Chinko, also known as Chinko Nature Reserve and the Chinko Project Area,[1][2][3] is a protected area in the Central African Republic. The nonprofit conservation organization African Parks began managing Chinko in partnership with the government of the Central African Republic in December 2014.

LocationCentral African Republic
Coordinates06°03′05″N 23°53′47″E / 6.05139°N 23.89639°ECoordinates: 06°03′05″N 23°53′47″E / 6.05139°N 23.89639°E
Area17,600 km2 (6,800 sq mi)
AdministratorAfrican Parks

Description and terrain

Chinko is a 5.9 million hectare (or nearly 7,000 square miles)[4] protected area in the southeastern part of the Central African Republic, managed by the nonprofit conservation organization African Parks as part of a fifty-year public–private partnership with the Ministry of Water, Forest, Hunting and Fishing.[3][4] African Parks began managing Chinko in December 2014, becoming the eighth park to be included in the organization's management portfolio.[3] David Simpson, who co-founded the project, serves as the park's manager.[4][5]

Chinko is located on a volcanic plateau, 2,000 ft (610 m) above sea level. Rain and other freshwater sources are plentiful, and Precambrian bedrock erosion has created a layer of alluvial soil, allowing abundant and diverse wildlife to disperse throughout the region.[4] The park has been described having uncommon geology, plentiful water, and a role as a "diversifying agent".[4]

Flora and fauna

Dologale Dybowskii - Chinko Project Area - 20120516
Pousargues's mongoose in the park in 2012

Chinko has 17,600 km2 (6,795 sq mi) of "uninhabited Medio-Sudanian and Sudano Guinean" wooded savannah with some Congolese rainforest.[3][4] These diverse ecosystems form an ecotone within the Chinko River basin and support a variety of wildlife,[4] including several primate species, African forest elephants, 23 even-toed ungulate species, more than 20 types of carnivores, 5 anteater mammals, and approximately 500 bird species.[3][6] Carnivores include the African wild dog, leopard, lion, and mongoose.[3] Other species include: African buffalo, bongo, chimpanzee, monkey, crocodile, Eastern giant eland, giant forest hog, hartebeest (including Lelwel hartebeest), red forest duiker, warthog, waterbuck, and yellow-backed duiker.[1][4]

The reserve is home to dozens of endangered species,[7][4] and the following bird species: black-bellied bustards, buzzards, guineafowl, hoopoes, hornbills, kingfishers, secretarybirds, stone partridge, and sunbirds.[4] Chinko, being an extensive block of pristine habitat, can provide the genetic diversity to recolonize the surrounding regions when populations there dwindle or become locally extinct.[4]


Chinko previously served as a hunting reserve and was home to thousands of buffalo, elephant, and lion. The area saw significant decreases in wildlife populations during the 1980s–2000s because of cattle grazing, the ivory trade, and poaching.[3][4][5] In 2002, it was reported that as much as 95 percent of wildlife in the Chinko region was lost.[8]

Erik Mararv and his family acquired a hunting concession in 2005 and launched a safari operation called Central African Wildlife Adventures in 2006.[4][9] During the safari's six years of operating, the Mararv family built two airstrips, guest rooms, and hundreds of miles of roads, imported machinery and trucks, and trained staff. David Simpson started working as a pilot for the safari company in 2010, and was asked by Mararv to return as general manager the following year.[4] Foreign pastoralists, known as the Wodaabe (or Mbororo), started herding in more remote parts of the Central African Republic, including Chinko and surrounding areas, around 2012. The additional cattle grazing, overgrazing, poaching, and wildfires contributed to deforestation, desertification, and erosion.[4] The United States Fish and Wildlife Service contributed nearly $100,000 in 2013 to reduce poaching by training rangers and reaching out to local communities to increase awareness of conservation efforts.[10] Simpson co-created the Chinko Project to protect the area's habitat and wildlife,[4] and began managing the park when African Parks took over operations in 2014. Thierry Aebischer, Raffael Hickisch, and Erik Mararv have also been credited as partners of the project.[4][7]

Chinko had fifty park rangers in February 2016.[4] In mid 2016, Simpson was reportedly managing 400 staff members and a $2.5 million budget,[4] and Chinko was "the only major tax-generating entity in the entire eastern half of [the Central African Republic], and one of the largest employers and importers of foreign goods in the country".[4] Chinko staff collected more than 700,000 wildlife sightings from motion-activated cameras by mid 2016, and used a small aircraft to identify and track animals and park intruders.[11] Fondation Segré partnered with African Parks in 2016 to hire and train rangers, construct operations centers, improve communications technology, purchase equipment, and enhance data management.[12]

In January 2017, a helicopter chartered by African Parks crashed, killing the park's head of law enforcement, his deputy, and the pilot.[13][14][15]

See also


  1. ^ a b Lee, Seung (June 6, 2016). "Microsoft's 'Malware-Like' Windows 10 Automatic Upgrades Cost Anti-Poaching Nonprofit Thousands, Group Says". Newsweek. Newsweek Media Group. Archived from the original on 2017-10-06. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  2. ^ Baddorf, Zack (20 April 2017). "Uganda Ends Its Hunt for Joseph Kony Empty-Handed". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "African Parks takes over management of protected area in Central African Republic". Africa Geographic. 12 December 2014. Archived from the original on 2015-04-01. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Woods, Elliott D. (Summer 2016). "The Fight for Chinko". Virginia Quarterly Review. University of Virginia. Archived from the original on 2017-08-08. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  5. ^ a b Fay, J. Michael (9 March 2017). "Heart of Africa Expedition Positions for Final Trek: Lions Observed From UltraLite". National Geographic. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Fauna and Flora: Chinko". African Parks. Archived from the original on 2018-04-24. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  7. ^ a b "David's danger mission to the heart of Africa". The Sunday Post. DC Thomson. 22 September 2013. Archived from the original on 2018-04-24. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Doctor fights to save animals; Poacher wars: Hayse has the blessing of African country's president in battle to save wildlife". Telegraph Herald. Dubuque, Iowa: Woodward Communications. 20 October 2002. Archived from the original on 2018-04-29. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  9. ^ Chan, Tessa (9 June 2017). "Why Hong Kong should say no to ivory chopsticks: African park warden shot trying to stop elephant poaching appeals to city". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 2017-09-06. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  10. ^ "The Chinko Project" (PDF). United States Fish and Wildlife Service. September 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-07-31. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  11. ^ Thomson, Iain (3 June 2016). "Even in remotest Africa, Windows 10 nagware ruins your day: Update burns satellite link cash". The Register. London: Situation Publishing. Archived from the original on 2017-09-19. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  12. ^ "Chinko project in Central African Republic". Fondation Segré. Archived from the original on 2018-04-29. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  13. ^ "U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Statement from Bryan Arroyo, Assistant Director for International Affairs, on recent tragic news from Chinko National Park in the Central African Republic". United States Fish and Wildlife Service. 27 January 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-07-07. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  14. ^ "3 dead as chopper crashes in Central African Republic park". Fox News. Associated Press. 25 January 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-02-12. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  15. ^ Hance, Jeremy (27 February 2017). "Five rangers die in grim month for wildlife protectors". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. Archived from the original on 2017-08-24. Retrieved 14 September 2017.

Further reading

External links

African Parks

African Parks is a non-governmental organization (NGO) focused on conservation, established in 2000 and headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was founded as the African Parks Management and Finance Company, a private company, then underwent structural changes to become an NGO called African Parks Foundation, and later renamed African Parks Network. The organization manages national parks and protected areas throughout Africa, in collaboration with governments and surrounding communities. African Parks manages 15 protected areas in 9 countries, as of April 2018, and employs more than 1,000 rangers. Michael Eustace, Peter Fearnhead, Paul Fentener van Vlissingen, Anthony Hall-Martin, and Mavuso Msimang are credited as co-founders; Fearnhead continues to serve as chief executive officer. Prince Harry was appointed African Parks' president in late 2017.

Alphonse Lamola

Alphonse Lamola (born c.1971 in Omeri, Gulu District, Northern Uganda) is a soldier in the Lord’s Resistance Army of Joseph Kony operating in South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

Lamola was abducted in the mid-1990s, and had by 1999 risen to the rank of Lieutenant in the Army's Meno battalion in South Sudan, under the command of Owor Lakati. He later moved to the Safo battalion under Raska Lukwiya.

After serving as bodyguard to Kony for some time, Lamola rose to become his chief bodyguard when he moved to Garamba National Park in the spring of 2006. Later that year, he was placed in charge of the High Protection Unit (HPU), the main security group overseeing all the units tasked with protecting Kony and his families. He was later replaced by Otto Agweng, and given the leadership of a small unit (one of three composing the external wing of the HPU) tasked with protecting Kony’s camp. Lamola was often selected to move with Kony to Nabanga and to establish a security perimeter before Kony’s arrival.

Lamola appears to have had a falling-out with Kony in mid-2011 and thereafter placed under the supervision of younger commanders in their twenties, who both protect him and prevent his defection.

As of April 2013, Lamola’s group was reportedly operating in the sparsely populated area north of the intersection of the Chinko and Vovodo rivers, in the Mbomou and Haute-Kotto prefectures of the Central African Republic. He reportedly holds the rank of Colonel.

Blue Smoke (1935 film)

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Bruce Seton

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Dead Leaves (デッド リーブス, Deddo Rībusu) is a 2004 Japanese anime science fiction film produced by animation studio Production I.G. It was distributed in Japan by Shochiku, in North America, Canada and the U.K. by Manga Entertainment, and in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment. It is directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi. It is notable for its fast pace and energetic visual style.

Iranian National Ballet Company

The Iranian National Ballet Company (Persian: سازمان باله ملی ایران‎) was Iran's only state ballet institution until the Islamic revolution of 1979 and also the most known and recognized of all dance companies in the Middle East. It was founded in 1958 by the Iranian Ministry of Culture and existed during 21 years (1958–1979). The company, residing at Tehran's Roudaki Hall, was disbanded in the aftermath of the Islamic revolution and was re-established 23 years later in exile by Nima Kiann under the name of Les Ballets Persans (Persian: سازمان باله ایران‎) in Sweden.

Japanese variety show

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List of protected areas of the Central African Republic

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List of rivers of the Central African Republic

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Opeyemi Gbenga Kayode (born 16 April 1988), popularly known with his stage name Pepenazi, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. He is currently signed to Ecleftic Entertainment. He made his debut into the Nigerian Music Industry in 2012 when he dropped the single "Arose", produced by Bam Tunes. Its music video featured cameo appearances from Vector, Ice Prince and W4. He however took a break from the industry to complete his undergraduate education and serve his father land. On his return to the Nigerian music scene in October 2014, he dropped two singles, "Born You" and "Low" simultaneously. The songs gained air play, but Pepenazi came into broader limelight after dropping his Olamide featured pop-centric single titled "Illegal". The second half of year 2015 was Pepenazi's breakthrough period such that in recognition of his fast rise to prominence, he was nominated as Rookie of the Year at the 2015 Headies' Flip the Script Award.

Pousargues's mongoose

The Pousargues's mongoose (Dologale dybowskii), also known as the African tropical savannah mongoose, is a mongoose native to Central Africa. It is listed as data deficient on the IUCN Red List as little is known about its distribution and ecology.Up to the late 20th century, it was known from only around 30 zoological specimens in natural history museum collections.


Rafaï is a town and sub-prefecture on the Chinko River, in the Central African Republic prefecture of Mbomou. Its estimated population is about 14,000 people.

Reminisce (musician)

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Wildlife of the Central African Republic

Wildlife in the Central African Republic is in the vast natural habitat located between the Congo Basin's rain forests and large savannas, where the human density was smaller than 0.5 per km2 prior to 1850. The forest area of 22.755 million has, considered as one of the richest storehouses of wild life spread over national parks, hunting reserves and community hunting areas, underwent a change over to an alarming situation of loss of wild life due to greed for ivory and bushmeat exploitation by the hunters, mostly Arab slavers from across the borders of the Central African Republic (Central African Republic) with Chad and Sudan.Realising the serious threat to the wildlife, the colonists – French Administration – in 1935 and later the Government of the Republic of CRA, enacted laws and created National parks and preserves, which covered 16.6% of the country. The three most coveted national parks are the Manovo-Gounda St. Floris National Park with its reported "greatest concentrations of hippos in the world", the Bamingui-Bangoran National Park in the north; and the Dzanga-Sangha Reserve which covers rain forests. The Manovo-Gounda-Saint-Floris National Park, in particular was inscribed to the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites in 1988 in recognition of the diversity of life present within it in respect of its wealth of flora and fauna. In 2014, the Chinko Nature Reserve in eastern CRA was granted management through a public-private partnership with the Central African Republic Ministry of Wildlife, Water and Forestry and African Parks, a conservation NGO that takes on the direct, long-term management of national parks and protected areas in partnership with governments to save wildlife, restore landscapes and ensure sustainable livelihoods for local communities. African Parks has a mandate to manage this protected area, now referred to as the Chinko Project, for the next 50 years.

However, the legal instruments were not effective in controlling poaching activities for profits, as institutional support for protected areas has all along been weak with hunters and loggers not letting go their activities even in national parks. Most of the timber extracted from the CRA is exported to Europe.Situated in the east of the CRA, Chinko is one of the region's only remaining strongholds for numerous species including the highly threatened Lord Derby eland, bongo, and chimpanzees. This important ecosystem, however, is under tremendous pressure from militarized ivory poachers and intense levels of cattle grazing.

The richness of the wild life of the Central African Republic is reflected in its about 3,600 species of plants, 663 birds, 209 mammals (includes two endemic species and 11 threatened species), 187 reptiles and 29 amphibians.


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