Mountain Bongo Breeding and Rewilding

Mountain Bongo Breeding

The Mountain Bongo, a critically endangered antelope subspecies endemic to the montane forests in Kenya, is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. They are at high risk of global extinction. With fewer than 100 Mountain Bongos left in the wild, this species has experienced one of the steepest population declines due to unrestricted hunting, poaching, habitat loss, and diseases.

Mountain Bongo Breeding and Rewilding Program

In 2004, Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy took on the daunting challenge of reversing the impending extinction of the Mountain Bongo and initiated a Mountain Bongo Breeding and Rewilding program in Kenya.

As a first step, 18 Mountain Bongo were repatriated from several zoos across North America. These originally human-habituated Mountain Bongos have gone through a series of adaptations to the local conditions of Kenya. These individuals represented the greatest hope for the Mountain Bongo's population recovery.

Mawingu Mountain Bongo Sanctuary

In collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Kenya Forest Service (KFS), the Conservancy established the world’s first Mountain Bongo Sanctuary: The Mawingu Mountain Bongo Sanctuary. This 776-acre pristine forest Sanctuary is located at the foothills of Mount Kenya, a well-known former range of the Mountain Bongo and is contiguous with Mount Kenya National Park. This rich habitat provides a more extensive area to continue rewilding the Mountain Bongo in preparation for survival in the wild.


The Mountain Bongo Breeding and Rewilding program aims to produce fully rewilded individuals capable of thriving in the Mawingu Sanctuary and, eventually, the wild. Successfully rewilded Mountain Bongos born in the program will be transferred to KWS for translocation, reinforcing wild populations and reintroducing them to their former ranges. This initiative signifies a crucial step toward securing the survival and restoration of the Mountain Bongo population.

Our Projects


The long-term vision of the Government of Kenya's National Recovery and Action Plan (2019-2023) for the Mountain Bongo is to achieve a population of 750 individuals in Kenya in the next 50 years

Fewer than 100 Mountain Bongos are left in the wild

IUCN predicts that this number is likely to continue declining unless deliberate actions to address the threats are put in place. This, therefore, calls for consorted hastened efforts to reinforce the wild population before it is too late.

Rewilding Program

Reinforcing the wild populations

The Mountain Bongos born in the program, which are successfully rewilded, will be provided to KWS for translocation to reinforce the wild populations and reintroduce them in the former ranges.

Mountain Bongo Fact Sheet

Mountain Bongo Fact Sheet

Animal Orphanage

Located within the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy, the Animal Orphanage is a unique facility to give orphaned, injured, neglected, abused, or frightened wild animals a second chance. The Orphanage provides shelter and professional care with the aim of releas...


Conservation Education

Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy (MKWC) has set up community conservation education and empowerment programs to create awareness on the plight of Mountain Bongo and sustainable natural resource management....