Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary


Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary was established in October 1998 to care for orphaned chimpanzees that have been rescued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Many of the chimpanzees were rescued from poachers and are unlikely to survive reintroduction to the wild.

Ngamba Island is 100 acres (approximately 40 hectares) of rain forest situated a short boat ride (23 km) away from Entebbe, near the Equator in Lake Victoria, Uganda. It supports a rich diversity of natural wildlife and provides a variety of natural foods for the chimpanzees.

The island is set up as an eco-friendly project with compost toilets, rainwater collection, proper waste management practices and solar energy for electricity and hot water.

These chimpanzees were/are rescued by the Uganda wildlife Authority (UWA) from poachers and because they are unlikely to survive if reintroduced back into their natural habitats Ngamba Island is used to provide safety and care to them.The 39 chimpanzees roam freely on this 40 acre forested piece of land located in Lake Victoria. Ngamba Island is 23 km offshore from Entebbe accessible by a speedboat.

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary not only provides a safe haven for these vulnerable chimpanzees but has also created an opportunity for a memorable chimp experience. The Island is now open to visitors all year around and has now become one of the must-visit adventure destinations in Uganda for those seeking a quick but satisfactory chimp experience. It’s a perfect alternative to the strenuous but more adventurous Chimpanzee tracking in the big game parks and reserves.

Best time to visit

The sanctuary is open all year round to visitors who pay a nominal entrance fee to view one or both of the chimpanzee feedings. Day and overnight visits (staying in luxury tents) are available and can be booked through the booking agent, Wild Frontiers Uganda

The day experience and Feeding time at Ngamba Island

The best time to visit Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is at 11.00am and 3.00pm during their pre-arranged supplementary feeding. It is exciting to watch the chimps grapple for food and the way they interact with each other. As a visitor you could luckily get a once in a lifetime opportunity of being one or two chimpanzee’s care taker if they (chimps) choose you. You will get the opportunity to appreciate why they called man’s closest cousins. They will ask you to feed them, walk them around, play with them, talk to you, and do many possible things you would do with/for humans it’s totally mind blowing, probably the most unique and closest wildlife encounter you could ever have.

The Chimps are viewed from a raised platform for easy photo shooting though being wild animals these chimps have been carefully habituated for human interaction and each day they interact with humans they get even closer to them more of brothers/sisters than cousins. They are very bright that they know the times of feeding that by 11:00am and 2:30pm, they will walk close to the net where they are fed and they will tend to make some noise if the responsible people are late. After feeding they will walk back into the forest for relaxation and playing up in the trees.

Though being wild animals these chimps have been carefully habituated for human interaction and each day they interact with humans they get even closer to them more of brothers/sisters than cousins.

At 6:00pm, the chimps at the island will walk towards the entry point of the big cage where they spend their nights; however, some of them remain in the forest for the overnight. Those that manage to get back to the cage are fed with porridge and will show satisfaction if they are full in the tummy’s or will show that they want more if un-satisfied.

We have a full day session at the Island where you get to see the chimps feed two times leave. At 8:00am and return later 6pm.

Half day sessions, you will see the chimps feed once depending on the session you take.

Morning session from, 8:00am and return later at 1:30pm OR Afternoon session where you leave at 11:00am from your Hotel and return later at 6pm.