Despite evidence that killing of Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) in South-East Asia is a major threat to the species, few researchers and non-governmental conservationists have addressed it in management and research, and there is virtually no implementation of anti-killing strategies. In large parts of the Congo Basin, Central Africa, instead, illegal killing of great apes is acknowledged to be their largest threat, and many conservation strategies have been used to reduce killing pressure. However, since these strategies have not been subject to systematic and comprehensive review, it remains unclear which of them have been successful and why. Knowledge of the success, failure, and practices of common conservation strategies to manage great ape killing is critical to ensure adaptive conservation management in the Congo Basin. Understanding the Congo context also facilitates simultaneously highlighting great ape killing in Borneo and suggesting solutions to manage orangutan killing. Here, we compile and analyze the available literature on great ape conservation strategies for reducing killing rates in the Congo Basin. Through a systematic literature review of 198 publications, we find that the most widely employed conservation strategies in the Congo Basin are legislation and law enforcement, protected area management, community-based conservation, alternatives to bushmeat consumption and trade, ecotourism, education, and capacity building. Despite lack of rigorous post-intervention evaluation of conservation impact, we derive several recommendations for addressing the orangutan killing issue in Borneo. A critical lesson, widely applicable to developing countries for conservationists and not limited to Congo Basin realities, is the need for rigorous post-intervention evaluations compared to pre-intervention baselines and over appropriate time frames.