Ngamba Island

Have a Close-Up Chimpanzee Encounter - and make a difference in their lives!

Every year in Africa approximately 5,000 chimpanzees are killed by poachers for the bush meat trade. As a by-product of this illegal practice, dozens of infant chimpanzees are taken alive from the forest, bound for the pet trade throughout the world.

About Ngamba Island

Ngamba Island is a project of the Chimpanzees Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT), and was established in 1998 to care for the orphaned chimpanzees confiscated from poachers by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and other partners.

The island is part of the Koome group of islands in Lake Victoria and is approximately 23 km south-east of Entebbe. Ngamba island consists of approximately 100 acres, 98 of which are forested and separated from the visitors area by an electric fence. The sanctuary was officially opened to visitors in October 1999 and is currently home to 40 orphaned chimpanzees.

Chimps at the lake edge Man & his closest relative Boat transfer to Ngamba Island

Visiting the Sanctuary

Upon arrival at the sanctuary you will be directed to the visitors centre and given an introduction to the project, its history, its residents and their plight. Raised platforms run along the edge of the forest enclosures where you can view the chimpanzees from only metres away.

An island the size of Ngamba Island cannot sustain a large community of chimpanzees in terms of their nutritional requirements. Therefore, the chimps here are supplement fed to ensure they receive a healthy and balanced diet and visits to the sanctuary are timed around this feeding: 11:00AM and 2:30PM daily.

The sanctuary offers, half day, full day and overnight visits with a choice of speedboat or traditional motorised canoe transfer from Entebbe and includes entrance to the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre. A maximum of 25 visitors per feeding session are allowed and bookings must be made through an authorised booking agent.

For those overnight visitors who are looking for a personal experience with a chimp, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary offers the Chimpanzee Integration Program, a unique opportunity to interact one-on-one with some of the chimps.

Another unique activity available to overnight visitors is the Caregiver-For-a-Day experience. This program offers visitors the opportunity to experience a day in the life of a chimpanzee caregiver by being caregivers themselves.

Ngamba Island has other wild residents in addition to its chimpanzees. Over 120 bird species occur. Thousands of fruit bats roost in the forest and set off to forage every evening; this spectacular sight can be viewed nightly from the deck while enjoying a sundowner. If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of otters splashing around close to shore. A group of monitor lizards make regular appearances on the sanctuary grounds.
Please Note: Caregiver & Integration Programmes require special vaccinations.

Booking a Visit

  • Bookings can be made directly with:
The Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust
Plot 1, Bank Close, Entebbe
(Office is between Stanbic Bank and National Water office)
Tel: +256 (0)414 320662
Mobile: +256 (0)772 221880
OR with:
Wild Frontiers
Mobile: +256 772 502 155
E-mail: reservations@wildfrontiers.co.ug
  • All trips should be booked in advance to ensure availability and avoid disappointment.
  • Entrance tickets must be purchased in advance and your receipt must accompany you to the sanctuary.  
  • A maximum of 25 visitors per feeding session are allowed (unless pre-arranged with Executive Director).

About Chimpanzee Sanctuary & Wildlife Education Trust

CSWCT is a Non Governmental Organization whose operations depend on donations from well-wishers and fees paid by visitors to Ngamba Island.

CSWCT's activities include:

  • Welfare of individual captive chimpanzees entrusted to its care
  • Long-term management of a sanctuary for confiscated individuals that cannot be returned to the wild
  • Intervention to assist individuals in the wild when deemed necessary
  • Conservation education of the general Ugandan public with particular emphasis on chimpanzees, ecotourism, community participation and capacity building through training.
  • Building viable national, regional and international partnerships on chimpanzee conservation.

How can you help?

  • Visit ! Go and see them, stay with them, visit the chimpanzees and shop in the craft shop.
  • Join ! Become a Friend of the Sanctuary . The Friends of the Sanctuary Program has several different categories of membership, each with varying privileges attached.
Membership starts at only US $50. per year.
All members recieve:
Voucher for free entry at Ngamba Island
Latest newsletter and back issues
Colorful Ugandan chimpanzee conservation poster
Info-pack and profile of your mascot chimp
  • Contribute ! Contribute an item from our Wish List, either by sending the physical item(s) to our corporate address or by contributing the funds for purchase by CSWCT staff.
  • Foster! Become a Guardian or Foster Parent to one or more of the orphaned chimpanzees at Ngamba Island.
  • Get Involved! Become physically involved in caring for the orphaned chimpanzees at Ngamba Island by signing up for one or more of the following programmes: Integration Programme, Caregiver-For-A-Day, or Long Stay Visitor Programme.
Please Note: Caregiver & Integration Programmes require special vaccinations.
  • Ask ! Contact them, they will be happy to talk with you about ways in which you can get involved.
  • Share ! And when you have done that tell your friends, colleagues, and especially people travelling in Uganda, or in the travel industry about the work they are doing.