In the far eastern region of the Central African Republic (CAR), in one of Africa’s most remote and volatile regions, Chinko is a remarkable story of hope and success. Since 2014, when the CAR Government invited African Parks to manage Chinko, wildlife began to return and stability, in a region once fraught with civil war, poaching and lawlessness, is becoming a reality. In 2020, a revised agreement for a further 25 years was signed, which included the Functional Landscape of Chinko and taking the area under management to over 55,000 km2.

Poaching and uncontrolled pastoralism in the core park area have been reduced, so that wildlife populations from elephant and giant eland to lion and hyaena have stabilised and are increasing. As effective management has taken hold, hundreds of people from some of the world’s most vulnerable communities are beginning to feel the value of Chinko. A transhumance (the seasonal movement of livestock herders between grazing areas) engagement programme focuses on peacefully raising awareness among herders around the park to guide them along designated cattle corridors, so that ecological damage caused by cattle is diminished. Enterprise initiatives, and the provision of essential services such as health and education, have improved the livelihoods of thousands of people.

Anchored in potentially the largest functioning tropical wilderness in Africa, Chinko is of critical regional importance to conservation.


Chinko Highlights

  • Chinko's core protected area, free of livestock and poaching, has increased from 6,000 km2 to 24,300 km2 where many wildlife species are now frequently seen.
  • The once elusive and almost-extinct elephant population has begun to stabilise, and the giant eland and bongo populations are now the largest under effective protection in Africa.
  • The northern lion population, which was almost eradicated, has increased to a few hundred. Other carnivores, such as hyaena, leopard, golden cat, serval and wild dog, are on the rise too.
  • For the first time, a rich diversity of fish species is being documented in the Chinko River
  • African Parks established Chinko’s first ranger unit who have undergone specialised training.
  • Chinko is the largest employer outside of the capital of Bangui with more than 350 nationals employed.
  • The Chinko community team is developing local value chains with the communities by promoting sustainable livelihood practices with hunters, fishermen, farmers, and pastoralists.


Chinko is in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the CAR Ministry of Water and Forests, Hunting and Fishing (MEFCP). This partnership assures that Chinko protects the ecosystem, supports local communities and maintains economic value by providing the key to a sustainable future for this unique ecosystem.

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