Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) as well as time-resolved and time-integrated photoluminescence (PL) are used to characterize the defect centers in ZnGeP2 bulk crystals. The samples, as-grown, electron-irradiated and annealed, reveal a strong intensity dependence of the VZn-correlated EPR-transitions. Photo-EPR experiments show that this intensity behavior is mainly caused by a recharging of the VZn centers owing to the preparation induced shift of the Fermi-level. The luminescence spectra show a broad infrared emission with peak position at 1.23 eV that exhibits features of classical donor-acceptor recombination. The hyperbolic decay characteristics, investigated in energy range from 1.2 eV up to 1.5eV, suggest that this broad emission band is related to one energetic recombination center. This recombination is interpreted to be between donor-acceptor states related to residual disorder on the cation sublattice that is retained in metastable equilibrium during the formation of the chalcopyrite structure. The emission decay behavior in the energy range from 1.2 eV up to 1.6 eV is characterized by two hyperbolic time constants, and explained as the super-composition of the decays from the broad emission center peaked at 1.2 eV and an additional donor-acceptor recombination centers at 1.4 eV.