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Bonobo wading in the water, reaching out hand. Photo by Andrey Gudkov, 2022

#1 of things to do in Kinshasa

Visit Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary


A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

Lola ya Bonobo is the only bonobo sanctuary in the world and the only place in the world where you can meet bonobos -- your closest living relatives in the animal kingdom -- face to face in a semi-wild environment.

Overnight Stays

Join Us! A visit to Lola ya Bonobo is an unforgettable experience that will open your eyes and heart to the majesty of Congo! Imagine sitting quietly watching the bonobos emerge from the forest or seeing playful young bonobos swinging through the trees just a few feet away.


Explore the sanctuary's lush landscapes and view the bonobos in their semi-wild habitat while a guide leads you on a private tour. Accompany a caregiver on a boat ride for feeding time and watch as bonobos gather to collect the food.

Stay in a comfortable eco-lodge at the villa that the former leader of Congo, Mbutu Sese Seko, used as his weekend retreat. Relax as a personal chef cooks delicious French and Congolese meals. Dine on the terrace where you may have the opportunity to chat with a visiting scientist or a member of our team.  Go to sleep and wake up with the bonobos calling out their greetings.

Lola ya Bonobo hosts dozens of overnight international visitors each year! Because we have limited space, we must be very selective in accepting visitors for this exclusive experience. For information about rates and reservations for overnight guests, please send an e-mail including your name, the date you plan to visit, and the number of people in your party, to:

English: Please send your request to
French: Please send your request to

Caregiver with two bonobos holding onto her back at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary

When you visit Lola ya Bonobo, you are contributing to the conservation of these gentle great apes! 


Daytime Visits

In Kinshasa? Plan a trip to Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary. It’s just 20 miles from the capital, next to Les Petites Chutes de Lukaya (waterfalls)!
Visitors walking at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary

General Information

  • Open for day tours Tuesday through Sunday, closed Mondays

  • We welcome school groups for weekday visits. Please contact us in advance to schedule.

  • Reservations for entrance and daily tours are not required for individuals or small groups. 

  • Tours leave at: 10:00 / 11:30 / 13:00 / 14:30

  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your tour

  • Guided tours last about one hour

  • Sanctuary closes at 16:00

Entrance Fees

DRC Residents: $5 USD

Non-Residents: $10 USD

Children under 12: Free

Lunch Package
$50/person (includes one meal, two drinks, and the entrance fee)*


Round Trip Transportation

$150 (between central Kinshasa and Lola ya Bonobo)*

*Our vehicles can accommodate up to three individuals per trip


To arrange transportation and/or lunch at the sanctuary, please email  AT LEAST 1 WEEK IN ADVANCE. Include your name, date you will be visiting, number of people in your party, and the location you will need to be transported to and from. If requesting lunch, please also include any dietary restrictions.

There's a lot to see at Lola ya Bonobo!

Follow tour guide Arsène as he shows you around the sanctuary.

No touching

Visitors have absolutely NO CONTACT with the bonobos at Lola. Bonobos have similar physiology to humans and can easily catch illnesses we don’t even know we are carrying. We have learned over the last 25 years that the bonobo orphans in the nursery do best when human contact is limited to their surrogate moms.

Lola intends to release all able bonobos back to the wild, where they belong, and we follow strict protocols to ensure their success for the long term. Our #1 priority is always the conservation and welfare of the bonobos.

Professional camera equipment, including both still photography and video equipment, is not permitted at Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary without prior authorization. Visitors (daytime and overnight) may use their cell phones to take photos for personal use only.
Thank you for respecting this policy when you visit the only bonobo sanctuary in the world!

Exceptions are possible. Photographers may inquire by emailing (French) or (English) as far in advance as possible, preferably 4 weeks minimum.

Photography Policy

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