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  •         Country: Central African Republic

  •         Location: Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve

  •         Forest elephant population: Approx. 4000

  •         Number of rangers equipped by AFEF: 119 

  •         Completed Projects: 

    • 2017 - Field equipment​

    • 2021 - Land Cruisers delivered

    • 2022 - Anti-poaching kits and bio-monitoring equipment

  •           Current Projects: River Patrol Unit

The Dzanga Sangha Special Reserve


The Dzangha Sangha Special Reserve is a protected reserve in southwestern Central African Republic established in 1990 and covers 6865.54km2. Within this reserve lies Dzanga Bai, also known as the “village of elephants”, which is a large clearing in the rainforest where between 50 and 150 forest elephants gather everyday to drink at mineral-rich springs.

This area is extremely important for the future survival of the forest elephant and provides visitors and researchers with a window into the normally secretive African forest elephant.

Although Dzanga-Sangha has armed eco-guards, poachers have continued to decimate this crucial forest elephant population. In 2013 at least 26 forest elephants were killed in a matter of days and conservationists in the area have been regularly looted. Recent research has confirmed that up to two-thirds of the forest elephants have been killed in the last decade.

Thanks to increased antipoaching efforts and local community engagement, elephant poaching has drastically reduced in Dzanga Sangha. It is therefore vital that we continue supporting forest elephant conservation in the reserve.

AFEF’s involvement is to support anti-poaching and bio-monitoring efforts by achieving the following goals:


  1. Equip, train and build staff capacity of local eco-rangers to effectively patrol and protect the reserve. 

  2. To ensure effective collection of biomonitoring data specifically on Forest elephants and the Western lowland gorilla. 

  3. Reduce human-animal conflict between farmers/community members and wildlife (particularly Forest elephants).

  4. Contribute to safe eco-tourism conditions within the park in order to increase visitor numbers and tourism revenue.

Impacts so far

Current Projects

Future aims are to construct a river patrol base at the Djengi River in order to reinforce anti-poaching surveillance on the Sangha River. 18 eco-rangers will be stationed at the base with 2 patrols in service at all times, and 1 commander, 1 assistant, and 2 logistics personnel on site to coordinate patrols and communication.


We plan to establish a bona fide River Patrol Unit in 2023 and, in doing so, continue to protect and conserve the critically endangered Forest elephant population and the various other species within the reserve.

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Help today

YOU can help us achieve our goal and help us to protect forest elephants, by donating today!


Help Forest Elephants Today

Forest elephants need our help. Find out how you can make a difference.

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