Ngamba Island

Ngamba Island – A Safe Home For Chimpanzees

Located on Lake Victoria – Africa’s largest lake, Ngamba Island Sanctuary is one of the leading primate sanctuaries in all of Africa. The sanctuary was started in 1998 by Dr. Jane Goodall and a small group of pioneering leaders who initially rescued 13 chimpanzees.

The sanctuary is situated about 23 kilometers by boat south-east of Entebbe near the Equator in Uganda, the island consists of about 100 acres of which 95 acres is forested and separated from the human settlement by an electric fence.

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is recognized as one of the leading primate sanctuaries in all of Africa, currently the sanctuary supports over 50 chimpanzees and is one of the best places to see chimpanzees during your Uganda Safaris.

All chimpanzees at Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary have been rescued, some from poachers and others were ill or mistreated. None of them can ever go back to the wilds.

However, in the sanctuary they are cared for, allowed to roam freely, fed twice daily and provided with medical care and love. Their stories are fascinating and seeing them up – close as they happily enjoy each other’s company within a semi-natural environment is fantastic.

The Target

The Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is managed by the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trusy (CSWCT), this association includes 7 partner organizations including the Jane Goodall Institute. The aim of the sanctuary is to create a safe environment for the affected chimpanzees, provide visitors with an education experience and support local villages by providing employment. Visitors from abroad are welcome for day excursions, but also for several days of volunteer work.

Activities on Ngamba Island

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary offers guests a special insight into the lives of the chimpanzees, other excursions are possible depending on the length of your stay on the island and all of them revolve around chimpanzees.

Chimpanzee viewing

This excursion can be booked for half a day or a full day, a beautiful boat cruise across Lake Victoria will take you to the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary. After arrival, the staff at Ngamba will take you to the visitor center, be given an introduction about the sanctuary, its history, the inhabitants of the center and their experiences in the wild. After the introduction, you will be given a tour of the grounds and you can watch them feeding the chimpanzees from an overview platform.

Caregiver For A Day Experience

The unique experience at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary costs around US$ 200 per person per day, if you have an opportunity to experience a day in the life of a Chimpanzee Caregiver by being Caregivers yourself.

As a chimp caregiver, you will get the exciting chance to not only view the chimpanzee feeding, but to participate in preparing their food and feeding them. You can assist the staff at Ngamba Island with any activities happening at the sanctuary that day, activities to take park in include

  • Medical checkups
  • Research and monitoring
  • Preparing the holding areas for the chimps
  • Administrative work whereby you can help to type in the chimp stories
  • And any other activities that your skills and experience can be used for

This program aims at helping our visitors understand and appreciate what it takes to look after our orphaned cousins on Ngamba Island as well as raising funds for their wellbeing.

The staff will work with you to show just what is involved in taking care of these animals, how different they are individually and what makes them so special. As a caregiver, you get to meet and interact with all the chimps on the island but Direct Contact with them is not guaranteed but possible under close supervision of a resident Caregiver.

Lake Victoria Boat Cruise

If you are staying overnight at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, it is possible to take sunset boat cruise on Lake Victoria in the evening. You will then see the fishermen “wake up” and set their nets for the night, while you cruise over the equator you will enjoy the setting sun and a refreshing drink.

Spend The Night on Ngamba Island

For tourists who want to explore Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary even more, spend an overnight at Ngamba Island Eco-lodge is the best choice. Not only will you experience several feeding moments, be able to help prepare the nests for the chimpanzees and you will learn to look critically at the behavior of these Great Apes.

All this of course will be done under the supervision of one of the employees at Ngamba, you will also visit the local fishing villages around the island, go fishing and enjoy the evening around the crackling campfire which is an unforgettable experience.

Volunteering At Ngamba Island

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary offers one and four-week volunteering programs where you can directly contribute to the conservation efforts of the chimpanzees. While volunteering, you will have an opportunity to gain hands-on experience by preparing their chimpanzee food, feeding them, cleaning their sleeping area and taking part in enrichment activities and behavioral observations.

During your volunteering, you can stay in the Sanctuary’s Volunteer dormitories or in the Ngamba Eco Lodge.

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