Founded in 1998, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary sits on 95 acres of a natural forest 23km off the mainland on Lake Victoria. Chimpanzees feed freely here in the forest but are also supplemented with fruits twice a day at 11 am and 2.30 pm. The island is home to 50 orphaned chimpanzees the natural environment offers them a safe place to recover from the trauma of being captured from their homes.
Seeing chimpanzees here might not beat or compare to watching them in the wilderness because of the electric fence and the cages that are at the center but it is worth doing an excursion to learn and observe the behavior of these animals. The fenced park offers space for chimpanzees to roam the island however it is not large enough to provide food for 50 chimpanzees and this is why they feed the chimps twice a day with a mixture of fruits and vegetables to supplement the forage. They are fed from a viewing platform and visitors can participate in feeding the chimpanzees. It is a very nice opportunity for viewing and photography.
The sanctuary aims at providing maximum care to these chimpanzees and they have a holding facility that has cages where chimpanzees can sleep, veterinary facility all to enhance social integration with the chimps. Chimpanzees at the sanctuary are not caged, they are allowed and given the choice to either return to the facility or to sleep in the forest.
Because they control the growth of chimpanzee numbers due to the small space, sexually mature females are given contraceptive implants not to disrupt sexual behavior but to manage the births. This doesn’t stop pregnancy and some chimpanzees have been born here.
A day or more day’s trip can be planned at the sanctuary depending on your activities of interest. These are activities that supplement the major one of watching and feeding the chimpanzees. Engage in activities like;
Overnight guests or full-day guests can do a boat cruise on Lake Victoria and enjoy watching the sun go down, fishermen casting their nets under the golden African Sun. You can also cross from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere (cross the equator). The activity requires informing the sanctuary management in advance.
With the help of certified fishing guides, anglers can have a full day or half-day fishing excursion on Lake Victoria. Get chances to catch the iconic Nile perch on Africa’s biggest lake.
Those who would want to volunteer at the sanctuary can take advantage of the 1 week or 4 weeks volunteer programs available. This makes you be part of the team of personnel to help the sanctuary achieve its goals- Become a Chimp Champ.
The sanctuary has luxury tents and restaurants to accommodate the visitors who want to spend more time on the island. Proceeds from the activity fees help in the daily running and meeting costs for taking care of these chimpanzees. Visit Ngamba island Now.