Biologists without Borders

Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Near Freetown at the Sanctuary, Sierra Leone show on map
founded in 2013
Biologists without Borders
Coordinator | Sue
Coordinator | Sue
Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in West Africa is offering opportunities for volunteers and interns to participate in their various conservation activities. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:


  • Develop your skills and expertise in wildlife conservation
  • Gain an understanding of the challenges facing conservation in a 3rd world country
  • Learn about a different culture and people
  • Make enduring memories with your fellow participates
  • Visit the lovely beach of Sierra Leone
Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary was established to help protect and conserve the endangered chimpanzee by rehabilitating confiscated, orphaned and abandoned chimpanzees with the aim to release back them into their natural habitat.  They are supported by the Jane Goodall Foundation for their important conservation activities. The Sanctuary is located along the coast of Sierra Leone, West Africa. 

Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary is offering opportunities for volunteers, interns and researchers to participate in their various conservation activities and research programs. Students studying conservation biology, wildlife conservation, environmental science, zoology, education, veterinary science, or a related degree will benefit from participating in their tailored internship programs. 

Typical day

Volunteers participate in all aspects of our work and the volunteer role is varied. Volunteer activities include: assisting with chimpanzee husbandry activities such as preparing food, cleaning enclosures and making enrichment (but no direct contact with chimps); assisting our community outreach team with education and reforestation activities; assisting our rangers on forest anti-poaching patrols; assisting with behavioural data collection and research; marketing and administration; and maintenance tasks. In order to ensure you get the best experience at Tacugama, we try to match your skill set with our needs whilst ensuring you get the opportunity to conduct a wide range of activities. Tacugama staff members provide full training and supervision but we also encourage you to use your initiative to further your personal and professional development. 

Details on Arrival

Volunteers and Interns can come at any time of the year. Tacugama provides a sanctuary liaison to meet the volunteer at the airport and assist with the transfer to the ferry to Aberdeen. From Aberdeen, a sanctuary driver will collect the driver and take you directly to the sanctuary. All volunteers/interns/researchers will begin their stay at the sanctuary.

Free-time activities

Volunteers also get plenty of opportunities to explore Sierra Leone. It is a very safe country and has many beautiful beaches, fun nightlife, interesting culture, and wonderful wildlife. The staff endeavours to ensure that volunteers get lots of opportunities on their days off to enjoy these activities.


Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Education Requirements
Environment, conservation, wildlife, biology or zoology. at Undergraduate or graduate level level
Required Documents
Resume and two references
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Passion for wildlife conservation. Volunteers must be both mentally and physically fit to work in a tropical climate, and capable of living in an isolated environment.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 07:00 - 18:00

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Biologists without Borders cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Biologists without Borders.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Biologists without Borders (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Biologists without Borders

The fees will be used for food, accomodations, pickups and transfers, and needed equipment to run the sanctuary. 

Airport Pickup at Lungi International Airport

Tacugama provides a sanctuary liaison to meet the researcher/student at the airport and assist with the transfer to the ferry to Aberdeen. From Aberdeen, a sanctuary driver will collect the driver and take you directly to the sanctuary. All volunteers/interns/researchers will begin their stay at the sanctuary.

The volunteer living quarters within the sanctuary and are shared by up to 4 volunteers at a time. Each volunteer has their own room and there are 2 shared bathrooms (with a cold shower), a kitchen and dining room, and a rear balcony with a hammock. We provide a mosquito net and bed linen. The house is cleaned weekly by a staff member, but it is the volunteers’ responsibility to make sure that it’s tidy and clean all the time. Please remember that you share the place with other volunteers, so be considerate of others. If anything in the house is not working, please inform management in order to have it fixed. There are two cats that live at the sanctuary, they are very friendly but are not allowed inside the house.

Food & Beverages
Fees include accommodation, cooked lunch and dinner, breakfast provisions, moderate internet usage and weekly transport to the supermarket. 
Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Lungi International Airport (FNA) in Freetown. We assist you to find cheap flights to Sierra Leone.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Sierra Leone provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Sierra Leone you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Sierra Leone.
Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$ 700
3 weeks
$ 855
4 weeks
$ 1,010
5 weeks
$ 1,165
6 weeks
$ 1,320
7 weeks
$ 1,475
12 weeks (max. stay)
$ 2,250
Average fees
$ 269 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in Near Freetown at the Sanctuary/Sierra Leone between 2 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Biologists without Borders will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Sierra Leone.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Biologists without Borders during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Africa Western Africa Sierra Leone  Near Freetown at the Sanctuary, Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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