DRC: Malebo site managed by WWF in the top 100 sustainable tourism destinations of 2017 in the World | WWF
DRC: Malebo site managed by WWF in the top 100 sustainable tourism destinations of 2017 in the World

Posted on 23 October 2017

Malebo site is located in the Mai-Ndombe province, south-east of the DRC in the territory of Bolobo more precisely in the community forests of Nkala, Mpelu and Embirima villages. It is a unique natural habitat, made of a mosaic of forests and savannas, making it an ideal place to observe the bonobos in their natural environment.
 
Malebo site is located in the Mai-Ndombe province, south-east of the DRC in the territory of Bolobo more precisely in the community forests of Nkala, Mpelu and Embirima villages. It is a unique natural habitat, made of a mosaic of forests and savannas, making it an ideal place to observe the bonobos in their natural environment. 
 
To protect the bonobos in this natural reserve, WWF DRC has developed an ecotourism initiative named Picbou (Projet Intégré de Conservation des bonobos de l’ouest) since 2006. Picbou is implemented in collaboration with the local NGO Mbou-Mon-Tour (MMT). Since then, three groups of bonobos have been habituated in the region to learn more about their socio-ecology to develop more effective and adapted conservation strategies. In parallel, the ecotourism project developed aims to bring income to the villagers in order to encourage them preserve their natural heritage. 
 
Today, efforts made by WWF DRC and partners so far to preserve this natural reserve have yielded fruits as  Malebo site has  been judged as one of the top 100 sustainable tourism destinations of 2017. The competition was organised by Green Destinations in cooperation with 20 other international organisations for sustainable tourism. Selection involved formal nomination by a destination ambassador and evaluation by a panel of about 100 international experts. 
 
It also should be recalled that this project is implemented thanks to the support of USAID, DGD, WWF NL, WWF Belgium.
 
The fastest and best option to go to Malebo is take a direct flight from Ndolo Airport in Kinshasa. The flight lasts about an hour and offers breathtaking views of the Congo River as well as the forest-savannah mosaic and villages around.
 
A bonobo in the forest near Malebo
© Karine Aigner/WWF-US