Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is an amazing island located on Lake Victoria that acts as a sanctuary for the orphaned chimpanzees to give them life. Thinking about setting off on a chimpanzee safari in Uganda, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary should not miss a spot on your travel plan. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is one of the most accessible chimpanzee sanctuaries in Uganda. Visitors from all over the world travel to Uganda and start their chimpanzee safari from Ngamba Island. Ngaamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is located on Ngamba Island which is about 23km from Entebbe on Lake Victoria. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is actually the first or nearby display of Uganda’s chimpanzees before you embark on chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest National Park

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary was established in 1998 by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) as a home to orphaned Chimpanzees that are victims of bushmeat by poachers and animal pets and all the sanctuary aspects are taken care of by Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation (CSWCT). Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is home to about 49 orphaned chimpanzees rescued from all different parts of Uganda. Ngamba Island has over 100 acres of land and about 95 consists of a tropical forest that making it a good spot for the primates. The chimpanzees are taken care of in terms of food such as fruits, mangoes, pawpaw, bananas, pineapples plus cassava and sweet potatoes, medical attention and security. The female chimpanzees are under birth control to prevent them from getting pregnant.

 Visiting the Chimpanzees

Mainly the chimpanzees are fed during the morning and afternoon hours and you watching this feeding session is such a magical moment at the Island. The trips are well organized letting you view the chimpanzees getting fed and getting a photography moment with them. The team at Ngamba Island constructed a raised platform that is away from the forest and an electric fence separates the two sides that is the side of the chimpanzees and the tourist side. The platform gives a panoramic view of the chimpanzees that come out of the forest to get food from the caretakers. They normally make a sound that is thrilling as they are excited during feeding time. The older and strong chimpanzees always seem to give commands to the younger ones and the females to earn themselves respect. It is magically exciting to see the chimpanzees catch food before it touches the ground. Additionally, if visitors want to engage in the activity of feeding them, it is allowed and highly possible and all you have to do is pay an extra fee from the original one to do this. 

Other activities at Ngamba Island

  • Day trips: Besides the chimpanzee viewing and feeding, in the course of the day you will get to do some other activities like bird watching, viewing the neighboring fishing village as you can interact with them by buying and tasting different examples of fish such as tilapia and the famous Nile Perch, swimming and having other wildlife encounters on Ngamba Island plus also nature walks.
  • Ngamba Forest Trail: The Ngamba tropical forest which is grounded on a 95-acre land enables the walks through the forest that lets you have an adventures moment when you experience a thrilling diverse eco-system and the different wildlife such as the fruit bats which are over 75,000 recorded and the chimpanzee trails in the forest. The forest harbors about 120 bird species giving a chance to the bird lovers to have a glimpse of these wonderful birds in the forest. During your movement, you get to see monitor lizards that keep moving around on the grounds of the forest floor.
  • Overnight Excursions:  An overnight excursion of about 1 to 3 days can be carried out at the Ngamba Island. Visitors get to live in an East African style tented camp overlooking the lake and can accommodate two people per tent. The meals are always taken care of by the experienced and friendly camp staff. You get to have continental dishes and the local dishes like the fish served at the campsite. Breakfast is also provided including tea and coffee as well as there is quite a selection of wines that can be accessed by a self-service basis.
  • The sunset cruises: At Ngamba Island, the party just starts as the sun sets and the sky is displaying glowing golden-like rays from the sun because you get to view the village fishermen casting their nets into the fresh waters of Lake Victoria. During the cruises, you get that magical feeling of you crossing from the southern to the northern part of the globe.
  • Caregiver for the day: Visitors that love to engage and interact with the chimpanzees get an opportunity at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary through the caregiver program. Visitors under this program get to assist the staff at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary with their daily checkups on the chimps through feeding them and physically getting into contact with them is allowed under strict supervision. This program aims at giving you the experience of looking after the orphaned chimpanzees at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Access to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Travelers can access Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary by either water or air. By water, you will need to book a boat that will transport you to Ngamba Island. You can find the boats at the waterfront pier or Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) and a motorized canoe takes about 1 hour and 30 mins to reach Ngamba Island. Those that prefer using air transport can access the charter planes from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airstrip that will transport you to Ngamba Island.


There are number of accommodation facilities that are available to visitors that are will be visiting Ngamba Island and range from luxury, mid-range and basic facilities which are pocket friendly such as 2Friends Beach Hotel, Best Western Premier Garden Hotel Entebbe, Lake Victoria, Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel, Imperial Resort Beach, and 4 Penguins.


The experience at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is so magical that no one has to miss it on their travel plan. The Island is filled with pleasing and thrilling places that will not get you disappointed when you reach this home of primates. The fresh waters of Lake Victoria and Ngamba Island’s strategic location will guarantee you an adventurous and breathtaking holiday during your chimpanzee safari in Uganda. 

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