Established in 1996 as Cameroon Wildlife Aid Fund, its initial objective was to improve the living conditions of primates housed at Mvog-Betsi Zoo in Yaounde, Cameroon. Over the next 12 years the mission expanded and they began to take in orphans of the bushmeat and pet trades, chimpanzees and gorillas in the main. In 2008 the CWAF was rebranded as Ape Action Africa.
Based in Mefou National Park just outside Yaounde the Ape Action Africa sanctuary is now home to over 300 primates, making it ones of the largest projects of its kind in Africa. Recent activity has included assessing the feasibility of a release of rescued and rehabilitated primates.