Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary; Ngamba island is one of the Koome group of Islands found in Lake Victoria and others include Bulago island, Nsazi, Kiimi and Damba islands. Ngamba is located about 23 kilometers south east of Entebbe and covers an area of about 100 acres. 90% of the island is forested with an electric fence that separates it from the human camp.
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary was established in 1998 and is under the management of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust with the aim of providing a safe home to chimpanzees, taking care of the environment and other wildlife on the island, providing educative visitor experiences as well as benefitting the communities around the island.
The sanctuary is home to 50 orphaned and rescued chimpanzees which are unable to return or survive in their natural habitat. The chimps roam freely and feed within the forest and come out to feed two times every day – that is the morning and afternoon feeding. The chimpanzees at Ngamba have the choice to either spend a night in the forest or return to the overnight enclosures but idea of an evening meal is always enough motivation for them to return.
Activities at Ngamba Island include the feeding experience and the caregiver experience which is currently suspended because of the pandemic. There are two feeding experiences; morning between 10 and 11AM and afternoon between 3 and 4Pm where visitors observe the chimpanzees from a raised visitor platform and take park in feeding the chimps.
You can opt for a half day or full day experience where you take part in both feeding sessions. The chimpanzees at Ngamba have detailed profiles including each individual’s behavior and character.
A team of 22 people including veterinarians, caregivers and island staff take care of the chimpanzees here.
Transportation to Ngamba island is by either a speed boat which takes 50 minutes or a motorized canoe which takes 90 minutes. All trips to the island depart from the pier at Entebbe in the morning at 9AM and at 12:45PM in the afternoon.
Ngamba Island prices depend on the number of people of the boat and as to whether you are spending a full day, half day or staying overnight. The more the people, the less the cost.
3 Days Ngamba Island Itinerary.
Day 1: Arrival & Entebbe tour
Following arrival at Entebbe airport, our company representative together with your guide will be waiting to pick you up and transfer to the pier for a boat to Ngamba Island for the Chimpanzee feeding experience. Upon arrival at the sanctuary, you will be directed to the visitor’s center where you will be given an introduction to the project, its history, residents and their plight.
You will receive an educational orientation by a chimpanzee caregiver and view a feeding of the chimpanzees from the visitors’ raised platform area along the edge of the sanctuary fence. Enjoy lunch and the evening feeding experience. Dinner and overnight at Ngamba Island Tented Camp.
Day 2: Full Day – Ngamba Island
Breakfast will be served and spend the day at the Island with the chimpanzees; you may opt for the caregiver experience or attend morning and evening feeding sessions. Other optional activities include Ngamba Trail, Chimpanzee feeding and visiting the fishing villages.
You will then enjoy the sunset cruise and experience the thrill that comes from knowing that you are crossing the globe from the southern to the northern hemisphere on the equator as you sip away on cold drinks in a romantic bliss! Dinner and overnight as at Ngamba Island Tented Camp as above.
Day 3: Entebbe and Departure
Enjoy breakfast and get on the boat back to the pier where your driver will be waiting to transfer you to Entebbe airport for your onward flight.
Kindly note that Ngamba Island Tented Camp is the only accommodation available on the Island so prior planning is really vital!