Travel with JGI - Chimpanzee Sanctuary Adventure

In 1992, the Jane Goodall Institute established the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center near Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo. Today, Tchimpounga is home to more than 150 chimpanzees, many of whom are orphan victims of the illegal commercial bushmeat trade.
Join JGI for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience daily life at Tchimpounga firsthand. Explore Tchindzoulou Island, the newly expanded sanctuary site where JGI is transferring a group of Tchimpounga chimpanzees.
A visit to Tchimpounga promises to be a truly unique event that will open your eyes to the majesty of Congo, and JGI's efforts to preserve and protect local chimpanzee populations and habitat.

Chimpanzee Experiences

Visit Tchimpounga’s island expansion site and observe the chimpanzees as they climb and play in their new forest home.



Observe Tchimpounga’s nursery chimps: babies between one and three years old. 

Nature Excursions

Travel up the Ntombo river and take in the incredible scenery, bird life, and experience “real” Congo.



Hike through the beautiful Tchimpounga Nature Reserve, including walks to the beautiful Lake Foni, and a visit to some spectacular maritime scrub lands.

Trip Experts

Rebeca Atencia

As executive director of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI)-Congo, Rebeca Atencia is responsible for daily management of Tchimpounga. In addition, Rebeca coordinates the Institute’s support of the Tchimpounga Nature Reserve and oversees JGI’s community-centered conservation and education programs in the area. Drawing from her knowledge of veterinary medicine and captive primate care, Rebeca ensures the proper reception and treatment of chimpanzees and other species at the sanctuary.  She also coordinates the development, design and implementation of noninvasive chimpanzee research programs on site. Rebeca holds a veterinary degree from the Compultense University of Madrid.  Prior to joining JGI, she served as veterinarian and chief of camp for HELP-Congo. In this role, she headed HELP’s chimpanzee veterinary team and supervised noninvasive research on wild chimpanzees in the Republic of Congo.

Debby Cox

Debby Cox currently serves as the Jane Goodall Institute’s (JGI) technical advisor; a role that allows her to support various program areas. Since 2009, Debby has helped JGI’s country directors within sub-Saharan Africa develop programs to alleviate the threats to chimpanzee survival. A native of Yanco, Australia, Debby has devoted her life to saving chimpanzees and their habitats. Growing up, she dreamed of working in Africa. Today, Debby is an integral part of the management of JGI’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of Congo. Her work at the sanctuary includes supporting the site’s expansion to three nearby islands and working on a reintroduction program for some of the juvenile female currently living there. 


“My experience visiting the Tchimpounga Nature Reserve, and JGI’s chimpanzee sanctuary was incredible. I always knew that JGI’s work in Africa was great, but I never truly appreciated the Institute’s level of commitment, or the breadth of their work until I was on the ground. Tchimpounga is so much more than a sanctuary. To see the islands, and the joy these amazing creatures experience as they are returned back to their forest homes was an incredible and emotional experience for me. I have always held chimpanzees and primates dear to my heart, and of all the travel opportunities that I have had, this was truly a life-changing trip.”
– Barbara Calvo, 2013 Tchimpounga traveler