered.

Together with our partner organization Paradis des Primates we are building a forest refuge in a region that is home to Africa’s most threatened primates. Located in the Beni Territory, North Kivu, the Kalonge Nature Reserve Restoration, and Conservation project is WildFF’s first project in the Congo rainforest.

Establishing the Kalonge Nature Reserve

Community-based reforestation

Since early 2019, Paradis des Primate have been restoring the reserve’s deforested areas, planting more than 1,500 native tree seedlings. It has employed more than 150 members of the Masiki-Kalonge community, generating income for the local people and teaching the importance of a healthy eco-system. In addition, we have supported over 60 households through donations of seeds for vegetables and medical plants, and have trained them on rabbit farming.

The project is also providing financial assistance to orphans from the local primary school. The students receive free schooling and conservation training for the entire year.

Creation of wildlife refuge

The Kalonge Nature Reserve is creating a forest refuge to protect the biodiversity of a region that is home to Africa’s most threatened primates. While still early in its development, the project has already saved and reintroduced to the reserve various wildlife from the hands of illegal hunters and poachers. 

Organizational capacity building

Our partner, Paradis des Primates, is an organization committed to the protection and conservation of biodiversity. Working with their leaders, WildFF is supporting Paradis des Primates in defining their longer-term strategy, finding new projects, prioritizing, budgeting, planning, or reporting. Our aim is to ensure that Paradis des Primates is financially and logistically independent from WildFF, and is able to expand its impact throughout DRC.

New project on the horizon

We work with Paradis des Primates to expand our footprint in DRC by launching the Eastern Lowland Gorilla Protection Project. Building on the success and learnings of the Kalonge Nature Reserve, the objectives of the project are to develop a conservation model for Eastern Lowland Gorillas with the participation of local communities in safeguarding biodiversity while promoting tourism. Local people living around the sites will be integrated into nature conservation activities according to their skills.