Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage Trust is the largest chimpanzee reserve in the world and is internationally recognized as such. Chimfunshi is home to 120 chimpanzees, mostof them living in 4 large forested enclosures, and as close to their natural environment as possible.
Join us for a day visit or overnight stay and be intrigued by humans’ closest relative; learn about our similarities from our knowledgeable Keepers.
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’swere inundated with orphaned chimpanzees.
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.
Chimfunshi offers a variety of sponsorship programs to suit your interests, all of which will bring great benefits to the environments, wildlife and the communities within which we work. You can:
- Sponsor a Chimpanzee – as a sponsor, you will receive a sponsorship certificate, a photo of your chimpanzee and the Chimfunshi newsletter.
- Support our community school and help provide a better education to our next generation.
- Help us build a healthcare clinic and improve access to basic health care to this isolated community.
- We need to build new enclosures to be able to continue rescuing chimpanzees from inhumane circumstances and illegal activities such as the bush meat and smuggling trades, which sadly still exists today.