Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Ngamba Island is a chimpanzee sanctuary : is nestled South-East of Entebbe city, near the Equator on Lake Victoria in Uganda. The sanctuary was established in October 1998 to attend or care for both orphaned and rescued chimpanzees all over East Africa. Many of the chimpanzees were rescued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) from poachers and they are victims of illegal poaching for pet trade and bush meat. Ngamba Island is 100 acres (40 ha) of the rainforest hosting over 49 orphaned chimpanzees surrounded by the peaceful waters of Lake Victoria. The Island also offers an excellent secondary forest that provides habitat for the chimpanzees and other wildlife species including fish eagles, spiders, otters, fruit bats and monitor lizards. The Island harbors a wide variety of natural wildlife and provides a diversity of natural foods for the chimpanzees. All this is managed by a non-profit organization, the chimpanzee sanctuary and wildlife conservation Trust (CSWCT).
What to do at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Guided Forest Walk
Overnight visitors at Ngamba island chimpanzee sanctuary can participate in guided forest walks. Here, being part of the team involves going out with the chimpanzee infants, giving them support through holding them as they get introduction to the older individuals and also showing them different parts of the forest to get them learn, that it is safe and better place for them to be. While here, you will be in the company of several chimpanzees ranging from 5-9 years.
Those of you who would like to enjoy a swim in the waters surrounding the sanctuary, you will have a chance to swim before continuing to the mainland. If interested in swimming, the Equator is the right point and you will be allowed a couple of minutes to enjoy the waters before proceeding with the journey.
Ngamba Island offers exclusive sunset cruises for overnight guests. You will enjoy the unique view of fishermen casting their nets, fishing villages as they wind down the day along with viewing the beautiful sceneries of the sunset. The thrill comes from know that you are crossing the globe from the northern and southern hemisphere as you sip away on cold drinks in a stable of natural bliss.
The Island offers either half or full day fishing excursions on Lake Victoria with UK certified fishing guides. If you love fish, then you won’t want to miss the opportunity to catch a Nile Perch on this iconic Lake.
You will have a stopover at the Uganda- Equator to observe your boat being thrust by forces from both the North Pole and South Pole, Making it almost stationary in one place.
Day care Giver at Ngamba Island
You will get exciting opportunity to not only view the chimpanzees feeding but to also participate in preparing their food and feeding them. You can assist the staff with any activities happening at the sanctuary that day like; preparing the holding areas for the chimpanzee, administrative work, medical checkups and research and over all monitoring of individual chimpanzees. This experience helps to raise funds for the sanctuary and your donation goes directly to the feeding of the 49 chimpanzees living at the sanctuary.
Ngamba Island holds out volunteering programs to make a difference in the lives of the 49 chimpanzees through volunteering in a variety of tasks like; preparing their food, feeding them, community work, behavior observation, cleaning and record keeping. Volunteering programs include
- Behavioral Observation: Volunteers will work alongside caregivers at the sanctuary, studying chimpanzee social dynamics around distribution and collecting data.
- Behavioral Enrichment: Volunteers will be involved in creating permanent or temporary behavioral enrichment structures as well as organize temporary challenges in order to further the behavioral enrichment of the chimpanzees.
- Infrastructure improvements: Volunteers will help with whatever current enrichment projects are taking place during their placement and may include tasks such as building picnic sites and shaded viewing shelters or putting up information boards to educate visitors.
- Daily Caregiver Schedule: preparation of chimp foods, clean chimp holding facility, recording chimp data and health monitoring.
- Morning viewing between 9.00am- 1.00pm
- Afternoon viewing 12.45pm- 5.00pm
How to get to Ngamba Island
Using a speedboat travel from the dock in Entebbe to Ngamba Island is approximately 45-50 minutes, using a traditional motorized canoe the commonest and cheapest takes nearly 90 minutes and travelling by Air the quickest takes approximately 20 minutes from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip.