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Chimpanzee Sanctuary & Wildlife Orphan Care

Northern Zambia

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Chimpanzee Sanctuary & Wildlife Orphan Care how would you like us to contact you?
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Get involved in the day-to-day running of one of the largest sanctuaries for chimpanzees in the world, Chimfunshi, once called ‘the most wonderful place on earth’ by Jane Goodall. Care for the rescued chimpanzees while living in the true African wilderness of northern Zambia!

Sam 3128
  • Slot in to the day-to-day running of one of the largest chimpanzee sanctuaries in the world

  • Interact with chimpanzees on a personal level while out on ‘bush walks’

  • Play an important role in the rehabilitation of endangered chimpanzees

  • Invent fun behavioural enrichment activities and create individual care plans for specific chimpanzees

  • Capture data on chimpanzee interaction and behaviour

  • Experience life in the African bush, living in a very rustic - yet beautiful - setting in the heart of the Africa

  • Work alongside local Zambians, immersing yourself in true Zambian culture

  • Enjoy sundowners, canoeing, picnics, barbeques, and some amazing stargazing on the banks of the Kafue River!

  • Make friends for life with other international volunteers along the way!

Quick Facts Quick Facts
Minimum Stay 2 Weeks
Impacts Animal Care & Veterinary
Destination Destination
Zambia
Priced From Priced From
£ 1102| € 1427| US$ 1947| AU$ 2360|
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Dates & rates

Priced From
£ 1102| € 1427| US$ 1947| AU$ 2360|

Detailed Project Pricing
2 Weeks USD 1962 GBP 1073 EUR 1394 AUD 2360
4 Weeks USD 3020 GBP 1650 EUR 2145 AUD 3630
6 Weeks USD 4318 GBP 2360 EUR 3067 AUD 5191
8 Weeks USD 5314 GBP 2904 EUR 3775 AUD 6389
10 Weeks USD 6311 GBP 3449 EUR 4483 AUD 7587
12 Weeks USD 7307 GBP 3993 EUR 5191 AUD 8785
2017 - 2 weeks USD 1947 GBP 1102 EUR 1427 AUD 2360
2017 - 4 weeks USD 2995 GBP 1695 EUR 2195 AUD 3630
2017 - 6 weeks USD 4283 GBP 2424 EUR 3139 AUD 5191
2017 - 8 weeks USD 5271 GBP 2983 EUR 3863 AUD 6389
2017 - 10 weeks USD 6260 GBP 3543 EUR 4588 AUD 7587
2017 - 12 weeks USD 7248 GBP 4102 EUR 5312 AUD 8785

Project Start Dates

2016: 7 November | 21 November

2017: January 16 & 30 | February 13 & 27 | March 13 & 27 | April 10 & 24 | May 8 & 22 |

June 5 & 19 | July 3, 17 & 31 | August 14 & 28 | September 11 & 25 | October 9 & 23 | November 6 & 20 | December 4 (2 weeks only)

THIS PROJECT CLOSES FROM 18 DEC 2017 – 15 JAN 2018

Our Prices Include:

  • All airport collection and returns. An African Impact team member will be waiting to meet you
  • All accommodation and food, including 3 meals a day
  • 24 hour support on every project and at the volunteer accommodation by onsite staff
  • Tea, coffee and filtered water

Our Prices Exclude:

  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Flights to your chosen destination
  • Weekend trips and other non-project activities
  • Alcohol. Please note this is not allowed during day time activities
  • Laundry

How your Volunteer Fee is Used:

Volunteer tourism, or ‘voluntourism’ as it is popularly known, is loosely defined as a holiday in which you give back to the land you are visiting; contributing to either community development or conservation. But it’s so much more than that. Voluntourism encompasses a new trend of responsible tourism, where travelers are making informed and responsible choices and planning trips which don’t negatively affect the country or communities they are visiting. When volunteering, it is critical that travelers choose a volunteer organisation or charity with a proven ethos and philosophy around sustainable and responsible tourism practices. This applies both to their work with local communities, wildlife and our volunteers themselves.

African Impact is proud to have a 10 year track record of facilitating responsible volunteer programs in Africa, providing 24 hour support and guidance for volunteers and offering on-going support to communities in need. Understandably, these operations cost money to run and this is where the volunteer fee comes in.

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Work & Impacts

Chimfunshi gives refuge to over 120 chimps rescued from the bush meat trade, circuses, zoos and bars. In partnership with Chimfunshi, African Impact created this volunteer project to help care for and conserve these rescued chimps. This sanctuary is one of the few places on earth that rescued chimpanzees can live out their lives in safety, and there are endless things which need doing to ensure this is continued. The volunteer work you will be involved in includes:

Bush walks

Bush Walks

Chimfunshi is one of the only places in the world where you can take part in bush walks with chimpanzees - a once in a lifetime opportunity to interact with chimpanzees on a very personal level in their natural habitat! 

Behavioural enrichment

Behavioural Enrichment

An important part of your work will be creating behavioural enrichment activities that provide extra stimulation for the chimpanzees. These activities are essential to keeping the chimpanzees physically and mentally active, the more creative you are the better! You will also assist in collecting data that better helps the sanctuary care for their chimps. 

Farming and gardening

Farming and Gardening

Chimfunshi has its own farm dedicated to growing crops, fruit and vegetables to feed the entire chimpanzee sanctuary, which can be a big task. We are in desperate need of helping hands to assist us with fruit picking and harvesting, but there is almost always a picnic at the end to reward you for your hard work!

Food preparation

Food Preparation

To compensate for the chimpanzees large appetites, you will be involved in food preperation whenever needed. As well as delivering the fruit and veggies you picked from the farm, you will also learn how the locals make nshima, a local staple diet that the chimps also love!  

Chimpanzee research  awareness

Chimpanzee Research & Awareness

There are often international researchers based at Chimfunshi working on understanding how the chimpanzee groups differ in their social dynamics.  You will assist in research activities by monitoring the chimps, collating data, taking photographs and gathering history to create identikits. This data can also be used for our social media. All this plays a vital role in raising awareness for chimpanzees and the dangers they face; and to promote the Chimfunshi Wildlife Sanctuary.

Buildingrefurbishment  enclosure cleaning

Building/Refurbishment & Enclosure Cleaning

As a volunteer you’ll get your hands dirty building thatched shelters or enclosures, mend fences and improve infrastructure at Chimfunshi, which helps both tourism and the chimpanzees themselves. You will also be involved in cleaning some of the enclosures from time-to-time. You’re guaranteed to get a great workout from these types of tasks so prepare to get in shape!

Conservation education

Conservation Education

In 2002, an Education Centre was built to provide a facility to teach the youth in the area about ecology and wildlife conservation. It is also used by local and international students researching group behaviour and ethnic studies. Volunteers often assist by teaching conservation, English and adult literacy as well as facilitating kids clubs which involve arts and crafts, reading, games and sports.

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Fun & Travel

Things to do in your spare time

The lapa

The Lapa

The living/dining area is under a thatched lapa where we eat our meals and also where we have regular movies nights with popcorn. There is also a fire pit where we share stories and toast marshmallows.

The flood plain

The Flood Plain

There is a flood plain nearby where volunteers play cricket, volleyball and soccer with the local children. It’s also a great place to enjoy a sundowner, barbeque, and some top quality stargazing!

Visits to local villages

Visits to Local Villages

The closest town to Chimfunshi is Chingola, approx. 2 hours away, has a delicious Indian restaurant we visit each week and we also travel there to purchase their own personal items plus any snacks or drinks. Every 3rd week our volunteers travel with our team to the town of Kitwe, where they have the opportunity to browse and buy curios/souvenirs at the markets again indulge in some yummy local cuisine. Muchinshi is the closest village, a 45 minute drive, where volunteers have will have the opportunity to mix with the locals and immerse themselves in Zambian culture!

Canoe trips  safari

Canoe Trips & Safari

During the dry season (May – November), you can canoe and fish on the Kafue river and we regulary take trips up the river to have picnics and a siesta on the banks of the river. 

Victoria falls  livingstone

Victoria Falls & Livingstone

If you would like to travel onto Livingstone to combine ourLions, Conservation & Community Project, our Elephant Research & Conservation Project or to see the world famous Victoria Falls – one of the 7 Natural Wonders of The World after your placement, we can help you arrange it. Just speak to your Destination Manager.  

It's your ticket to adventure, Zambezi boat cruises, river safaris, river fishing safaris and canoe trips are all ways in which you can encounter these great waters. You can also ride quad bike trails or view the scenery from the air in a microlight or helicopter.

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About Chimfunshi

About chimfunshi

About the Destination

Zambia is one of the last true wildernesses left in Africa, teeming with incredible National Parks, like Kafue and South Luangwa. Chimfunshi is based right next to the Kafue River – a beautifully remote location! In this rural setting, this project offers you a totally unfiltered, authentic African experience. You’ll stay in a rustic cottage set in beautiful gardens amongst the wilderness.

The cottage is basic but comfortable and boasts a tiny carbon footprint, with solar paneling and locally grown firewood. It has two twin rooms and an 8 bed dorm, with a large verandah where you can read a book, catch up with emails or friends back home or just relax in a hammock after a hard days work with the chimps!

The living/dining area is under a thatched lapa where we gather for meals, enjoy movie nights, play cards, etc. There is also a fire pit where we share stories and toast marshmallows. 

The nearest town is Chingola where you will have the chance to do some souvenir shopping, catch up with Wi-Fi and absorb the local culture. 

This part of Africa allows us to offer one of the best volunteer opportunities in Africa, and whether you’re on a gap year, career break or enjoying your retirement you’ll find a true purpose working with chimpanzees in Zambia.

If you would like to travel onto Livingstone to combine our Lions, Conservation & Community Project, our Elephant Research & Conservation Project or to see the world famous Victoria Falls – one of the 7 Natural Wonders of The World after your placement, we can help you arrange it. Just speak to your Destination Manager.  

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Feedback from our volunteers

Melanie Burren, USA

privilege, and joy, of participating as a volunteer at the Chimfunshi Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Zambia, Africa. To begin with, the staff (Jack, the volunteer coordinator, and Rosie, the Project Manager – who were both also our amazing chefs) were a complete delight. I fell in love with my fellow volunteers immediately - even though I was the only “old lady” of the bunch, they didn’t hesitate to take me in as part of the group, and it was a never ending riot being among them. The days were long, and the work was sometimes dirty and hard…but it was never anything that a warm shower, a great meal, and a glass (or two) of wine couldn’t take care of. There were resident dogs that I adored (I kept trying to steal them from Rosie so they would sleep with me at night – but alas, their devotions were to her…). My favorite dog, to everyone’s surprise, was Timmy – a little white scruffy (ok, totally mangy), stone deaf, ancient dog (15yo) that barked nonstop, ALL night long when the female dogs were in heat. I had to give the little guy credit – maybe he couldn’t DO anything with the ladies, but it wasn’t for lack of desire!

Then, or course, there was the main attraction…the Chimps! What amazing creatures (actually, they are so human-like, I don’t even like to call them creatures)! You had to love their humorous, playful antics, as well as their laid-back demeanor as they sprawled out lazily like a tourist on a beach. And you certainly had to respect their power and their strength. Feeding time was always quite comical (and also quite deafening) – watching them each try and hoard nshima balls or their other favorite foods.

We all fell in love with the keepers at Enclosures one and two, soaking in their stories about chimp behavior, as well as about their own culture. And who can forget about the woman who made this all happen…Sheila Siddle. LOVE that woman!

The month ended far too quickly, and saying goodbye was difficult; but I will never forget my time with the chimps and the people at Chimfunshi. In a million years I would’ve never dreamed I would be honored with this experience (but I know now, that dreams really can come true)."

Alison Hush, Australia

What an amazing time I have had here at Chimfunshi! Since the moment I arrived I have felt very welcome and safe which is very comforting when travelling alone. I have really enjoyed working closely with the chimps and feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity. The program is quite diverse with an array of fantastic activities such as bush walking with the chimps, preparing their food, farming, teaching at the school and plenty more. After my short two weeks here I personally feel I have made a difference to the chimpanzees lives and the community here at Chimfunshi. There is so much more to be done so if you’re interested, take that step and get involved! I will never forget my time here at Chimfunshi and will cherish these memories forever.

Madi Shiller-Chan, Australia

My time here at Chimfunshi has been such a memorable experience, being constantly surrounded by Chimpanzees and such a vibrant community has been absolutely amazing. By having this combination of rewarding hard-work and animal research has just made this volunteer program greatly ideal for me.  When I was first introduced to Chimfunshi society and Zambian countryside, I was greeted by enthusiastically waving children; this kindness and friendliness remained throughout my entire stay at Chimfunshi.  As I personally want to become a Zoologist later on in life, being able to be involved in various Chimpanzee rehabilitation activities was so beneficial for me.  What I loved so much about this program was that there were challenging moments, such as farming in the African sun, or teaching children with nearly no knowledge of the English language, yet these challenges always proved such a high reward, each time I felt so privileged and proud to be benefiting such an amazing community and such amazing animals.

Thank you so much African Impact for making these brilliant experiences possible.

Helen, Sweden

My time here has been an experience that made my life richer and I hope the work I have done have made a difference to the chimps. I have enjoyed the lifestyle that is so different from home and the people here are so friendly and always have a smile on their face. I will have this time in my heart forever.

Laerke, Denmark

My time at Chimfunshi has just been running away. It is sad because I love being here. I feel like I know the chimps now, their different personalities and their names. When I first came there was four other volunteers and of course Jack (our Volunteer Coordinator) and it was funny. We were laughing and experienced some cool things like seeing the sunrise, canoeing, trying the mokorro (dug out tree trunk) and so much more. But my last two weeks have been with Rosie and it has been so funny. We managed to water all the trees at the farm and I feel so cool because Jack will never believe it.

We have been on some really funny adventures and being here alone with no other volunteers can have some advantages if you want to learn more about the chimps and know the keepers a little bit better it is the chance if you are just open minded. We have been to Muchinshi with some of the keepers and had a really great evening, more time with the sweet Jewel, and just knowing the keepers better and when they know you better they will give you some more responsibility. I have now been here for a month and I feel like it is my Zambian extra big family. I have really loved being here and this experience had made my grow personally and I have learned a lot I can use in my daily life but it is difficult to explain it - you will just have to come & experience it.

Prisilia, Mexico

"Being a volunteer at Chimfunshi it’s been one of the most incredible experiences I've ever lived. Since I arrived I felt very excited, to get to know a completely different country, people who have the same desire to volunteer as me, to give a little of what this life has given us ... it’s just been an unforgettable experience.The chimpanzees, the nature, the other volunteers and even bats and watering at the farm makes this place something unique.I would change nothing about this amazing experience to be a volunteer at Chimfunshi sanctuary."

Sabrine Jesperson, Denmark

After two weeks as a volunteer at Chimfunshi I have experienced more than I could ever imagine. At Chimfunshi they manage to capture every possible activity into a short amount of time so that the volunteers don’t miss out on anything. It is therefore impossible to describe all the amazing work I have already been a part off. However I will say that I have joined a group of amazing people who have devoted their life to making a safe and secure environment for the chimpanzees.

Every day we join the keepers with food preparation, enclosure cleaning, boundary patrol, Behaviour Enrichment, infrastructure improvements and so much more all in the benefit of these incredible animals. When we do Behaviour Enrichment, we enrich the real clever chimpanzees, it is clear that our work is making a difference for the chimpanzees at Chimfunshi.

As a volunteer I have also enjoyed the experience of meeting other volunteers from all over the world. With so many people gathered at one place there is never a boring moment. The evenings at Chimfunshi are filled with fun, games and a few drinks now and then. One of my particularly favourite evenings is going out to the flood plain to watch the stars, which cannot be compared to any other place in the world or when we all gather for movie nights and of course there is always popcorn.

This program has given me so much, and I strongly recommend it to everyone. I will leave this place knowing that I have made an impact on something worth supporting. Joining this amazing group of hard working people at Chimfunshi has indeed been a life experience, which I will never forget.

I am so glad I decided to join this programme if I hadn't I'd have missed an amazing experience.

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Brochures

Project Brochure

Quarterly Achievements and Statistics Report

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Chimpanzee Sanctuary & Wildlife Orphan Care

Northern Zambia

how would you like us to contact you?
via phone
Full Name*
Email*
Phone Number
*Required
start a live chat instead

Get involved in the day-to-day running of one of the largest sanctuaries for chimpanzees in the world, Chimfunshi, once called ‘the most wonderful place on earth’ by Jane Goodall. Care for the rescued chimpanzees while living in the true African wilderness of northern Zambia!

Sam 3128
  • Slot in to the day-to-day running of one of the largest chimpanzee sanctuaries in the world

  • Interact with chimpanzees on a personal level while out on ‘bush walks’

  • Play an important role in the rehabilitation of endangered chimpanzees

  • Invent fun behavioural enrichment activities and create individual care plans for specific chimpanzees

  • Capture data on chimpanzee interaction and behaviour

  • Experience life in the African bush, living in a very rustic - yet beautiful - setting in the heart of the Africa

  • Work alongside local Zambians, immersing yourself in true Zambian culture

  • Enjoy sundowners, canoeing, picnics, barbeques, and some amazing stargazing on the banks of the Kafue River!

  • Make friends for life with other international volunteers along the way!

Quick Facts Quick Facts
Minimum Stay 2 Weeks
Impacts Animal Care & Veterinary
Destination Destination
Zambia
Priced From Priced From
£ 1102| € 1427| US$ 1947| AU$ 2360|
Back to Top

Dates & rates

Priced From
£ 1102| € 1427| US$ 1947| AU$ 2360|

Detailed Project Pricing
2 Weeks USD 1962 GBP 1073 EUR 1394 AUD 2360
4 Weeks USD 3020 GBP 1650 EUR 2145 AUD 3630
6 Weeks USD 4318 GBP 2360 EUR 3067 AUD 5191
8 Weeks USD 5314 GBP 2904 EUR 3775 AUD 6389
10 Weeks USD 6311 GBP 3449 EUR 4483 AUD 7587
12 Weeks USD 7307 GBP 3993 EUR 5191 AUD 8785
2017 - 2 weeks USD 1947 GBP 1102 EUR 1427 AUD 2360
2017 - 4 weeks USD 2995 GBP 1695 EUR 2195 AUD 3630
2017 - 6 weeks USD 4283 GBP 2424 EUR 3139 AUD 5191
2017 - 8 weeks USD 5271 GBP 2983 EUR 3863 AUD 6389
2017 - 10 weeks USD 6260 GBP 3543 EUR 4588 AUD 7587
2017 - 12 weeks USD 7248 GBP 4102 EUR 5312 AUD 8785

Project Start Dates

2016: 7 November | 21 November

2017: January 16 & 30 | February 13 & 27 | March 13 & 27 | April 10 & 24 | May 8 & 22 |

June 5 & 19 | July 3, 17 & 31 | August 14 & 28 | September 11 & 25 | October 9 & 23 | November 6 & 20 | December 4 (2 weeks only)

THIS PROJECT CLOSES FROM 18 DEC 2017 – 15 JAN 2018

Our Prices Include:

  • All airport collection and returns. An African Impact team member will be waiting to meet you
  • All accommodation and food, including 3 meals a day
  • 24 hour support on every project and at the volunteer accommodation by onsite staff
  • Tea, coffee and filtered water

Our Prices Exclude:

  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Flights to your chosen destination
  • Weekend trips and other non-project activities
  • Alcohol. Please note this is not allowed during day time activities
  • Laundry

How your Volunteer Fee is Used:

Volunteer tourism, or ‘voluntourism’ as it is popularly known, is loosely defined as a holiday in which you give back to the land you are visiting; contributing to either community development or conservation. But it’s so much more than that. Voluntourism encompasses a new trend of responsible tourism, where travelers are making informed and responsible choices and planning trips which don’t negatively affect the country or communities they are visiting. When volunteering, it is critical that travelers choose a volunteer organisation or charity with a proven ethos and philosophy around sustainable and responsible tourism practices. This applies both to their work with local communities, wildlife and our volunteers themselves.

African Impact is proud to have a 10 year track record of facilitating responsible volunteer programs in Africa, providing 24 hour support and guidance for volunteers and offering on-going support to communities in need. Understandably, these operations cost money to run and this is where the volunteer fee comes in.

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Work & Impacts

Chimfunshi gives refuge to over 120 chimps rescued from the bush meat trade, circuses, zoos and bars. In partnership with Chimfunshi, African Impact created this volunteer project to help care for and conserve these rescued chimps. This sanctuary is one of the few places on earth that rescued chimpanzees can live out their lives in safety, and there are endless things which need doing to ensure this is continued. The volunteer work you will be involved in includes:

Bush walks

Bush Walks

Chimfunshi is one of the only places in the world where you can take part in bush walks with chimpanzees - a once in a lifetime opportunity to interact with chimpanzees on a very personal level in their natural habitat! 

Behavioural enrichment

Behavioural Enrichment

An important part of your work will be creating behavioural enrichment activities that provide extra stimulation for the chimpanzees. These activities are essential to keeping the chimpanzees physically and mentally active, the more creative you are the better! You will also assist in collecting data that better helps the sanctuary care for their chimps. 

Farming and gardening

Farming and Gardening

Chimfunshi has its own farm dedicated to growing crops, fruit and vegetables to feed the entire chimpanzee sanctuary, which can be a big task. We are in desperate need of helping hands to assist us with fruit picking and harvesting, but there is almost always a picnic at the end to reward you for your hard work!

Food preparation

Food Preparation

To compensate for the chimpanzees large appetites, you will be involved in food preperation whenever needed. As well as delivering the fruit and veggies you picked from the farm, you will also learn how the locals make nshima, a local staple diet that the chimps also love!  

Chimpanzee research  awareness

Chimpanzee Research & Awareness

There are often international researchers based at Chimfunshi working on understanding how the chimpanzee groups differ in their social dynamics.  You will assist in research activities by monitoring the chimps, collating data, taking photographs and gathering history to create identikits. This data can also be used for our social media. All this plays a vital role in raising awareness for chimpanzees and the dangers they face; and to promote the Chimfunshi Wildlife Sanctuary.

Buildingrefurbishment  enclosure cleaning

Building/Refurbishment & Enclosure Cleaning

As a volunteer you’ll get your hands dirty building thatched shelters or enclosures, mend fences and improve infrastructure at Chimfunshi, which helps both tourism and the chimpanzees themselves. You will also be involved in cleaning some of the enclosures from time-to-time. You’re guaranteed to get a great workout from these types of tasks so prepare to get in shape!

Conservation education

Conservation Education

In 2002, an Education Centre was built to provide a facility to teach the youth in the area about ecology and wildlife conservation. It is also used by local and international students researching group behaviour and ethnic studies. Volunteers often assist by teaching conservation, English and adult literacy as well as facilitating kids clubs which involve arts and crafts, reading, games and sports.

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Fun & Travel

Things to do in your spare time

The lapa

The Lapa

The living/dining area is under a thatched lapa where we eat our meals and also where we have regular movies nights with popcorn. There is also a fire pit where we share stories and toast marshmallows.

The flood plain

The Flood Plain

There is a flood plain nearby where volunteers play cricket, volleyball and soccer with the local children. It’s also a great place to enjoy a sundowner, barbeque, and some top quality stargazing!

Visits to local villages

Visits to Local Villages

The closest town to Chimfunshi is Chingola, approx. 2 hours away, has a delicious Indian restaurant we visit each week and we also travel there to purchase their own personal items plus any snacks or drinks. Every 3rd week our volunteers travel with our team to the town of Kitwe, where they have the opportunity to browse and buy curios/souvenirs at the markets again indulge in some yummy local cuisine. Muchinshi is the closest village, a 45 minute drive, where volunteers have will have the opportunity to mix with the locals and immerse themselves in Zambian culture!

Canoe trips  safari

Canoe Trips & Safari

During the dry season (May – November), you can canoe and fish on the Kafue river and we regulary take trips up the river to have picnics and a siesta on the banks of the river. 

Victoria falls  livingstone

Victoria Falls & Livingstone

If you would like to travel onto Livingstone to combine ourLions, Conservation & Community Project, our Elephant Research & Conservation Project or to see the world famous Victoria Falls – one of the 7 Natural Wonders of The World after your placement, we can help you arrange it. Just speak to your Destination Manager.  

It's your ticket to adventure, Zambezi boat cruises, river safaris, river fishing safaris and canoe trips are all ways in which you can encounter these great waters. You can also ride quad bike trails or view the scenery from the air in a microlight or helicopter.

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About Chimfunshi

About chimfunshi

About the Destination

Zambia is one of the last true wildernesses left in Africa, teeming with incredible National Parks, like Kafue and South Luangwa. Chimfunshi is based right next to the Kafue River – a beautifully remote location! In this rural setting, this project offers you a totally unfiltered, authentic African experience. You’ll stay in a rustic cottage set in beautiful gardens amongst the wilderness.

The cottage is basic but comfortable and boasts a tiny carbon footprint, with solar paneling and locally grown firewood. It has two twin rooms and an 8 bed dorm, with a large verandah where you can read a book, catch up with emails or friends back home or just relax in a hammock after a hard days work with the chimps!

The living/dining area is under a thatched lapa where we gather for meals, enjoy movie nights, play cards, etc. There is also a fire pit where we share stories and toast marshmallows. 

The nearest town is Chingola where you will have the chance to do some souvenir shopping, catch up with Wi-Fi and absorb the local culture. 

This part of Africa allows us to offer one of the best volunteer opportunities in Africa, and whether you’re on a gap year, career break or enjoying your retirement you’ll find a true purpose working with chimpanzees in Zambia.

If you would like to travel onto Livingstone to combine our Lions, Conservation & Community Project, our Elephant Research & Conservation Project or to see the world famous Victoria Falls – one of the 7 Natural Wonders of The World after your placement, we can help you arrange it. Just speak to your Destination Manager.  

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Feedback from our volunteers

Melanie Burren, USA

privilege, and joy, of participating as a volunteer at the Chimfunshi Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Zambia, Africa. To begin with, the staff (Jack, the volunteer coordinator, and Rosie, the Project Manager – who were both also our amazing chefs) were a complete delight. I fell in love with my fellow volunteers immediately - even though I was the only “old lady” of the bunch, they didn’t hesitate to take me in as part of the group, and it was a never ending riot being among them. The days were long, and the work was sometimes dirty and hard…but it was never anything that a warm shower, a great meal, and a glass (or two) of wine couldn’t take care of. There were resident dogs that I adored (I kept trying to steal them from Rosie so they would sleep with me at night – but alas, their devotions were to her…). My favorite dog, to everyone’s surprise, was Timmy – a little white scruffy (ok, totally mangy), stone deaf, ancient dog (15yo) that barked nonstop, ALL night long when the female dogs were in heat. I had to give the little guy credit – maybe he couldn’t DO anything with the ladies, but it wasn’t for lack of desire!

Then, or course, there was the main attraction…the Chimps! What amazing creatures (actually, they are so human-like, I don’t even like to call them creatures)! You had to love their humorous, playful antics, as well as their laid-back demeanor as they sprawled out lazily like a tourist on a beach. And you certainly had to respect their power and their strength. Feeding time was always quite comical (and also quite deafening) – watching them each try and hoard nshima balls or their other favorite foods.

We all fell in love with the keepers at Enclosures one and two, soaking in their stories about chimp behavior, as well as about their own culture. And who can forget about the woman who made this all happen…Sheila Siddle. LOVE that woman!

The month ended far too quickly, and saying goodbye was difficult; but I will never forget my time with the chimps and the people at Chimfunshi. In a million years I would’ve never dreamed I would be honored with this experience (but I know now, that dreams really can come true)."

Alison Hush, Australia

What an amazing time I have had here at Chimfunshi! Since the moment I arrived I have felt very welcome and safe which is very comforting when travelling alone. I have really enjoyed working closely with the chimps and feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity. The program is quite diverse with an array of fantastic activities such as bush walking with the chimps, preparing their food, farming, teaching at the school and plenty more. After my short two weeks here I personally feel I have made a difference to the chimpanzees lives and the community here at Chimfunshi. There is so much more to be done so if you’re interested, take that step and get involved! I will never forget my time here at Chimfunshi and will cherish these memories forever.

Madi Shiller-Chan, Australia

My time here at Chimfunshi has been such a memorable experience, being constantly surrounded by Chimpanzees and such a vibrant community has been absolutely amazing. By having this combination of rewarding hard-work and animal research has just made this volunteer program greatly ideal for me.  When I was first introduced to Chimfunshi society and Zambian countryside, I was greeted by enthusiastically waving children; this kindness and friendliness remained throughout my entire stay at Chimfunshi.  As I personally want to become a Zoologist later on in life, being able to be involved in various Chimpanzee rehabilitation activities was so beneficial for me.  What I loved so much about this program was that there were challenging moments, such as farming in the African sun, or teaching children with nearly no knowledge of the English language, yet these challenges always proved such a high reward, each time I felt so privileged and proud to be benefiting such an amazing community and such amazing animals.

Thank you so much African Impact for making these brilliant experiences possible.

Helen, Sweden

My time here has been an experience that made my life richer and I hope the work I have done have made a difference to the chimps. I have enjoyed the lifestyle that is so different from home and the people here are so friendly and always have a smile on their face. I will have this time in my heart forever.

Laerke, Denmark

My time at Chimfunshi has just been running away. It is sad because I love being here. I feel like I know the chimps now, their different personalities and their names. When I first came there was four other volunteers and of course Jack (our Volunteer Coordinator) and it was funny. We were laughing and experienced some cool things like seeing the sunrise, canoeing, trying the mokorro (dug out tree trunk) and so much more. But my last two weeks have been with Rosie and it has been so funny. We managed to water all the trees at the farm and I feel so cool because Jack will never believe it.

We have been on some really funny adventures and being here alone with no other volunteers can have some advantages if you want to learn more about the chimps and know the keepers a little bit better it is the chance if you are just open minded. We have been to Muchinshi with some of the keepers and had a really great evening, more time with the sweet Jewel, and just knowing the keepers better and when they know you better they will give you some more responsibility. I have now been here for a month and I feel like it is my Zambian extra big family. I have really loved being here and this experience had made my grow personally and I have learned a lot I can use in my daily life but it is difficult to explain it - you will just have to come & experience it.

Prisilia, Mexico

"Being a volunteer at Chimfunshi it’s been one of the most incredible experiences I've ever lived. Since I arrived I felt very excited, to get to know a completely different country, people who have the same desire to volunteer as me, to give a little of what this life has given us ... it’s just been an unforgettable experience.The chimpanzees, the nature, the other volunteers and even bats and watering at the farm makes this place something unique.I would change nothing about this amazing experience to be a volunteer at Chimfunshi sanctuary."

Sabrine Jesperson, Denmark

After two weeks as a volunteer at Chimfunshi I have experienced more than I could ever imagine. At Chimfunshi they manage to capture every possible activity into a short amount of time so that the volunteers don’t miss out on anything. It is therefore impossible to describe all the amazing work I have already been a part off. However I will say that I have joined a group of amazing people who have devoted their life to making a safe and secure environment for the chimpanzees.

Every day we join the keepers with food preparation, enclosure cleaning, boundary patrol, Behaviour Enrichment, infrastructure improvements and so much more all in the benefit of these incredible animals. When we do Behaviour Enrichment, we enrich the real clever chimpanzees, it is clear that our work is making a difference for the chimpanzees at Chimfunshi.

As a volunteer I have also enjoyed the experience of meeting other volunteers from all over the world. With so many people gathered at one place there is never a boring moment. The evenings at Chimfunshi are filled with fun, games and a few drinks now and then. One of my particularly favourite evenings is going out to the flood plain to watch the stars, which cannot be compared to any other place in the world or when we all gather for movie nights and of course there is always popcorn.

This program has given me so much, and I strongly recommend it to everyone. I will leave this place knowing that I have made an impact on something worth supporting. Joining this amazing group of hard working people at Chimfunshi has indeed been a life experience, which I will never forget.

I am so glad I decided to join this programme if I hadn't I'd have missed an amazing experience.

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Brochures

Project Brochure

Quarterly Achievements and Statistics Report

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