Day 371 Zambia : Chimfunshi - Lusaka

Day 371 Zambia

Trip Distance 466km (277m) Total Distance 4687km(2776m)
Road Condition 95% tar 5% dirt  
Time to travel 7 hrs 1hr  
Cost of diesel ZKw6297 (£0.88)    
Fringilla Farm S15 00.274 E28 09.516 ZKw50000 (£7.17) - Clean ablutions, hot showers, friendly management and an amazing on-site butchery.  Well worth a visit!

Well, as you can see we have set off again, the decision to not stay was an easy one.  Despite our misgivings over the state of the orphanage we still wanted to visit the chimpanzees.  Sylvia had a chat to us before we left and it seems that the charity has lost money in recent years due to allowing the chimps to breed.  From a total of 80 rescued chimps there are now 140 in captivity.  I just don't agree.  Despite Sylvia's view that they are in a natural environment doing natural things, I can't see that point of view at all.  The chimps that are rescued have come in from circuses, zoos, private residences and so on.   They are in the sanctuary for life and cannot be re-introduced into the wild so are kept in permanent captivitya_SG100094.  Also Zambia is not a natural habitat for them anyway so re-introduction in that area wouldn't work.  This is not a natural environment where females and males are seperated for feeding.  They should not be allowed to breed.  Please don't get me wrong, I think that the effort of providing a sanctuary to rescued chimpanzees is amazing and a worthwhile cause to support (hence our visit even with the 1000km round trip) but the management seems to have lost their way.  Sylvia is quite open about the fact the funding has been lost due to them allowing the breeding and that an attempt was made to use contraception in the females but that they couldn't maintain this because they ran out of money!!!  Come on, get real.  These chimps are being rescued without a view to re-introduction.  They should be sterilised on entering the sanctuary.  New chimps are always needing rescue, the sanctuary will still be able to do this and provide a great home for them.  Their areas to roam are large and enclosed by extensive modern electric fences providing them a wonderful environment.  Food is available for the chimpanzees to forage but because this is not a natural environment, additional fruits and supplements are providing to keep them healthy and fit a_SG100093 .  But surely someone, somewhere can address these issues with a little detachment.  I have real sympathy for Sheila and Sylvia being out there on their own fighting the good fight but I think they have lost some direction, albeit their intentions are pure.

Feeling depressed and unfulfilled in every way by the visit, we left after 45 minutes and despite the late hour of 11am hit the long road for Lusaka again.

As night drew in and with tired,dry eyes and feeling decidedly frazzled we thought that a look in at Fringilla Farm Campsite 60km north of Lusaka would be a good idea.  It turned out to be a great idea.  We pulled in and and were shown the way to the parking area, electricity switched on so that we could hook up, the donkey fired up so that we had loads of piping hot water and "don't worry we'll sort money out tomorrow" was just what we needed to soothe us.

A quick supper of macaroni cheese and a hot shower and we were tucked up and asleep before the cows stopped mooing.