Chimpanzee Sanctuary & Wildlife Orphan Care, Zambia

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.

Winner of’s Innovative New Program Award 2013


  • 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’
  • Invent fun behavioural enrichment activities for specific chimpanzees
  • Observe chimpanzees and learn about their behavior and group dynamics
  • Experience life in the African bush, living in a very rustic, beautiful setting in the heart of 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


NOTE: this project is suitable for volunteers of 18 years and above.

Volunteer Reviews

“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. 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 has made me grow personally and I have learned a lot that I can use in my daily life but it is difficult to explain it – you will just have to come & experience it.” Laerke, Denmark

“I can’t explain the privilege, and joy, of participating as a volunteer at the Chimfunshi Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Zambia, Africa. 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. 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. 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).” Melanie Burren, USA

Dates & Rates

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
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.

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 Chimpanzee Sanctuary is based right next to the Kafue River – a beautifully remote location that offers you a totally unfiltered, authentic African experience.

The nearest town to Chimfunshi is Chingola, where you will have the chance to do some souvenir shopping and absorb the local culture.

Your African home-away-from-home is a rustic cottage set in beautiful gardens amongst the wilderness. The cottage is very comfortable and has a tiny carbon footprint, with solar paneling and locally grown firewood. It has two twin rooms and an 8 bed dorm, with a large veranda where you can read a book, catch up with emails or friends back home, or just relax after a hard day’s work with the chimps.

The living/dining area is under a thatched lapa where we gather for meals, enjoy movie nights, play cards and hang out. There is also a fire pit where we share stories, toast marshmallows and sit under the night’s sky.

This part of Africa allows us to offer one of the best volunteer opportunities in Africa, so whether you’re on a short trip, 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.

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:

Chimpanzee vet
July 13, 2018

Life as a vet in the African bush – an interview with Chimfunshi’s Thalita Calvi

Thalita Calvi, the resident vet at Chimfunshi Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Zambia, gives us an exclusive interview about the ins and outs of life caring for rescued chimpanzees and other exotic animals.
July 4, 2018

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May 7, 2018

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Zambia is one of Africa's best kept secrets. As one of the safest countries in the world, we're surprised it's not on your travel list. Check out the top 10 reasons to give Zambia a visit.
more project stories
Project Brochure
How to Make Your Impact at Chimfunshi
Chimfunshi Newsletter Q1 2018
Project Achievements from 2017

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