Where to stay
Chimfunshi does have a new visitors' complex encompassing a well-equipped set of accommodation for 20–30 people at the 'Education Centre'. This includes a kitchen and central boma, plus the house of the project managers; it was all built with a US$250,000 grant from the Norwegian Embassy. It is used mainly for school classes, researchers and youth groups – but they are reluctant to open it to too many individual tourists, with whom they probably wouldn't cope.
Whether Chimfunshi ever finds the enthusiasm to really encourage visitors remains to be seen. Until Chimfunshi has a change of heart with regard to visitors, it's vital that you contact them first to check on the latest situation. If they will see you, then there are three possible places on the farm at which you might be able to stay:The house
Sheila's daughter, and her husband, have a more positive view of tourism than Sheila and David. With lots of advance notice, a couple of visitors can usually stay in their home, although this remains very much a home and not a lodge or a hotel. Note that the house is several kilometres from either the farmhouse or the chimps' enclosures.The campsite
Beside the house is a campsite on the gently sloping bank of grass leading down to the river. You can camp here, or alternatively roll out a sleeping mat in one of a couple of exceedingly basic shelters they call 'ethnic huts'.
However you stay here, it's usually possible to borrow a few pots and pans if you need them, and both the campers and those in the adjacent huts share very old (albeit hot) showers and long-drop toilets.The Education Centre
If private visitors are welcomed to use this centre – then it's by far the best option. Although the buildings are simple modern prefabs, with small dormitory-style rooms, they are all clean. Some rooms have six beds, others two. All the rooms are set around an open courtyard, with a large braai area, communal kitchens, and separate modern shower and toilet buildings.