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Request for Proposals for Bonobo Habituation and Tourism Development

  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Posted on Wednesday, December 6, 2017

African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) works with the people of Africa to ensure its wildlife and wild lands thrive in modern Africa. AWF supports the conservation and sustainable management of priority biodiversity landscapes through the support of Protected Area (PA) authorities and local communities living in the periphery of PAs.

AWF is seeking a consultant to help ensure the improvement of the bonobo habituation and monitoring efforts as well as training of local guides in welcoming visitors in the Lomako Yokokala Fauna Reserve (RFLY) with a significant focus on Iyema Visitors site. By adding the habituation of other monkey groups in the vicinity of the campsite, AWF seeks diversification and enrichment of the tourism product. The consultant will assure a successful stay at Iyema for future visitors.

Proposal Guidelines

Request for Proposal (RFP) represents the requirements for an open and competitive process. Proposals will be accepted until close of business 31st December, 2017.

Any proposals received after this date and time will be rejected. All proposals must be signed by the individual submitting the proposal.

If the individual submitting a proposal must outsource or contract any work to meet the requirements contained herein, this must be clearly stated in the proposal. Additionally, all costs included in proposals must be all-inclusive to include any outsourced or contracted work. Any proposals which call for outsourcing or contracting work must include a name and description of the individual being contracted.

Contract terms and conditions will be negotiated upon selection of the winning bidder for this RFP. All contractual terms and conditions will be subject to review by AWF and will include scope, budget, schedule, and other necessary items pertaining to the project.

Project Purpose and Description

AWF supported ICCN in the creation and gazettement of the RFLY. One of the goals of the project is to translate the Bonobo (Pan Paniscus) research/monitoring activities in the reserve into a viable conservation enterprise, by enabling tourism from three different axes: adventure tourism, scientific research-based tourism, and wildlife tourism.

In the past, development of tourism proved to be difficult due to logistical constraints. In addition, informal reports from visitors and evaluation visits on site indicated that the quality of the bonobo-viewing product was decreasing rapidly. It was evident that due to lack of equipment and guidance, the dedication of the local guides was eroding. Specific training was needed. For this reason, an expert consultant was hired as a test to evaluate whether qualitatively solid bonobo habituation was/is still possible and whether the local team of guides still had the capacity and dedication to work towards the improvement of the tourism product. In case the evaluation provided a positive outlook, AWF expected a report with recommendations for the way forward.

The consultant succeeded to improve the habituation of bonobos rapidly, to increase the motivation of the local guides thanks to solid training and provision of equipment and clarity in visioning for the future. Recent touristic visits and the current presence of researchers indicate a positive evolution and confirm that income from conservation fees paid by tour operators and researchers will make this bonobo monitoring endeavor economically sustainable in the future.

With a number of visits being planned over the next few months, AWF seeks to continue the use of the service from the successful expert-consultant to further improve the tourist product and to successfully welcome the first conservation fee paying-tourists.

Project Scope

The consultant will continue to ensure the improvement of the bonobo habituation and monitoring effort, as well as to train local guides in welcoming visitors. By adding the habituation of other monkey groups in the vicinity of the camp site, AWF seeks diversification and enrichment of the tourism product. The consultant will assure a successful stay at Iyema for future visitors.

In the course of this consultancy, AWF will further formalize the bonobo tourism enterprise.

Work requirements

In order to contribute towards the objective of strengthening the tourism experience in Lomako, the consultant will be required to achieve the following deliverables:

  • Continued strengthening of the habituation protocol for the identified bonobo communities close to Iyema camp and improved individual identification.
  • Implement automatic monthly reporting by the local team of guides based on the design data collection protocol.
  • Develop a system for automatic storing of all data: tracklogs of the field assistants, bonobo observations, party composition, individual identification, pictures of individuals, nest site data.
  • Train the field assistants in all the steps of the new data collection system as well as use of equipment including GPS, android data collection app, camera, binoculars.
  • Train selected field assistants in advanced computer use and submission of reports.
  • Document/develop a manual for best management practices referring to the maintenance of equipment, setting up mechanisms to get access to food supplies, payment of salaries etc.
  • Improve the living qualities for visitors and local guides at the Iyema camp.
  • Organize the work of the field assistants while they also complete tasks for the researchers, making sure that the researcher’s data collection will not interfere with ongoing developing of the habituation protocol.
  • Propose and implement solutions in case of potential conflict with researchers' schedules and tasks.


All proposals in response to this RFP are due no later than close of business 31st December, 2017.


All costs and fees must be clearly described in each proposal.

Bidder Qualifications

  • Proven experience in great ape habituation.
  • Experience working in difficult and remote locations.
  • Substantial experience in training and working with local communities.
  • Experience with CyberTracker/SMART and/or other ecological monitoring technologies.
  • French or Lingala speaking.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in French or Lingala.
Bidders should provide the following as part of their proposal for consideration:

The individual must provide a comprehensive description of experience and demonstrate how and why they are the best to deliver the requirements of AWF by indicating, among others, the following with appropriate supporting documents:

I. Profile describing the nature of business, field of expertise, certifications, accreditations.

II. Track records and list of clients of similar services as those required by AWF, indicating description of contract scope, contract duration, contract value, contract referees.

  • Client
  • Contract Value
  • Duration of Activity
  • Services Provided
  • References Contact (Name, phone, email)

III. Certificates of accreditation, if any.

IV. Written self-declaration that the individual is not in the Excluded Parties List (EPL)

Evaluation Criteria

AWF will evaluate all proposals based on the following criteria. To ensure consideration for this RFP, your proposal should be complete and include all of the following:                                            

  • Reputation of Individual (Competence and reliability) [Max. points 20]
  • Litigation and Arbitration History (Have legal authority to undertake the consultancy services) [Max. points 10]
  • General Capability and Proposal Suitability [Max. points 20]
  • Extent of Subcontracted Work (Subcontracting carries additional risks which may affect project implementation, but properly done it offers a chance to access specialized skills) [Max. points 10]
  • Relevance of Specialized Knowledge; Experience on Similar Programs/Projects; Experience on Projects in the Region; Work for AWF/Major Multilateral or Bilateral Programs) [Max. points 10]
  • Clear Presentation; Logical and Realistic Planning and Sequence of Activities [Max. points 10]
  • Value and Cost (Bidders will be evaluated on the cost of their solution(s) based on the work to be performed in accordance with the scope of this project) [Max. points 20]

Bidders must submit a copy of their proposal to the following addresses by close of business, 31st December, 2017: procurement@awf.org and jdupain@awf.org

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