Travel

Chimpanzee orphanage in Africa: what's your experience?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 24th, 2019 1:08 pm
Tags:
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 19, 2007
2139 posts
781 upvotes

Chimpanzee orphanage in Africa: what's your experience?

We are going to be in Africa for a month and one of the things that I want to do is volunteer at a chimp orphanage. Any suggestions of where and what specific place based on your guys experience?

We were looking at doing a trek through the jungles to hang out with the gorillas but the price is really steep
4 replies
Deal Fanatic
May 14, 2009
6434 posts
1223 upvotes
Which country are you going to be in: Rwanda, Uganda, or DRC?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 5, 2004
1209 posts
360 upvotes
Toronto
Seks wrote: We are going to be in Africa for a month and one of the things that I want to do is volunteer at a chimp orphanage. Any suggestions of where and what specific place based on your guys experience?

We were looking at doing a trek through the jungles to hang out with the gorillas but the price is really steep
There are some orphanages in Uganda, I remember seeing a bunch when I was there, but zoos are not my thing and I did not visit as reviews weren't favorable due to small cages. For mountain gorillas, Uganda is probably the easiest and safest. The permit fee( it's been about 5 years so I don't remember) is around $800. I was still worth it as you get to see the gorillas in their natural habitat and no zoos or watching it on TV can compare the experience and the rush you get.
You can see some of my pictures from that trip: https://www.blog.dmitrimarkine.com/ugan ... otography/

I can perhaps also suggest to look into volunteering at a school, church, or any other places that makes you deal with locals. Random people I've met in Uganda were very nice and kind, without any expectations. You can really make a difference in their lives by spending some time with them.
My issue with all of these volunteer organizations is that they are all sort of for-profit. They charge you on average $2000-10,000 and then you have to work for free + pay for any and all expenses, your flight,etc. It is not that easy to find a place where you can just arrive, pay for your own expenses and volunteer. They want you to pay in order to pretty much work there, which makes very little sense. I have a feeling any of those orphanages will be charging you about $2500usd/week... just so you can clean up the poop. In this case imho, it's better to just spend it by helping the locals or even just visiting as a tourist and then donating the money to those who are in need directly as it will have a much greater impact.
It's a complicated topic and I am not trying to be negative and just telling you that it's not always black/white

Good luck, you will absolutely love it no matter what you will decide.
Dmitri Markine Wedding Photography: My 500pix||My Flickr||My Pinterest||My Instagram
Sr. Member
Oct 22, 2016
636 posts
538 upvotes
Comox Valley
demi2004 wrote: Good luck, you will absolutely love it no matter what you will decide.
Amazing photos, thanks for sharing. Looks like a trip of a lifetime.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Apr 26, 2004
12076 posts
2221 upvotes
Mississauga
I wouldn't really recommend "voluntourism" at all unless you have very specific skills that are in need. Otherwise, you're basically taking a local's potential job away from them so you can have fun for a few weeks. There are plenty of other ways to give to a community: stay at a local establishment, eat local, buy local, go on a tour with a local-based company, etc.

Top