Wild Chimpanzee Foundation

Nature Center at the Banco National Park

To take advantage of the potential of Banco National Park, the "green lung of Abidjan", an attractive educational and interactive Nature Center has been established there. Once a colonial villa, the “Maison de la Nature” was completely renovated in 2005 by the WCF in partnership with the OIPR ( Office Ivoirien des Parcs et Réserves, the Banco Sector), many scientists who specialize in the park’s fauna and flora, the institutions concerned and the local NGOs which participate in this park.

In the “Maison de la Nature” the WCF seeks to increase visitors’ awareness of the need for increased protection of chimpanzees. This includes an exhibit on various subjects, interactive workshops to enhance understanding of the way of life of chimpanzees and other animals (nut-pounding sites, termites fishing and casts of hand and foot prints), as well as educational films and animal sounds.

This effort continues with an apprentice researcher trail in the arboretum to introduce children to research techniques in the forest and to bring to their attention the heavy threats on the animal populations. Finally, the "Carnet de l’Explorateur" is a tool to guide the visitors in the discovery of the exhibit. It contains quiz questions on posters, games and puzzles which are enjoyed by children and grown ups!