October 18, 2020

Deep in the heart of Africa hidden in the dense jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo, lives the mysterious and enigmatic okapi. Although a respected cultural symbol of the only country in which it is found, its livelihood is threatened by slash-and-burn agriculture, illegal gold mining and bushmeat poaching, despite its protected status since 1933.

That’s why we created World Okapi Day.

The day is centered around celebrating this special animal and using it as a flagship species to protect the entire forest ecosystem in which it lives. Fun, exciting activities are normally planned in eight villages around the Okapi Wildlife reserve and are combined with educational messaging targeting key demographics including children, women, Mbuti pygmies and communities in and around the Reserve. Join us in our effort to educate local communities and protect the endangered okapi!

We’re back for World Okapi Day 2021!

World Okapi Day is a GO! People all over the Reserve are excited to celebrate the okapi. This year, by popular demand, we are extending our celebrations to two more villages. World Okapi Day is a chance for the people of the Reserve to celebrate their national animal, the beauty of their natural environment, the culture and traditions of the Mbuti, and their hard work in conservation.

But World Okapi Day is also a chance for people all over the world to celebrate! We want to know what you are doing to celebrate World Okapi Day. We’ve created a Social Media Toolkit to help you celebrate and share the day with your friends and family. We also want to see your celebrations! Tag us and use the hashtags below to share your celebrations!

Social Media Toolkit

Facebook: @okapiconservationproject

Instagram: @okapiconservation

Twitter: @okapiproject

Hashtags: #WorldOkapiDay #WOD2021 #OkapiConservation

The okapi’s rainforest home is more than a habitat for thousands of species. It is also one of the largest land-based carbon sinks in the world, helping mitigate climate change. What we do all over the world can help protect this Congo Basin Rainforest. We want okapi lovers all over the world to think whenever they choose to live sustainably, they are helping okapi!

Ways you can help save okapi:

  • Visit your nearest zoo or okapi holding facility. See our list of partners and supporters in North America, Europe and Asia here.
  • Tell your family and friends about the okapi.
  • Recycle your old cell phones – they contain coltan a mineral mined in the forests of DRC. Recycling your phones means less mining in the forest.
  • Post your best okapi photos on social media and use the hashtags #OkapiConservation and #WorldOkapiDay on all your okapi-related posts. See some of our social media graphics to share below!
  • Change your social media cover photo to one of the options found on our Facebook page.
  • Give a $10 gift (or more) to the Okapi Conservation Project by visiting by clicking here. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to help protect okapi and its habitat.
  • Host your own okapi awareness event! Get creative! And be sure to share with us what you did! Take photos and email them to and you may be featured on our social media channels!

Want to do even more?

Become an Okapi Guardian! Okapi Guardians help us protect okapi in the long term and plan for the future of the Reserve.