If you missed the full story or bookmarked it for later, and want the quick overview on how Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage and Chimpanzee Sanctuary came into being, this handy timeline gives you the 4-1-1.
1983 David & Sheila Siddle received the first baby chimp, nicknamed ‘Pal’ who was confiscated from smugglers by their son-in-law who was a game ranger at the time. The Siddles quickly earned a reputation as being chimp rescuers.
1988 Chimfunshi becomes home to 19 chimpanzees. The first bush walk with staff and chimps took place.
1989 First enclosure built (7 acre walled enclosure)
1995 Chimfunshi receives the Jane Goodall Award.
1998 Neighbouring farm purchased for project area
2000 First 500 acre enclosure built for chimp release at project area
2000 Chimfunshi receives the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global 500 Award and a special commendation from the Nedbank / Mail & Guardian Green Trust Awards
2001 Siddles granted MBEs by Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace
2002 Education Centre built to teach the youth of Zambia about ecology and wildlife conservation
2003 Sheila Siddle publishes here biography, In My Family Tree, co-written by Doug Cress (foreword by Jane Goodall)
2006 Last of the 4 big enclosures completed at project area
2006 Project area handed over to newly formed Chimfunshi Trust to manage. Siddles retain ownership of orphanage area.
2008 Neighbouring cattle ranch bought by Stephan Louis – Chimfunshi Trust board member – to grow food for chimpanzees
2012 African Impact project team arrive and volunteers first arrive
2013 African Impact’s volunteer project at Chimfunshi wins GoAbroad Award for Innovative New Program
2014 Today Chimfunshi is home and refuge to over 130 chimpanzees
Please feel free to apply for this project by searching in the top right corner (magnifying glass) and selecting “apply” to experience Chimfunshi.