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APOPO is an acronym from Dutch which stands for “Anti-Persoonsmijnen Ontmijnende Product Ontwikkeling”, or in English, Anti-Personnel Landmines Detection Product Development.

APOPO is a global non-profit organization that researches, develops and implements detection rats technology for humanitarian purposes such as clearing landmines and detecting tuberculosis. APOPO has Belgian roots with operational headquarters in Tanzania and further operations in Angola, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe. APOPO trains rats to save lives. Our mission is to develop detection rats technology to provide solutions for global problems and inspire positive social change.

The Belgian Directorate for International Co-operation (DGIS) provided the initial financial support to develop the concept in November 1997. APOPO vzw was registered under the Belgian law as a non-commercial agency, and started its first research in early 1998. Later, APOPO became a registered as a Belgian NGO before expanding to become a global NGO in 2017.

It was Bart Weetjens, our founder, who came up with the idea. Bart kept pet rats as a child. During his studies, he was carrying out an analysis of the landmine problem in sub-Saharan Africa and realised that landmine clearance was dangerous and costly. He had recently come across an article about gerbils and their ability to detect explosives in lab conditions, and when he thought back to the sense of smell of his pet rats, and their trainability, he put two and two together et voilà. He consulted with Professor Ron Verhagen, a rodent expert at the University of Antwerp, who recommended the African giant pouched rat (Cricetomys ansorgei) because of its long lifespan and adaptation to the harsh conditions in Africa.

We’ve been doing research since APOPO’s initial establishment in 1998.

There are currently over 300 HeroRATs working in various APOPO programs worldwide. 

We receive regular enquiries from individuals, commercial companies, and civil society from many countries, asking us how to get the rats there to help with their landmine or tuberculosis problem. The simple answer is funding. Before we can start work, we first need to open an office in the country and then apply to be registered as an NGO by its government. Once achieved, we then begin recruiting and training local staff importing equipment and machines, and getting the rats there.  As for our mine action program, we undergo a testing and accreditation process when training is completed. Thereby every deminer, machine and rat is tested to ensure they are able to work to a high standard. We are then issued with an accreditation license and it is only then that we are able to start the work of detecting and clearing landmines. This process can be quite costly due to the time the bureaucracy takes and the need to maintain a presence in the country throughout.

Animal welfare

African giant pouched rats are found in most of sub-Saharan Africa, they are used to the tropical climate and are resilient to many tropical diseases. Veterinary care requirements are therefore relatively small. Routine care includes daily observations of individual animals, weekly health reports and regular prevention treatments for parasites.

Our HeroRATs are omnivores. During the week, trained rats receive a reward diet that consists mainly of bananas, avocados and peanuts with the addition of rodent pellets. To supplement this from Friday to Sunday they also eat a balanced diet of grains, maize, nuts, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, and small sardine-type fish. This is also the permanent diet for the breeding rats, but during weekdays they get additional fruits and vegetables.

APOPO has a breeding program which supplies rats ‘as needed’ for the training, research and detection programs currently underway. We have breeding couples and successfully trained rats that are taking a ‘work holiday’ also participate in our breeding program. Often additional wild rats are introduced into the breeding program (to scale up productivity and expand the gene pool). In the early days we attempted to use wild-caught rats, but it became clear very quickly that it was not going to work. The rats were aggressive and just could not be socialized. Now we breed the rats and begin socializing them and exposing them to all kinds of sights, sounds, and smells associated with humans as soon as they are being weaned at about eight weeks of age. When the rats are raised in constant contact with people, they are very easy to handle and train.

The HeroRATs in training share kennels with their siblings. The kennels are cleaned regularly and the rats have their own caretaking staff who make sure they are loved, fed, have access to drinking water, and clean living quarters. As other captive-born rats, the HeroRATs enjoy attention, including snuggles and getting taken out for playtime. APOPO has several outside pens where the rats can play freely and get used to a shaded outside environment. 

Routine care includes daily observations of individual animals, weekly health inspection and reports and regular prevention treatments for parasites. Every two weeks a vet visits the training and breeding facility to check on the animals. The rats eat a well-balanced diet and we make sure that they have plenty of time to relax and play in between the training and work sessions.

The majority of our rats live to the end of their expected life-span. None of our rats have ever died as a result of their detection work.

We have been operating in TB and demining for long enough now that some of our rats have reached retirement age, which is typically between 7 and 8 years of age. We allow them to work as long as they are performing well, still feel like working and pass weekly health checks. We notice that the rats are generally enthusiastic to get to work but when they are growing old, some simply don’t feel like getting out of their cage to work anymore. If that happens or when a rat’s performance has declined or it is not healthy enough to continue working, the rat is retired to its home cage. When they are retired to their cages, they receive a healthy diet, are regularly taken out to play and exercise, and continue to receive weekly health checks. If a rat is clearly suffering in its old age or from an untreatable disease, it is humanely euthanized.

The bedding we use in the cages is composed of a variety of non-aromatic hardwoods, no softwoods and definitely no pine and cedar (those are the ones that are known to be dangerous). The rats also have an excellent health record, and respiratory problems are basically nonexistent, so we are confident that the bedding is safe.

The rats are nocturnal and susceptible to developing skin cancer on their ears. We train the rats very early in the morning, apply sunscreen to their ears and tails and stop before the heat of the day can affect them, but they sometimes develop cancer despite our attempts to prevent it. If they do start to develop skin cancer, we apply a salve to reduce any itching or discomfort, but if the problem becomes too serious we take them to the vet where the affected areas are surgically removed under local anesthesia.

Demining is a dangerous job and, sadly, there have been reports of human deminers that are sometimes injured or killed. The rats have a significant advantage over their human demining partners in that a pressure-activated antipersonnel landmines typically require about ten kilograms of pressure to be activated. Our heaviest male rats do not exceed 1.5 kilograms and are, therefore, in no danger of activating this type of landmine. No rat has ever been injured or killed as a result of their detection work.


Our rats work Monday through Friday and play and rest on weekends. During weekday mornings, landmine-detection training at the field takes place between 6:30 am and 8:30 am. Each rat has a short training session of about 20 to 30 minutes and spends the rest of the time waiting in its transportation cage in the shaded with plenty of water. Afterward, the rats are returned to their home cages and the trainers take a tea break at the office. Following tea break, our training team breaks off into smaller teams to handle special activities ranging from maintenance of the training field, animal health and welfare inspections and cage cleaning, to taking rats to the play cage area for daily exercise. The trainers also work in short sessions with our younger Mine Detection rats and TB-detection rats in the respective centers. This often includes training with the youngest rats that are just beginning socialization. After lunch, the trainers wrap up all training activities and prepare for the next day’s work.

o Fortunately, very few rats fail to progress through training, but it does happen. We are dedicated to helping people and saving lives with the rats, so if a rat doesn’t hold promise to contribute operationally, it is transitioned to another training or innovation project or given an early retirement (cared for in its living cage). From our experience, a rat that struggles in one task can be very successful in a different one, so we always try to give the rat a chance to show off its talents and contribute to our humanitarian efforts in another way.

APOPO trains the rats using operant conditioning to shape and reward behavior with a handheld clicker and food rewards. Training begins with socializing the rat to humans when its eyes first open around 4 weeks old. During this socialization process, APOPO’s trainers introduce the baby rats to the sights, sounds, and textures of the human world. The young rats are later weaned from their mothers at 10 weeks and begin clicker training, where they learn to associate a click sound with a food reward – usually a nutritious mix of mashed banana, avocado, and rodent chow. Once the association is established, they are ready to begin training on a target scent of either TNT or TB-positive sputum. Once the rat learns how to signal to its handler that it smells the target odor, training complexity gradually increases to teach the rat to ignore irrelevant odors and to search for targets according to the needs of the operational environment. This training continues until the rat passes a blind test to earn its accreditation.

Normally, the rats are trained about half an hour per day, five days per week. During the weekend, they relax and can feast on an extensive variety of fresh foods.

An exact cost calculation of HeroRAT training can be complicated and depends on relevant operational field experience over a period of time. However, at present we estimate that roughly 9 USD / 9 euros a month covers basic nutrition, daily care, housing and healthcare for one rat. If you factor in all the variables that go into training, evaluation, and care, it costs an average of 8000 USD / 8000 euros to fully train one detection rat.

Routine care includes daily observations of individual animals, weekly health inspection and reports and regular prevention treatments for parasites. HeroRATs receive regularly scheduled visits from the veterinary care team to monitor their health and provide preventative care. The rats eat a well-balanced diet and we make sure that they have plenty of time to relax and play in between the training and work sessions

HeroRATs and their trainers

The African giant pouched rats can live around 8-10 years in captivity. Conservatively, we estimate they can work in the field for up to 6-7 years old.

The breeding couples generally have 2-3 litters each per year, with 1 to 5 pups per litter.

In APOPO’s experience, all staff members who have been employed to train the animals (mostly Tanzanians) have picked up the job quickly. There have been no cases of fear among the trainers or cases of mistreating or rough handling of the rats, behavior that could initiate fear in them. In general, we observe gentle handling and respectful interaction with the animals.

Each rat is assigned to only one trainer or a pair of trainers, so they get to know the animals very well. The rats become familiar with the trainers who get quite attached to them, but all trainers want their rats to pass their final test and get sent to an operational site, so they can save lives.

Rodents are the biggest order of mammals, with more than 2,000 species. Among these, APOPO selected the African giant pouched rat or Cricetomys ansorgei for landmine and TB detection. Though most rats could qualify in terms of sensitivity and intelligence, the Cricetomys has inherent advantages for the detection tasks. African giant pouched rats are: species with a very well developed olfactory capacity, they are a widespread indigenous species, adapted to the local environment, they are able to live eight years and more in captivity, they are relatively large, making them easier to work with and observe, they are calm, docile, and easy to tame and they are cost-efficient to source, feed, breed and maintain.  

The typical healthy weight range for a mature male rat is between 1075g and 1275g and for a female rat between 957g and 1157g. Their average body length is 30-40 cm, excluding the tail of 30 cm. Males are somewhat larger.

The rats have a very sensitive sense of smell. In the wild, rats can communicate over large distances using olfactory cues – and the rat’s nose is constantly active and moving. With its rather poor vision, the Cricetomys depends largely on its sense of smell. The rats can smell TNT in low concentrations and even when it’s buried under the ground (up to 15-20 cm). They can also detect the odor from a distance of about 1 meter. Apart from that, our trained rats are not distracted by other objects or odors as they specifically look for the scent of TNT or TB while ignoring other odors.

The HeroRATs are sociable, clean and intelligent animals and it is very satisfying to see how they respond to our training methods and how hard they work. Many people still think of rats as dirty and stupid animals but they are actually very smart and likeable. The rats all have unique personalities. Some are very energetic, constantly moving and running about, while others are more relaxed. A few of the rats are very vocal, happily squeaking when they are about to be fed, while they are being handled, and sometimes while they are working. The different personality traits rarely prevent a rat from being trained to become a good sniffer rat, but some traits are better suited for certain types work. For example, a strong and energetic rat can usually search a large area of ground for landmines very quickly, but the rat may be more difficult to handle because it will not hold still.

So far, there are no data indicating different performances. Both male and female rats are doing an equally good job.

An important advantage of the rats is their relative independence from a personal handler. Therefore a handler does not necessarily have to follow his own animals to the demining operations. Generally, most rats remain with the same trainer, but show no significant difference in performance when taken over by somebody else in the absence of the trainer. We make sure all new handlers are trained extensively on the specific behavior of individual animals.

All new trainers get an extensive 3 month practical training and we also conduct refresher and ongoing trainings annually, reviewing fundamental topics and introducing new standard operating practices and strategies. All trainers are well informed and our supervisors make sure they handle the rats correctly to avoid startling or any physical harm.

Mine Action

Every year, landmines maim or kill thousands of people – mostly innocent and defenseless civilians. According to the landmine monitor, in 2021, more than 5,500 people were killed or maimed by landmines, most of them were civilians, half of whom were children. Landmines hamper economic development and reconstruction, prevent access to basic needs and services such as water and education, inhibit the repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons, and have other severe consequences that last for years after they have been laid. Detection of landmines is a complicated, dangerous, costly, and time-consuming process and many mine-affected countries lack the resources to properly commit to the task. Meanwhile, these impacted communities have little choice but to live on or nearby landmine-contaminated land. APOPO provides a sustainable, easily sourced, and cost-effective solution for landmine detection. All of APOPO’s operations are in limited resource settings in countries that otherwise remain dependent on expensive imported know-how. APOPO trains local communities to use the HeroRATs to speed up detection, empowering them to tackle mine detection tasks more independently and at lower costs.

Mine detection rats can quickly and accurately detect landmines, significantly speeding up mine clearance efforts and allowing communities to once again use their land productively. The great advantage of rats is that they are fast, thus cheap, to deploy because they only react to the scent of explosive, whereas deminers need to investigate every alert their metal detectors make, be it scrap metal, an old coin, or an actual landmine. APOPO’s HeroRATd can search an area the size of a tennis court in 20 minutes. This would take a human deminer with a metal detector up to four days depending on how much scrap metal is lying around. The HeroRATs can detect both metal and plastic-cased landmines, as they focus on the smell of explosives…making them highly efficient landmine detectors. The HeroRATs are 100% accurate and have never missed a mine.

The rats indicate that they have found a landmine, by scratching at the ground surface. This is marked on a grid and then when the rat is done checking that box is followed up by our manual demining team, who go in to remove the landmine. A deminer first locates the mine and exposes it to a level where it can be clearly identified. If it can be defused and safely removed they go ahead and do this and once all the explosive items are gathered they are destroyed in one go. If not then the exact location is clearly marked with warning signs, and at the end of the day, the supervisor will come back to it and lay a demolition charge next to it. Then they stand off to a safe distance and detonate the explosive, which destroys the mine.

A landmine is defined by the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty as “a munition designed to be placed under, on or near the ground or other surface area and to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person or a vehicle.” Landmines are generally divided into two main groups – anti-personnel and anti-tank mines. The former are designed to explode when a person steps on them or disturbs them. The latter are intended to explode when at least 200 kilograms of pressure is applied—when a car, jeep, truck or tank drives over them for example.

UXO stands for unexploded ordnance and refers to weapons that for some reason failed to detonate as intended and can still explode even decades later. Ordnances are explosive weapons such as bombs, rockets, missiles, mortars and grenades.

Cluster munitions are weapons that can be dropped from the air by planes or fired from the ground. They open in mid-air and release numerous explosive bomblets, or submunitions, over a wide area. Many explode immediately but some don’t.

Explosive remnants of war (ERW) are explosive munitions left behind after a conflict has ended. They include unexploded artillery shells, grenades, mortars, rockets, air-dropped bombs, and cluster munitions.

There are different types of injuries caused by landmines, depending on the type of mine: – Blast landmines are pressure-activated and generally produce injuries from the explosive detonating; – Fragmentation landmines contain shrapnel, which is fired out into victims when the mine detonates; – Bounding fragmentation landmines jump out of the ground to waist level when activated and fire thousands of deadly fragments, in some cases to a radius of around 100 metres. – Anti-vehicle or anti-tank (AT) landmines are larger and take greater pressure to activate (do not fall under the land mine ban treaty). Rip through vehicles and cause lethal injury to drivers and passengers.

Tuberculosis detection

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) ranks as the third leading cause of death from an infectious disease worldwide. There are approximately 10 million new cases of TB per year and 1.6 million people died from TB in 2022. In many developing countries, TB is still detected through microscopy. Due to the limitations of traditional microscopy,  finding active TB infections can be slow and between 20-80% of positives can be missed, depending on the limited resources available and the skills of the technician. APOPO’s detection rats technology is a fast, accurate, and cost-effective screening tool to accelerate effective tuberculosis (TB) control. Constrained resources are a prevalent issue in regions that tend to have a high TB burden and APOPO relieves these countries of their dependence on the expensive and often unavailable TB diagnostics. The animals’ resilience and versatility help to overcome the lack of resources as they are able to adapt and work in any environment under a vast array of conditions. By engaging scent detection technology to identify TB in human sputum samples, APOPO saves lives and enables people to stay productive and support their households, a highly important factor given the poverty levels in Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Tanzania. Moreover, the Detection Rats Technology empowers local communities to tackle dangerous, expensive, and expert-dependent detection tasks more independently, while creating local expertise to curb global humanitarian detection problems

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) ranks as the leading cause of death from an infectious disease worldwide, alongside the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). There are approximately   million new cases of TB per year and 1.5 million people died from TB in 2014. In many developing countries, TB is still detected through microscopy. Although this method can be very precise it’s also slow and between 20-80% of positives can be missed, depending on the limited resources available and the skills of the technician. APOPO’s detection rats technology is a fast, accurate and cost-effective screening tool to accelerate effective tuberculosis (TB) control. Constrained resources are a prevalent issue in regions that tend to have a high TB burden and APOPO relieves these countries of their dependence on the expensive and often unavailable TB diagnostics. The animals’ resilience and versatility help to overcome the lack of resources as they are able to adapt and work in any environment under a vast array of conditions. By engaging scent detection technology to identify TB in human sputum samples, APOPO saves lives and enables people to stay productive and support their households, a highly important factor given the poverty levels in Mozambique and Tanzania. Moreover, the Detection Rats Technology empowers local communities to tackle dangerous, expensive and expert dependent detection tasks more independently, while creating local expertise to curb global humanitarian detection problems.

APOPO’s tuberculosis detection rats are at least as accurate as conventional routine microscopy, but much faster. A tuberculosis detection rat screens a hundred samples in 20 minutes, this would take a lab technician four days. Thereby APOPO has managed to increase the TB case detection rate of the collaborating TB clinics by an average of 40%.

APOPO inactivates the incoming samples using heat treatment in an autoclave. This ensures that the sputum is not contagious for the trainers and the rats.

In order to know what exactly the rats smell, we still need to do a lot of basic research. But, our experience in the landmine detection and a PhD work by one of our staff suggests that the detection rats smell a bouquet of odor which is specific for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This odor comprises of a specific blend of volatile organic compounds which the rats can recognize.

If samples are indicated by the rats we confirm their findings with concentrated smear microscopy. In Tanzania those positives are tracked by our partner MKUTA, which is a local NGO staffed by former TB-patients. TB treatment is provided for free by the government.

At the moment, the detection rats technology is not endorsed yet by the World Health Organization, and therefore National Tuberculosis Programs have not adapted our technology in their TB diagnostic guidelines. Currently, the rats are an excellent add-on test to sputum smear microscopy: at a relatively low cost we increase the case detection of new TB patients with over 40% in collaborating health clinics. Because of the speed and the low cost of the detection rats, this technology has great potential to be the initial screening test when actively screening populations at high risk of TB. We aim to evaluate the performance of the detection rats as a screening test in the near future.

In many developing countries, TB is still detected through microscopy. Although this method can be very precise, (when a sample is diagnosed as “TB positive” by microscopy, it is almost always a true positive) it can also be slow and between 20-80% of positives can be missed, depending on the limited resources available and the skills of the technician. Constrained resources are a prevalent issue in regions that tend to have a high TB burden. Every year, 9 million people globally are infected with tuberculosis (TB) yet about 3 million of those are missed and consequently don’t receive the care they need. Most of the 3 million missed cases of TB are in sub Saharan Africa because of inadequate health systems that are often unable to correctly diagnose TB in their clinics. Furthermore, the high HIV epidemic has aggravated the TB situation in this region, as diagnosing TB among HIV positive individuals is very difficult with microscopy. APOPO’s successful TB program is a step towards addressing the millions of TB cases that go undetected and can lead to death, in Africa and throughout the world.

Innovation (R&D)

The core mission and strategy of our Innovation Team consists of three broad facets that collectively ensure continued success of APOPO’s scent detection rats. First and foremost, our research is designed to support APOPO’s existing operations by exploring alternative training strategies, apparatuses, odor samples, and technologies through basic research investigating which variables impact rat performance and how. Secondly, through collaborations with experts in related fields, we explore novel applications for our rats to put their noses to good work. Finally, we work to contribute to local capacity building efforts and support program longevity by actively engaging in the broader scientific community. It’s important to note that are rats are never hurt in any of our research projects and our results are applied to our operational programs to ensure the rats are happy, healthy, and able to perform their best.

Our projects reflect the diverse nature of the Innovation Team’s mission to support ongoing operations, identify methods for optimizing rat performance (which often includes basic research about the rat’s unique ethology, olfactory abilities, or learning and behavior mechanisms), and develop novel scent detection applications with humanitarian impact. Some new applications we are currently exploring include proof-of-principles that our rats can detect the zoological pathogen Brucella or illegally trafficked wildlife.

In addition to projects that support our ongoing efforts to optimize the rats training and scent detection performance, we plan to continue investigating, other novel applications where the rats can put their noses to work for a good cause. Here are a few categories (with some examples) where the rats might be of benefit: medical (cancers, diabetes); environmental (pipeline corrosion, mold or microbial growth in buildings); contaminated food, water, or soil (salmonella, legionella, fungus); forensics (blood, gunshot residue); customs (tobacco, narcotics, explosives); and agriculture (termites, screwworms, weevils). We are not currently pursuing many of these applications, but we may explore some of them in the future if it looks like the rats would be a low cost, low tech solution.

The majority of our research is nested under psychology behavioral research but others might be better categorized as ethological research or even product development. Regardless of the project, our rats are never hurt. Our projects aim to support our operations at many levels, including by contributing to our knowledge of how our rats learn, and behave, both in nature and in training tasks. Some of our research projects are observational, others involve data mining among large sets of information collected in the operational environment, and others are truly experimental and involve a variety of training procedures and apparatuses. Where possible, we partner with other universities, organizations, and experts. Our goal is to better understand the species so that we can optimize our training procedures and help our rats save more lives.

Our innovation is driven by a small team of highly skilled researchers and scientists from around the globe, including locally recruited rat trainers and students from the Sokoine University of Agriculture. Many of our team members also have roles in other departments such as training, animal welfare, and quality assurance.


Please visit our support page here for ways to support APOPO’s work. You can also help by sharing news and updates about the HeroRATs on your social media pages

To keep up-to-date with all our progress, you can subscribe to our e-newsletter at our website, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter for regular updates. If you have any additional questions, you can always use the contact form or send us an email.

In general APOPO does occasionally offer some limited internships and volunteer opportunities. In keeping with our commitment to enrich the communities where we work, priority placement is given to local students. All APOPO’s activities are part of a research program that allows us to permanently improve what we do and to develop new applications/methodologies. Our Careers page keeps updated with current needs at APOPO.

HeroRAT Adoption

Please visit our Adoption page, choose a HeroRAT, select the type of sponsorship you’d like to support, monthly, yearly recurring, or one-time non-recurring, then select the option to Send as a Gift. You will see an option to enter your gift recipient’s email address and their name. 

When you adopt a HeroRAT, you will receive an email with links to your adoption certificate and a welcome pack with details about your HeroRAT and the country where they work. Each month, you will be sent an email with news and updates about your HeroRAT and their work. 

The cost of adopting a HeroRAT is 9 USD/euros per month. We also offer a one-time fee of 99 USD/euros per year for a yearly recurring adoption or a 119 USD/euros option for a one-time, non-recurring yearly adoption.  

To adopt a HeroRAT and sponsor their work, please visit our Adoption page here.

Please contact us at for a tax receipt.

You should receive your certificate via email within a few minutes of your order. You can also find all your documents by logging into your MyAPOPO account and looking under the tabs Orders and Subscriptions.

To cancel any adoption or recurring charge, log in to your MyAPOPO account, and select the tab Subscriptions. Next to the order number, you will see an option to Cancel.

If you have an adoption or recurring charge that predates August of 2022, please email us at for help canceling your charges.

Word of mouth really helps! Follow APOPO on our social media pages to share news and updates about the work the HeroRATs are doing.


We accept all credit cards issued by Mastercard and Visa as well as the following debits cards: Mastercard, Visa Debit, Visa Delta, Switch, Solo and Maestro. We also accept PayPal. For other options for donating, please check here


APOPO maintains offices in Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia. Contact details for each office are below: Europe – Gratiekapelstraat 12, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium North America – APOPO US, 1133 15th St NW, Suite 1200, Washington, D.C. 20005 Africa – SUA-APOPO Administrative Headquarters and Research and Training Center, Sokoine University of Agriculture Main Campus, Tiba Road, PO Box 3078, Morogoro, Tanzania Asia – APOPO Humanitarian demining Trapeang Ses village, Kouk Chauk commune, Siem Reap Koumai Road , Siem Reap, Cambodia

Please send checks to: 

712 H St NE Washington, DC 20002

Please contact us at if you are sending a check from any other country.

Direct Debit is not available currently but regular payments can be arranged via our payment partner, Stripe.

Yes, just select the donate button and there will be an option on the payment screen to donate in honour.

If you wish to cancel your recurring donation you can do so by logging in to your myapopo account and updating your payment details. Alternatively, you can contact us using the form below to request that we cancel your recurring donation on your behalf.

Donations to APOPO are tax deductible depending on your chosen method of support and jurisdiction. For more information on how to make a tax deductible donation click here.

To discover various other ways to support APOPO please visit our Other Ways to Donate page linked here.

If you would like a certificate to recognise your donation please contact us using the form below and we will create one for you.

Hero Gifts

Hero Gifts are virtual gifts that enable you to make a targeted donation to Landmine Clearance, Tuberculosis Detection, or HeroRAT care. Every gift will help save lives and comes complete with a gift certificate that your friends and family will love.

All of APOPO’s Hero Gifts are provided in digital format meaning there is no negative impact on the environment.

Yes. The online ordering for APOPO is secured via an A+ rated SSL certificate. Payments are taken securely via a third party payment provider (Stripe). All customer information stored is encrypted at rest and hosted via our ISO27001 compliant hosting provider (AWS).

Yes you can. Simply contact us using the form below and include details of your order and what you would like to change or cancel.

Your order will be delivered within minutes direct to your email inbox.

If you haven’t received your order please check your email spam filter to ensure it hasn’t been trapped there. If you can’t find your gift please contact us using the form below.

Please contact us using the form below with details of your problem and we’ll fix it for you.

Once you’ve ordered your item online, you will receive a confirmation email with your gift within minutes. If you haven’t received your order please check your email spam filter to ensure it hasn’t been trapped there. If you can’t find your gift please contact us using the form below.

Contact us using the form below and we’ll do our best to help.

Yes! You can increase the number of items when you view your basket.

Yes! Just create one gift after the other and add it to your basket.

Absolutely! Hero Gifts allow you to target your donation and provide a great memento of your support.

Yes. Please contact us using the form below with your payment type request.

Yes. Please contact us using the form below with your request.

All transactions are debited at the time you submit your order on the online store.

Staying Connected

Yes, you can sign up for our newsletter using the link at the bottom of this page.

Yes, you can find our Facebook page linked here –

Yes, you can find our Twitter linked here –

Yes, you can find our LinkedIn page linked here –

Yes, you can find our YouTube channel linked here –

Yes, you can find our Instagram page linked here –

Yes, we attend events around the world. If you are interested in us attending your event or would like further information or materials in support of your event, please contact us using the form below.

APOPO will provide speakers where possible. If you are interested in us speaking at your event please contact us using the form below.

We have presentations available in English and Dutch, as well as a schools pack. If you would like to receive any educational materials please contact us using the form below.

We promise to manage any complaints with professionalism and to provide a suitable response within a reasonable period of time. If you have a complaint please contact us using the form below or email us at

Supporting APOPO

There are lots of great ways that your company and employees can get involved and support APOPO’s work.  Please send a message to .

Leaving a legacy in your Will to APOPO is a fantastic way of supporting our humanitarian work. You can find more information about leaving a legacy to APOPO under our Leave a Legacy page. If you have a question or would like further information you can contact us  at

Our HeroRAT adoption is an opportunity to support APOPO and follow a particular HeroRAT as they save lives in the field. Every adoption comes with a Welcome Pack, Adoption Certificates, and monthly Impact Updates delivered by email. A donation to APOPO provides a one-off or recurring opportunity to support APOPO but does not include the other materials that are included with the adoption service. Both are great ways to support APOPO that enable us to train rats to save lives.

You can update your payment details by logging in to your MyAPOPO account. If you experience any problems please email us at

There are lots of great ways that you can support APOPO and the HeroRATs. A great place to start is by signing up for our newsletter and following us on social media. As a non-profit donations are always welcome and if you would like to fundraise for us there are opportunities there too. If you want to know more contact us at