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Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary | A sanctuary for abandoned chimpanzees, Ngamba Island is a primate haven. The chimps can be fed, watched, and interacted with by visitors. A day tour or overnight stay offers a special perspective on the complex social dynamics of the troop.

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary In Uganda

Introduction to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is tucked away in the Ssese Islands, near the northwest corner of Lake Victoria. The refuge was founded in 1998 to save captured and orphaned chimpanzees from the unlawful bushmeat and pet trades that were taking place throughout East Africa.

49 chimpanzees currently reside at the sanctuary and are allowed to freely roam the 95 acres of dense forest that encompass the island. The objective is to assist them in overcoming their initial trauma and ultimately thriving throughout their lengthy lifespans of up to 60 years.

The chimpanzees are free to spend the night in the wild or go back to their nighttime enclosures, where they can build nests and eat.

What to Expect.

You can learn more about the sanctuary’s history, conservation activities, and residents in the visitors center when you first arrive at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

A chimpanzee caregiver will then give you a private tour after which you may watch a feeding from a raised deck on the enclosure’s edge (full day visitors will observe two feedings).

If you join the feeding team, you can throw food to the chimpanzees and watch as they eagerly compete for your attention while all vying for the tasty fruit you are holding. On the island, lunch is served and often costs between $10 and $15.

If you spend the night at the Ngamba Eco Lodge, you may watch the chimpanzees build their nests, cruise the serene waters of Lake Victoria at sunset, and search for some of the other creatures and wildlife that live on the island and in the area of the lake.

A night’s stay also allows for more one-on-one interaction with the chimpanzees because you can participate in the program that challenges the animals’ critical thinking.


The sanctuary provides one- and four-week volunteer programs that allow you to actively support the chimpanzees’ conservation efforts.

By cooking their meals, feeding them, cleaning their sleeping quarters, participating in enrichment activities, and observing their behavior, you will obtain practical experience while volunteering.

Both the Ngamba Eco Lodge and their volunteer dorms are options for lodging.

Where to Stay.

Ngamba Eco lodge: After a day spent with the chimpanzees, Ngamba Eco Lodge is the ideal place to rest. It is located on the water’s edge with unobstructed views of Lake Victoria.

They provide five single standard tents, ten double standard camping tents, and four permanent luxury cottages.

A private terrace, power, baths, and hot water for showers are all offered as standard features. Share tales around the campfire in the evening as you take in a freshly prepared three-course dinner and the distant chimp hooping’s. Listen to Lake Victoria’s thundering waves while you drift off to sleep.

When to go.

The Ssese Islands are best visited from late June to October, when it’s cooler and drier.

During these months, there is a lot less likelihood of rain interfering with the plans, and there are more opportunities to see wildlife on the island.

Getting there.

The chimpanzee sanctuary arranges the transports, which take 45 minutes by speedboat from Nakiwogo Dock to Ngamba Island or 90 minutes by motorized canoe. The cost for one person ranges from $336 to $73 per person when there are eight or more persons.

The main island in the Ssese Islands, Buggala, may be reached via ferry from Entebbe for less money than Ngamba, which can be reached via lake taxi.

Lake taxis connect the Ssese Islands if you are already staying there, and your lodging can organize transportation to Ngamba Island.

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