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“Well off the beaten track” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage

Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Chingola
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Attraction details
Owner description: Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage Trust is one of the largest chimpanzee reserves in the world and is internationally recognized as such. Chimfunshi is home to 120 chimpanzees, most of them living in 4 large forested enclosures, and as close to their natural environment as possible. Chimfunshi started as a family-run wildlife orphanage in the north of Zambia, and today Chimfunshi is managed by a Board of Trustees to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Sanctuary. Chimfunshi was founded in 1983 when a game ranger brought a badly wounded infant chimpanzee to the cattle ranch of David and Sheila Siddle. The Siddle's nursed that chimp - named "Pal" - back to health, thereby establishing a tradition of care and respect that forms the legacy of the sanctuary. Once word of Pal's recovery spread, the Siddle's were inundated with orphaned chimpanzees. Sheila Siddle quoted "All I know is that I held a dying chimpanzee in my arms that day and it changed my life forever." Although many of the chimpanzees were confiscated from poachers who attempted to smuggle the infants into Zambia for sale as pets, an equally large number were rescued from dilapidated zoos and circuses from all over Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. With 120 chimpanzees, Chimfunshi is now one of the largest chimpanzee sanctuaries in the world. In 2002, an Education Centre was built to provide a facility to teach the youth of Zambia about ecology and wildlife conservation. Local and international students researching group behaviour and ethnic studies also use it. Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage operates entirely on donations and sponsorship, without the financial support provided by our valued Donors, volunteers and visitors, the sanctuary and its inhabitants could not survive. Join us for a day visit or overnight stay and be intrigued by humans' closest relative and learn about our similarities from our knowledgeable Keepers.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
Level Contributor
200 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“Well off the beaten track”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2014

It was an adventure to get there with the narrow dirt track almost completely underwater but it was worth it for the opportunity to witness the work of the staff and volunteers there in caring for these rescued chimpanzees.
We were guided through the different parts of the sanctuary and loved the stories of the resident chimps, their distinct personalities, peculiarities etc.
Despite inquiring beforehand the bushwalk with chimps was not available to us the day we visited (we were given conflicting stories of times and availability) but nevertheless immensely enjoyed our visit.
The roads are quite bad, allow 3 hours to get there from Kitwe (not 2). There were numerous police checks. In wet weather a 4WD would be better.

Visited April 2014
2 Thank hamilstra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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30 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
34 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 January 2014

Not much to visit in Chingola except this and Mine tour... So it was overall a clean and good place...

Visited February 2013
2 Thank Surbhi17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Egypt, New Jersey
Level Contributor
203 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“Good Two Week Experience, But Fell Short Of Expectations”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2013

Volunteering at Chimfunshi and being with the Chimps and their Caretakers was a wonderful experience. The Staff were open, expressive, and easy to be with. At no time did we feel threatened in that environment, even though it is in the bush. Living conditions are clean and adequate. There are separate showers with hot water and out houses.The food is hearty and plentiful.There is no cell phone service, and connection to the internet is very slow and spotty when available. Chimfunshi is a four hour bouncy drive through rutted roads from Ndola.
On the other hand,however, none of the tasks we were assigned,as volunteers were very challenging or creative.
At times, we were actually more in the way than being helpful.
This program could use a serious needs assessment and overhaul.
Volunteers can certainly be used in a much more effective and productive manner, than just being seen as "Cash Cows".

Visited September 2013
5 Thank bronzebabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fermoy, Ireland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Great and interesting visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2013

Had a great trip with a friend to Chimfunshi- worth the full day of hitching and overnight stay in Chingola it took to get there! Unfortunately the weather wasn't on our side, but despite the rain we got to see the chimps and spend time with the volunteers and speak about what they do. My friend and I both have backgrounds in primatology so it was of interest to both of us and we really enjoyed ourselves. The keepers were lovely and very informed, as were all the staff and volunteers. The chimps were fascinating and so different to the old world monkeys I'm used to working with. As someone who has worked in serval primate rehabs though, it's sad for me to think they will never get a second chance (well, for many a first chance, as more have been born in the centre than rescued) of freedom. And I don't think "we can't release them as they might just get poached" is a very good excuse for not attempting to do so. In that case no animals could ever be re-introduced as it's a risk they all face. However, Chimfunshi is definitely the next best thing to the wild for the chimps, and a million times better than some of the places they came from. I definitely recommend it to anyone interested. Didn't participate in the chimp walk, as I feel it's not an appropriate activity for animals which should be being kept as wild as possible. But that's just my opinion :)

Visited March 2013
6 Thank irishkoala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Darwin, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 2013

had a wonderful time at Chimfunshi Chimpanzee Orphanage. The keepers were so very knowledgable and seemed to enjoy talking to us. Hardly anyone else there at the time so we felt priviledged to have their attention at all times. Mrs Siddle is doing a fantastic job but obviously needs help financially so any form of donation is greatley accepted. Thoroughly recommend visiting.

Visited September 2012
3 Thank ChrissieC813
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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