Sketches from Northern Congo – the Gangu Forest

Cleve Hicks is just back from his third research trip into Gangu forest, northern DR Congo. He was watching chimps, counting their nests, documenting their culture, evading unsavory military and always he had his pen and pad ready.

Here are a few portraits from Cleve’s world of the last six months.



LigadaFaustin_trail guide_Gangu
Ligada Faustin — excellent tracker

Cleve Hicks SelfPortrait1998
Self-portrait – Cleve a few years back

Cleve concentrating_Kisangani
Cleve earlier this year – at our Kisangani gîte – on his way up to the Gangu Forest

Chief Mbolibie – the success of the project depended on close collaboration with local authorities.

John Hart_Scientific Director Lukuru
John Hart – Lukuru’s Scientific Director

EphremMpaka_TL2 team leader in Bili
Ephrem Mpaka – field leader, on “loan” from the Lukuru-TL2 project

Chita – an old friend

Where was Cleve for the last six months?

Map of Bili-Gangu area
This map of the Bili-Gangu zone was made by John Hart during wildlife survey work of 2010-2011.

Cleve has given me a couple of accounts of his work in the Gangu Forest. Expect a post later this week.


  1. Kim Gjerstad
    Posted 2012-11-11 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    They’re superb! Any for sale to raise some money?

  2. cleve hicks
    Posted 2012-11-12 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Thanks, yes, we are looking into that possibility. I should point out that the drawings of the chimpanzees are from about 10 years ago, at sanctuaries and zoos with which I was affiliated.

  3. Laura
    Posted 2012-11-12 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Amazing sketches, as always 😉

  4. Posted 2012-11-13 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Lovely! I’m amazed at how well the sketches capture the people and chimps. How wonderful that TL2 does both science and art.


  5. Terese Hart
    Posted 2012-11-13 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Cindy.
    What we have on the ground is two separate projects : the TL2 project and the Bili-Uere project. Lukuru Foundation is the platform for both.
    But I think that any project that is going to make it here, in Congo, has to have a bit of the artist, a bit of the scientist and …. yep…a bit of the para-military. Maybe that is true everywhere?

  6. Tan
    Posted 2012-11-15 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Pretty cool sketches. Best wishes to the team, whatever the role.

  7. Posted 2013-02-04 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Hi Been following your entries regularly, keep it up, courege! Im presently working on a project with congo water cobra ( Naja christyi ). Im going to Wash DC next month to talk about the project, and you guy’s. Ever do anything with Smithsonian Institution, interested! Take care,

  8. cleve hicks
    Posted 2017-05-03 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    As an update, I now have aa children’s book out, A Rhino to the Rescue. A portion of the profits will go to help wildlife guards protect rhinos:

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