Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary Tour
Duration: 5.5 hours Super Easy
Why we love this tour
Discover the Chimpanzee sanctuary on Ngabma Island, explore Uganda's natural oasis, spot various animal species and enjoy swimming at the equator!
- A speedboatboat cruise on Lake Victoria to the Island
- Chimpanzee viewing and feeding
- Bird watching and animal observation
- Swimming at the equator
- Sunbathing and relaxing
- Visiting a neighbouring fishing village
- Sighting monitor lizards and photographic experiences
The Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, located on a 95-hectare forested island on Lake Victoria, was founded in 1998 by a number of local and international groups with the goal of providing a safe refuge for orphaned and rescued chimpanzees.
The Ngamba Island Chimpanzee day tour departs at 7:00 a.m. for the morning session and 11:00 a.m. for the afternoon session from your preferred pick-up location. After a briefing with our driver guide, depart for Lake Victoria. Once we arrive at Lake Victoria, we will board a speed boat for a 45-minute journey across the water to Ngamba Island. It is a fantastic excursion that allows all those who have always wanted to see how Lake Victoria looks to do so. As you go along the water, you will come across many local fishermen with their local fishing equipment. Along the way, you spot many different bird species on the lake like the cormorant birds, cattle egrets and many others.
As you land on Ngamba Island, you'll notice the great view of Chimp Island and begin spotting monitor lizards along the island's waters, as well as a variety of bird species such as singing Black headed weavers, spur winged lapwings, African Open billed storks, Sacred ibis, Egyptian goose, yellow billed dark, kingfishers, and many fish eagles, among others, who come to feed along the water's edge. Then you will be driven or directed to the visitors' center, where you will be given an overview of the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, its history, and the various activities that you will participate in while on the Island.
After being handed a cup of tea or coffee, the chimp caretakers will lead you to an elevated platform where you may view the chimps feeding at a close distance. You'll also be able to see various chimp behaviors such as eating, playing, and resting. On the island, you may see a diversity of plant and tree types, as well as a variety of bird species. Following the chimp feeding, you will be taken on a tour of the Island's various centers, including the chimp food shop. The chimp caregiver discusses how to properly store chimp food and the several types of food that are supplied to the chimps.
The management only assists these chimps with a few fruits such as pineapples, oranges, tomatoes, apples, watermelons, passion fruits, jack fruits, carrots, cabbage, cassava, and other items that may not be sufficient from their jungle foraging. You'll also be brought to the Chimp Clinic, where you'll learn how to care for the chimps, the different sorts of treatment available, and their overall health state.
For those attending in the afternoon, one of the behind-the-scenes activities will be meal preparation, which will be supervised by a caregiver. You'll board your speed boat at 11:45 a.m. for the morning session and return to the shore. Those participating in the afternoon session will return on the 4:00 p.m. boat.
On our way back to the mainland, we'll stop at the equator to see how the boat will be pushed by the forces of the South and North Poles to stay in one place. When a boat crosses the equator, the boat engine will tend to expend a bit more energy to beat the equator line, if this is readily visible. If you want to go swimming, this is the place to go. You'll be granted a few minutes to enjoy the activity before continuing on your journey. Our driver will meet you and take you to your accommodation in Kampala or Entebbe.
Need to know before you go
What to bring with you:
- Rain Jacket / heavy jacket as it gets cold and windy on the speed boat
- Warm & light clothes as the weather changes quite often, it rains almost everyday in Entebbe and on the island
- Cap / Hat with a neck string
- Camera and well-charged batteries
- Open shoes / shorts are okay
There are morning (7:00) and afternoon (11:00) sessions available.
Please note that the equator swimming activity is not available for non-swimmers.
CancellationFree cancellation policy up to 24 hours prior to the beginning of your activity.
Your accomodation in Kampala/Entebbe