Category Archives: Claudine André

Claudine André receives a new award

Claudine André received a “Présence Congo pour l’environnement” award early in October as a reward for her implication in the conservation of Bonobos.

The award allowed allied organisations (Le Club Diplomatique, Le Forum Congo de Politique International, Diplomatica Magazine…) to honour Congolese figures from both the Congos.

North Carolina’s Museum of natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC host Claudine André

Learn more about what led Claudine Andre to establish a bonobo sanctuary in the middle of a war-torn country when she presents “Protecting Bonobos: Rescue, Rehabilitation and Conservation Education in the Democratic Republic of Congo” at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on Tuesday, August 21 at 7pm in the Main Auditorium at 11 West Jones Street. Free. Doors open at 6:30pm.

Special screening of “Beni, Back into the Wild” in Washington DC

To view the Movie trailer click on the image below.


Claudine tells us about the SECAS Conference

We gathered around the topic of the Great Apes, in a town hall in the Paris region. The Bonobos were first on the list with the showing of “Bonobo, le dernier refuge” (Bonobo, the last refuge) a film by Dominique Hennequin, this was followed by a personal film by André Lucas on the mountain gorillas during his year long visit to Karisoke in the 70’s. And so we discovered that we had both travelled around that area at around the same time, back in the days of Diane Fossey, when the gorillas where of no interest to tourists… The public gathered for the conference marvelled at the dialogue that spoke of another time…

Paris by river

A great moment of joy today. First day out since the operation for David and Victor. The sun was shining for the occasion. On with the caps and coats to keep out the chill in the air and we were off for a ride on paris’s aquivalent to dug-out canoes: the “bateau mouche” or fly-boats as they are called! There were smiles all around as we boarded after everyone else. Victor, our captain back in Basankusu, and despite not being in command, his eyes were sparkling with joy! When he’s on the water, he’s in his element… and the thousands of kilometres that separate the Lopori and the Seine weren’t going to change that! David was as attentive as any tourist, including the many Japanese tourists surrounding him. Anne was our guide for the day and challenged the men to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower via the stairs! The bet is on, but we’ll see to that later…

Monique and Claudine discussed various administrative problems, somehow lightened under the warm sunshine. David and Victor whipped out their cameras and fired away like the professional paparazzi, they didn’t want to miss a single thing or forget a single moment of this first spring outing. David was rather cautious, staying comfortably in his seat, Victor however had found his sailors feet and strolled over to the bow of the boat, with a quick glance up at the captain’s cabin. We pass by the DRC’s embassy, a little feeling of something close to home for the two men. Finally we pull up in front of the “Pont d’Alma”. Feet back on the ground, but minds soaring high above!


Victor and David are going to have to undergo several operations spread over several months, support from people around them is vital in keeping their spirits up. Following the surgeon Professor Lantieri’s generous intervention, regarding the hospitalisation fees, Air France has also shown great solidarity. Touched by Victor and David’s story, the director of sustainable development at Air France gave Claudine a free two-way ticket from Kinshasa to Paris, so that she could be with the men, her presence is of great comfort to them. We thank Air France for their generosity that has allowed Claudine to accompany the men and keep an eye that they are as comfortable and high spirited as possible.

Tour operators interested in selling discovery journeys to the DRC.

Late 2011, in Brussels, the Belgian ambassador for the DRC, Mr. Henri Mova, organised an important conference to present a large public with the marvellous tourism potential of the country. At his request, Claudine went along to speak about Lola ya Bonobo located on the outer skirts of Kinshasa. She went on to describe, with great joy, the beauty of the equatorial rainforest with its dark rivers and the last wild bonobo populations.
In the days following the conference, those who love the Congo, wandered up and down the aisles at the Belgian tourism forum. As usual, Claudine had endless things to say about her country.


Friends of Bonobos, is pleased to announce that Claudine André was selected to be featured in the new book WILDLIFE HEROES.  The book, which will be available in books stores and on-line beginning on March 6, 2012, combines unique real-life stories, stunning photographs, and fascinating animal information to make a point: we can turn the tide and save species in decline.

Acclaimed for vision, determination and success, Claudine and the other individuals profiled in the book have dedicated their lives to preserving compelling creatures that are struggling for existence. With introductions to each chapter by icons such as author Kuki Gallman, actor Ted Danson, actress Stefanie Powers, Congressman Jay Inslee and animal advocate  Jack Hanna, and a back cover endorsement by world-famous wildlife expert Dr. Jane Goodall, this book aims to bring broader awareness for the critical efforts taking place to save these amazing species.

We hope you share our excitement that Claudine has been recognized with such a great honor, and join us in congratulating her for continuing accomplishments.  For more information about the book, or to purchase it, please visit

Claudine our very own “Golden Woman”

On the 17th of September, the 19th edition of the “Femme en Or” (Golden Women) award ceremony took place in Nice in the South of France. Created by Jean-Louis Sevez in 1993, the award ceremony puts forward the winning ladies by awarding them a trophy of the Golden Woman.

This year, eleven trophies were awarded to eleven women in different categories in order to celebrate their career, to share their powerful stories, their achievements and their commitment to promote women’s place in the world.

The entire weekend was one filled with emotion, Claudine left for Nice for the nominations of “Femmes en Or” having been nominated as Woman for the environment 2011. Our hopes were high, all of us believed that after two decades spent fighting to protect bonobos, Claudine really deserved this award.

Claudine arrives at Nice train station, welcomed by the mayor, Christian Estrosi.

Géraldine, (one of Claudine’s daughters) and her husband, Robert Facio came to Nice for the wonderful adventure. Claudine was glowing with joy, so pleased to have her children come all the way from Costa Rica to support her for the occasion.

And so the evening began at the Villa Masséna, with a welcome speech by Mr Christian Estrosi, the Mayor and the interviews started the very next morning. A wonderful interview was carried out for the French radio station Europe 1, by Brigitte Renaldi, a journalist fascinated by the bonobos plight and by Claudine’s story. This adventurer’s story is worthy of a true saga… what about the film of life ‘after’ the BONOBO film???

The preparations began, backstage there were hairstylists and make-up artists, preparing all the ladies to meet with the journalists at the press conference. By this point we had found out that Claudine had won in her category… emotions were running high!!!

Claudine, surrounded by the other winners, answered the first questions from the press before the ceremony and receiving the award. This was followed by further interviews and a photo-shoot alongside the other winners and the SNCF, sponsor for the “Woman for the environment” award.

Claudine with Tatiana Trouvé, Woman for Art to her right and to her left, Marissa Balakireva, Woman of Innovation.

The ceremony begins and even though we already know that Claudine IS the Woman for the Environment 2011, the moment is none the less intense, tears of joy run down our faces as Claudine climbs up on stage to receive her trophy from Laurent Boyer, a renowned French TV presenter.

Claudine and Mr Patrick Ropert, Communications Director for the national rail company SNCF, sponsor for the “Woman for the Environement 2011” award

With such a modest account, Claudine charmed the public, once again. She dedicated her trophy to the men and women who work in the National Parks of the DRC, putting their lives at risk everyday combating the poachers. The trophy, hers to share with all the team at LOLA YA BONOBO, and her family who so often had to share her with these hairy and sometimes cumbersome cousins! Accepting the trophy, she of course brought us to think of the last bonobos, able to live free in the vast, wild rainforests of the DRC!

The following day, people from all across the board approached Claudine to convey their emotions, Patricia Loison, Woman of Media, highly interested in Claudine’s work. Various French stars also came to meet her and take the time for a few snapshots, Michèle Bernier, Mimie Mathy (two French actresses) and Adriana Karembeu (model and actress).

Claudine and Patricia Loison, Woman of Média

Claudine and Michèle Bernier, in the background Camille Muffat, Woman of Achievement

Claudine and Mimie Mathy

Claudine with her « Congolese sister » Adèle Safi, Woman for French-speaking, and Jean-Louis Sevez, the creator of “Femmes en or”

All good things come to an end, after such a wonderful weekend, we wish to thank Géraldine & Roberto, for the pleasure of meeting them. A big thanks to all the other “Golden Women” for their kindness: Larissa, Tatiana, Catherine and Adèle who shared this wonderful weekend with Claudine. Also, a big thanks to the SNCF, for sponsoring the award won by Claudine and Havas Sports and Entertainment for perfect organisation of the whole event.

And finally a big thank to you all, nothing would be possible without your precious help!