The Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is a project of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT), established in 1998 to offer protection and rehabilitation to orphaned chimpanzees. Uganda’s chimpanzees are a target of poachers that trap them from various forests across the country. They smuggle them out of Uganda to other countries to put them in zoos, use them in circuses, and sold as pets. However many of these captured chimpanzees do not survive outside of their natural habitats. The Uganda Wildlife Authority plays a vital role in rescuing these remarkable primates before they are smuggled out. Also a number of chimpanzees have been rescued from war areas especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo, while others have lost their natural habitats due to massive forest destruction. The Chimpanzee Island Sanctuary provides the rescued chimps a secure home to live out their lives since a return to their natural habitats is not currently possible.
The Ngamba Island is part of the Koome group of islands located on Lake Victoria, 23km southwest of Kampala. The island consists of about 100acres, of which approximately 98 are forested and are inhabited by the chimpanzees. So far the island supports over 40 chimpanzees. Ngamba Island is now open to visitors with the aim to educate them about these great species and the importance of conserving their fragile forest habitat. It is fast becoming a must-visit island to enjoy a memory chimp experience. Watching the chimpanzees play, interact with each others and even watching what you are doing and mimic it is one of the most fascinating experiences you can enjoy in Uganda. What is more thrilling is knowing that by visiting the chimpanzees at Ngamba Island you are directly contributing to the well-being, overall conservation of the species and supporting the local community gives additional meaning to your tour to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Apart from the chimpanzees, Ngamba Island supports a diversity of wildlife including monitor lizards, otters, spiders, bats, a several birds including cattle egrets and cormorants.
The best time to watch the chimpanzees is during their feeding times at 11:00am and 2:30am. You have a clear view of the chimpanzees from the visitor viewing platform. You need to be at the island one hour before the feeding time so that you listen to an informative talk by the sanctuary staff; enjoy the island’s beautiful views, wildlife, and birds. You can also play volleyball, swim in Lake Victoria, kayak and shopping.
We organize two half day tours and a full day tour to the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary. The half day tours target the feeding times. You can choose either the morning session and return after the feeding at 11.00am or afternoon session to witness the feeding at 2.30m. You can also have a full day at the island and enjoy all the two feeding sessions.
These two unique experiences offer a lifetime opportunity to directly interact with the chimpanzees. During the chimpanzee integration experience you walk a small group of young chimps through the forest for one hour. You are accompanied by a well trained sanctuary guide to ensure your safety and offer guidance on the best way to go about with the naughty chimps. This experience is done either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The Caregiver Experience is a 24 hour opportunity to be behind the scenes of the sanctuary and participate in the daily routine like preparing food, cleaning facilities, health checks, and generally learning more about the efforts needed to take care of the chimpanzees.