Bonobos and Chimpanzees

Our closest living relatives…beautiful, intelligent & under threat.


Bonobos share around 99% of their DNA with humans. Despite being our closest living relatives, many people have never even heard of a bonobo, often confusing them with their sister species, the chimpanzee. Despite looking a little similar, there are some big differences between bonobos and chimpanzees, and these differences can help us better understand our own evolution. Bonobos are still one of the least understood of the great apes and unless we help to protect them, they will soon dissapear from the planet before we can truely understand this remarkable cousin and ambassador of the beauty of Congolese nature….

How can you tell bonobos apart from chimpanzees? 

Compared to chimpanzees, bonobos are smaller, slimmer and blacker (in fact, they used to be called Pygymy Chimpanzees). They also have distinctive pink lips, white tail tufts and quite pronounced brow ridges.

They sound very different! Compared to chimpanzees, bonobo voices are much more high-pitched, even sounding  a little like birds sometimes! Follow this link to hear how bonobos sound compared to chimpanzees and what their vocalisations mean.