• Chimpanzee baby, Uganda

Highlights and main attractions of Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Highlights and main attractions of Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Situated just 23 kilometres southeast of Entebbe in Lake Victoria, the Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary was established in 1998 to provide the traveller with a place to observe these intelligent great apes in a natural habitat.  The chimps you are likely to see on this island are orphaned, having been saved from a life of captivity by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Here they are offered care and rehabilitation in the safe-haven of Ngamba; a fenced environment where they can roam freely and are fed twice daily from viewing platforms. 

Chimpanzee close up

what can i expect on the island?

The topography of Ngamba consists mainly of forest, with around 10% grassland in some areas.  Until 1997 the northern section of the island was a local fishing community, but it is nowadays used as a base for the staff and researchers, as well as a viewing platform for visitors where they can watch the chimps during feeding times. The chimps are often playful with strangers, they might walk along holding your hand or try to climb you, making forest walks here extra exhilarating and it is easy to feel you have a connection with them.

The sanctuary educates visitors and local communities about the lives of the chimps and the importance of conserving their natural habitat. There are just over 40 chimps now at the sanctuary, each with its own history, many poached and recovered ill or depressed. Their stories are fascinating and seeing them happily enjoying each others company, within natural surroundings is fantastic. Ngamba Island does support some larger game and birdlife as well and within its 100 acres there are around 120 recorded bird species, as well as crocodiles, hippos and monitor lizards.

During your day here you will get to enjoy a morning or afternoon feeding and informative talk, as well as some walks and perhaps a sunset boat ride and some bird watching. For those who specifically wish to stay longer with the chimpanzees, there is one accommodation option on the island; a basic tented camp offering self-contained tents, all raised on wooden platforms with views to Lake Victoria. Please note that inoculations are required to visit Ngamba Island.

The Island can be visited in a day, accessed via speedboat or a traditional canoe. 


Contact one of our Destination Specialists to start planning your journey to Uganda. Please note we recommend a budget of from £7,000 / $10,000 USD per person for our style of trip to this destination.

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