Ngamba Island is set like a gem as the centrepiece of Lake Victoria. It is 23 Km southwest of Entebbe, Uganda. It is 100 acres in size whereby 95 is forested and for use by Chimpanzees whereas 5 is for Human activities. Ngamba Island is one of those must-visit undiscovered areas for Uganda safaris.
The Pan Troglodytes are thought to be about 175,000 remaining in the wild but their numbers are reducing at an alarming rate as their habitats are being destroyed and the “bush meat” trade increases.
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary was established in October 1998 to care for these orphaned Chimpanzees – rescued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority from poachers with no chance of survival back to the wild. Chimpanzees taken from the wild endure incredible hardship and terror. Once in the safety of the sanctuary, they need a great deal of care and attention-both physically and emotionally. The Sanctuary provides the Chimpanzee s with food, medical care, security, and, perhaps most importantly, the social companionship of other Chimpanzees- the very things they lack as victims of the pet trade. This sanctuary is definitely one of the biggest centerpiece in the Uganda chimpanzee trekking industry.
In 1998, they were about 19 Chimpanzees. Today, they are 49 in total. The Sanctuary aims to educate visitors, local communities and the general public about this remarkable species and the importance of conserving their fragile forest habitat. By visiting the Sanctuary, for a day or overnight stay, the fees paid go directly towards helping cover the costs of ensuring the well-being of the chimpanzees of the sanctuary.
All trips depart from Entebbe at waterfront beach where safe parking is available and pre-trip briefing is conducted before proceeding on foot to the pier. If you wish to watch the feeding of the primates at the viewing platform, then you need to set off from Waterfront beach in Entebbe an hour before 11:00am and 2.30pm to be at the island in time for the activity. The guides will wow you with stories as you enjoy the picturesque views, vast array of birdlife, natural wildlife such as Monitor lizards. Other activities include Volleyball, Kayaking and island shopping.
Ngamba Island has a fully stocked bar and restaurant area that brings forth the winery taste and culinary experience to life. For overnight visitors, four tented camps overlooking the second largest fresh water body in the world are always set to offer comfort and the serenity. The tented camps have full sized twin beds, ensuite bathroom and solar lighting.
The Chimpanzee wake up calls at sunrise are as memorable as the huge number of bats often seen flying out of the forest into the sunset. You may like to take out one of the kayaks around the islands bays searching for wildlife such as Monitor lizards, otters and abundant bird life ( over 130 recorded species) or go to a local fishing village.
Ngamba offers an opportunity for photography, fishing trips exclusively arranged on Lake Victoria, hiking, community cultural experience, boat rides,retreats, student camping and sunset cruises. It is also important to take part in the Care giving experience which offers an amazing opportunity to spend time with the Chimpanzee. 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.For details visit www.ngambaislands.org
Ngamba Island uses speed boats of varying sizes and local motorised boats, accommodating groups of up to 25 passengers on board. The boats are licenced by Ministry of Works and Transport and are operated by well trained skippers. There are life jackets, rain coats, fire extinguisher s and a radio handset on board for any emergencies.