Every year, more than 3,500 people make the 45-minute trip from Yaounde to visit Ape Action Africa’s sanctuary at Mefou Primate Park.
At Mefou, you can meet Cameroon’s great apes in a natural forest setting, take a guided tour that’s included in your admission fee and learn how Ape Action Africa is helping to save Cameroon’s natural treasures.
Mefou Primate Sanctuary is open for visitors from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day of the year. The last tour starts at 3:30 p.m. During the rainy season, call ahead to be sure the roads in the forest are passable.
For Cameroonians, fees for admission to the Park are 1,000 CFA for adults (about $2) and 500 CFA for children (about $1). For all others, the fees are 7,500 CFA for adults (about $15) and 2,000 CFA for children (about $5).
You can find out more about visiting Mefou Primate Park, get directions in English or French, download a map of the Park and double-check the current admissions fees by checking out the Ape Action Africa visitor page.
APE ACTION AFRICA
Near Yaounde, Cameroon
Ape Action Africa offers volunteers one to three months of demanding but rewarding work caring for the animals in Cameroon’s Mefou Primate Sanctuary. All volunteers live and work at the forest site, which is home to over 100 chimps, 20 gorillas and a variety of monkeys. In all, Mefou is home to more than 320 primates.
Volunteering at Mefou isn’t for everyone. Expect to work hard – seven days a week – with basic accommodations. You should bone up on basic French, as most of the staff speaks only French. You’ll live in rooms shared with other volunteers and eat a vegetarian diet. Each room has a bathroom with a shower fed by rainwater. The day starts at 6:15 with breakfast, perhaps coffee and French bread. From 6:45 til noon you’ll do assigned duties. Lunch might be rice and beans. And then more work until 5 p.m. Dinner at 7:00 might be an omelet or spaghetti. The generator powers down at 9:30 p.m.
Recently arrived orphans need hand-rearing, so a few long-term volunteers sometimes get an opportunity to bond with a youngster. But even if you don’t, you’ll spend time nearby, cleaning and feeding in the chimpanzee or monkey nursery, cleaning satellite cages, cleaning food storage containers, aiding in the care of quarantined animals and even helping in construction. But be ready to adapt, as needs change from day to day.
If you choose to volunteer at Ape Action Africa, get ready for a grueling but thrilling and memorable experience.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Number of Volunteers
Typical Length of Stay
Some French required
More info here …
Ian Bickerstaff talks about volunteering for Ape Action Africa in this YouTube Video.